Raees Hindi Movie Review

Raees isn't a flawless and energy oozing film but the presence of Shahrukh Khan and Nawazudin Siddhiqui puts it on a safe territory though on a sticky pitch. There is lot of style but the style quotient is not backed by some substance in the content. Dialogues, performance and the retro feel of the 80's are some of the highlights of the film which has a very slow speed but where it compensate is on the showdown between one of the reliable and topnotch actor of these days in the form of Siddhiqui and an entertainer in Shahrukh Khan.

Its a gangster story set in Gujarat and narrate the rise of Raees a little boy from scratches to a gangster dealing in illicit hooch business. ACP Majumdar takes charge and the film is basically a cat and mouse game between the two. Whether Raees can survive in the race is what is shown in the film.

The plot as such is nothing new and doesn't go through any unpredictable situations at any point of time. But SRK along with Siddhiqui takes care of the weakness and dullness in the plot by bringing in their own style in front of the camera to lit up the proceedings.

There are some classy one liners as part of the dialogues to which both Shahrukh and Siddhiqui are part of. I should say these are moments that bring about a much needed life into an otherwise dull narration at times. A contemporary feel is created beautifully and credit for that goes mainly to the art department. People looking for unexpected twists and surprises would be a dejected lot as the screenplay has nothing to offer on that front to give a U-turn in the flow. The film is a bit lengthy at least by twenty minutes and this extra duration only helped in bringing in some amount of lagness to storyline.

Shahrukh Khan puts in lot of energy in the title role that has a dual shade to it. His mannerisms and dialogue delivery and stylishness was a treat to watch. At the same time I should also say the same thing about Nawazudin Siddhiqui as well. Their combination scenes were highly entertaining and had life in it. If this spark in those combination scenes didn't work out, the film would have been a big let down.

Pakistani actress Mahirah Khan making her Bollywood debut is the female lead paired opposite Shahrukh Khan and it was a normal Bollywood role limited to a few scenes and songs without giving much space to perform credibly. Atul Kulkarni was underutilized. A few more notable but unfamiliar actors are part of the supporting casts.

Cinematography by K.U Mohanan is good and the color tone reminiscent of the period it was meant to be helped in giving a different feel on the visual side. Editor should have done a better job in chopping few scenes that unnecessarily extended the running time. Music was okay while the background score was classy especially the tune they use when Raees is on the run. Sunny Leone appeared as an item girl hip swinging to the famous Laila Oh Laila song and it was recreated quite well though not close anywhere to the original number that was pictured on Helen.

Raees is predictable but is an entertaining gangster story that has its ups and downs with the mood of the film swinging in different direction. The highlights if you ask me to note down would be performance factor and style quotient brought about by two actors who both were instrumental in giving a facelift to the film and ensured that it isn't a disappointment despite its uneven pace.

Rating - 3 /5

Jomontay Suvisheshangal Malayalam Movie Review


When we think about movies directed by Sathyan Anthikad, the most striking aspects that pop into our minds are that of all of them barring a very few have the goodness factor visible in them and also the simplicity in the plot. The subjects giving stress for family values and relationships will have a social relevance in it. The background that Sathyan chooses to elaborate his plot will also be pretty much the same not for all but for a majority of his flicks.

These are all the attributes that makes a Sathyan Anthikad movie a special one for majority of the audience and more particularly for the family audience among whom the director and his films have a special place in their heart. Though off late, this fan base has eroded to an extent as a result of repetition in the treatment of the movies. Still people seriously look forward to his films with much anticipation expecting a minimum level of entertainment.

Jomontay Suvisheshangal, the latest Sathyan Anthikad movie finally reaches the audience after all those incidents that was casting a bad shadow for our industry. This time its new generation actor Dulquer Salman the chosen one who is given the mantle to lead the film scripted by Iqbal Kuttipuram who was the script writer for Oru Indian Pranayakatha which was also directed by Sathyan Anthikad.

Now coming to my verdict on Jomontay Suvisheshangal, the film turns out to be pretty well till the half way stage and runs out of steam after that. In totality its a rehash of many of the director's previous works and also by coincidence has a very close relationship (I would say a distant cousin) with Vineeth Sreenivasan's Jacobintay Swargarajyam.

Vincent is a wealthy businessman based out of Thrissur. He has two sons and two daughters and Jomon is one among them who is considered as an irresponsible chap by his family members. Jomon is dear to Vincent but how he turned out to be the dearest to his father is the basic crux of this plot which runs to a little more than two and a half hours.

Just like any Sathyan Anthikad film, here in Jomontay Suvisheshangal also the director dwell upon family values, passing socially relevant messages and also the father son relationship which is a trademark of many of the films for which the director has wielded the megaphone. Many characters also has that cliched feel when we compare and to me this film is another recycled version of some previous products of the director himself. No changes whatsoever except for the casting side on the lead role of Dulquer.

Repetition and close resemblance to some recent films is what has gone against the film. Add to it, the total lack of novelty in plot after the halfway mark. Even though screenplay is by Iqbal Kuttipuram, the story and every moment very much resemble the Sathyan Anthikad style genre. What's happening within the Vincent family was depicted neatly in the first half but the incidents that happen after that failed to get going and end up as an unconvincing portrayal.

The romantic track has two shades and both of them lacked clarity and conviction. Relationship between Vincent and Jomon and how the latter proves his worth to the former should have ended up as an inspirational and motivating portion but that didn't happen mainly due to the lifeless and somewhat lagging screenplay after the first half.

It was an easy role for Dulquer Salman to get deep inside the character of Jomon which had very little to do if we consider the challenges before him. He was apt for the role and did what was expected, nothing less or nothing more. Gregory as Jomon's friend Mushtaq was okay while Muthumani, Irshad, Vinu Mohan and Sivaji Guruvayoor were notable among the supporting actors. Innocent was repetitive. Tamil actor Manobala appear after the halfway stage and makes a mark in his familiar style. Both the leading ladies Anupama Parameswaran and Aiswarya Rajesh couldn't make any impact due to half baked characters.

The best among the actors was Mukesh who has created a nice space for himself in the industry wisely choosing roles that suit his age and appearance. Vincent was safe in his hands and he was upto the challenge of portraying them in a convincing manner. The character had few scenes that were emotional and he made it look so natural on screen.

Songs were tuned by Vidyasagar and they aren't exceptional and never came up to the standards set by the director. Background score was reasonable. Cinematography by S. Kumar was quite good as expected from a man of his experience.

Overall, Jomontay Suvisheshangal is not that interesting as expected with a highly predictable plot once the family track in the film gets settled. The resemblance with many of Sathyan Anthikad's other movies which he has done and also with another recent successful inspirational film makes up for an underwhelming experience and at best an average one. Its high time the director drive his bus in a different route to woo more audience.

Rating - 2.5 / 5

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Sit back and enjoy the 4 years of Dulquer Salmaan with us malayalees. Thank You Dulquer for the beautiful movies you have given us.

Bairava Tamil Movie Review


The prime intention and motive behind any Vijay movie is to entertain. Entertainment through heavy dose of songs, dance,romance and action packaged in a familiar template with the actor donning the role of a savior is the trademark style and ingredient that we regularly see. Logic takes a backseat. There is no place for any form of class here as pure mass is the ultimate word that one can label the movies of the actor.

Quite naturally with these things back in my mind, I was expecting just a movie that is just a mass entertainer with all those elements that was noted above in ample dose to fill my entertainment appetite. But Bairavaa, except for that lively first half turn into a lengthy and silly stuff. Even if we are to ignore everything in the name of entertainment and mass, this film from Bharathan who had previously directed Vijay in Azhagiya Tamiz Magan is a tedious watch and entertain only partially.

Just like his earlier flicks, here in Bairavaa too our hero is a savior. But this time its not a village or a community he is rescuing but something different. The protagonist Bairavan is a loan collection agent with a bank. He bumps into a girl named Malarvizhi and connected with this girl, Bairavan gets involve in some issues which the film portray in a close to three hour drama.

The plot has lot of social relevance at present especially if we associate it with a controversial case which has created ripples in Kerala. But the importance and seriousness of the storyline somewhere gets diluted which can mainly be attributed to a poor presentation and weak writing. Bharathan who has associated with the actor before both as a director and writer takes inspiration from many masala movies of Vijay but he fails execute the movie in a free flowing way.

The result is a half baked entertainer that is unevenly paced lacking the punch and energy that we normally see in a mass entertainer. Even for a movie of this genre, there should be something fresh in it but the presentation is too outdated following the so called template.

By now having acted out in numerous movies with similar shades, presenting himself in characters like these have become so easy and more of a cakewalk for Vijay. He carries the film on his shoulders all alone in his signature style without trying out anything different from what he does. Being in his safe zone, he tried his best in a weak screenplay and executed the action scenes with style. Dances weren't quite effective as the choreography department couldn't provide some interesting steps to utilize the full skills of the actor.

Keerthy Suresh was able to make her presence felt even with Vijay at full throttle. Jagapathy Babu and Daniel Balaji are the two antagonists in the movie. Both were looking menacing until at some stage of the movie, their characters looked like caricatures and became less effective. Aparna Vinod, Sija Rose, Seema G Nair and Vijayaraghavan from Malayalam industry do have roles to their credit in the movie, some in notable roles while some with less prominent characters.

Cinematography wasn't that beautiful. Similar is the case of editing that looked sloppy at times. There were many unwanted scenes that badly needed to be chopped off but that didn't happen resulting in unnecessarily pushing the film by an extra thirty minutes or so. Music by Santhosh Narayanan is another area that was a let down. Catchy tunes is a prime ingredient in a mass movie which Bairavaa clearly lacked.

Bairavaa has in it some exciting moments like high voltage action sequences, romance and little humour which are essential for a masala flick but overall it is a dull film with less amount of color and fun to make it a clean entertainer. For die hard Vijay fans, there is little to cheer about (fans might contradict with me on this) and in short Bairavaa turns out to be an entertainer devoid of soul.

Rating - 2 / 5

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Kaadu Pookkunna Neram - Malayalam Movie Review


The latest film from Dr. Biju has a clear vision and takes a strong political stance on the maoists movement and the timing of the release, well can't see a better time to release Kaadu Pookkunna Neram. Amidst all the unfortunate drama that has pulled down Malayalam film industry to a very low level, the director of the movie is able to find some thirty odd theatres along with the multiplexes operating in the state to exhibit his movie.

But the timing that I was referring to is not related to the strike within the film industry but is linked to the recent killing of people who were termed as Maoists by the state machinery and the plot that the movie discusses. It may be pure coincidence but definitely I felt it was an apt time to get the movie in front of the public (the movie was already aired in IFFK 2016) to see what it wanted to convey.

A little bit of spoiler is present in this and the following paragraph about the plot and hence I advise you to skip it if you are yet to watch the movie. A group of policemen are sent to a remote jungle and they camp in a little school of just two rooms. The school is where little children belonging to the adivasi tribes are taught. The mission of the police is to catch maoists activists operating inside the forest and their main crime was stealing rice sacks from Government godown.

One of the policemen gets isolated inside the deep jungle while chasing down a maoist. Whether he can make it back to the camp and ignorant of what the maoists are, whether this policeman can get a better insight into their movements, thats what Kaadu Pookkunna Neram discusses in a strong way.

I feel we the general public and also the the State and law enforcement agencies have certain perception about the maoists activities and in the same way the movie also has certain perception towards it. It comes out successfully in conveying what the perception of the movie is towards the movement. The way in which it is done and what stand or what side the movie takes is presented in a very strong manner.

Screenplay written by Biju himself has aided in covering up some loose ends. The dialogues were very powerful and is used to convey what is the stand of the director towards maoists activities. A slight uneasiness and unpleasantness was felt in the way the dialogues were rendered that had an overly dramatic feel. But despite this dialogue presentation issue, the movie in totality is neatly executed one which has a few areas where cinematic liberties have been taken even though a realistic approach is adopted in the narrative.

On the casting side, both Indrajith and Rima Kallingal were apt for their respective roles. Both their characters names are never revealed. In fact none of the characters in the movie have their names revealed at any stage of the movie. The problem area was in the dialogue presentation especially Rima who was guilty of going a bit too dramatic in the dialog rendition part but that doesn't take away any credit from the efforts she has taken in getting transformed into the character that the director has imagined and visualized. Prakash Bare, Indrans and Irshad are also part of the acting team.

The movie has a visually appealing presence and have effectively captured that feel of the jungle remarkably. Background score is used in a limited manner and it gave that perfect feel that suited the theme as well as the forest background through which the story takes its shape. Sound design is another notable aspect in the movie and whoever has done it deserves a pat on his back.

Kaadu Pookkunna Neram is definitely a must watch film and has that trademark style of Dr. Biju written all over it. A strong subject is what the movie had in its kitty and that subject gets the deserving treatment and in the process makes the political statement that the director wanted to convey.

Rating - 3.5 / 5

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