Malayalam Movies

Kali: Anger & Love Seeps In Exploring Human Psyche

They say anger and love (a vague pairing!) comes unexpected. But for Siddharth (Dulquer Salmaan), all of it starts just like the film’s straight-to-point title ‘Kali’ (Rage). His short-tempered nature dominates him in every phase of his life, creating problems ahead. However, in the beginning of the story, Siddharth’s ‘anger inducing’ situations creates a base for the film’s entertaining side as it also briefs us with our protagonist and his life-story.

A scene from Kali

Romance in Kali is not ‘larger than life’ but filled with heartwarming moments just like the one we see in the above frames. Anjali (Sai Pallavi) acts as a catalyst in making Siddharth aware of the realities and uncertainty of life, she mirrors him with his flaws, and their romance blends in throughout the story. Anger and Love, both these emotions go parallel in Siddharth’s life, one makes him a flawed character while the other humanizes him.

And rage comes to life again in the pre-climax but these are not the moments we earlier laughed on or enjoyed. Unexpectedly Siddharth and Anjali cross paths with sinister heads, which ultimately tests their patience. The story shifts as a gripping narrative in the climax and the closing shot is where ‘Kali’ is reborn but with a change.

Kali, available on Disney+ Hotstar.

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Movies, Regional

Eternal Love for Alaipayuthey (2000)

Watching a film and then completely falling for the same, it takes a little time for us to get over it. We feel an eternal love for the beauty of our favourite film and it’s characters. And Mani Ratnam’s ‘Alaipayuthey’ is one such film that makes you admire it in different ways altogether right from picturisation of the songs, to the very small story arcs in the film. Ratnam’s second film after Mouna Ragam which has a central theme of romance and explores the dynamics of a young couple’s relationship post marriage.

Rewatching Alaipayuthey now gave me a deep insight into the blissful cinematography of P C Sreeram, I would say that his camera has been a perfect match for every Mani Ratnam film right from Mouna Ragam to OK Kanmani. Highlighting the song ‘Evano Oruvan’ through it’s divine frames and the meaningful lyrics, the film opens a new arc and concludes it quite as a new beginning for Karthik (@actormaddy ) and Shakti (Shalini).

Taking the narrative forward and mapping it through images, making it a symbolism of grief that goes within these characters. The shots follow a medical camp being threatened by stormy weather, a wide angle shot of a bus approaching, and some other beautiful shots accompanied by dark shades and wind continuously stating the inner state of mind of both these characters. Finally they both meet at a bridge across a river, giving a closure to this beautiful song and initiating the story further.


#22yearsofDilSe: The Relevance of Title Track!

Kashmir has been the boiling point when it comes to Indian Politics. Though the film is out and out framed as a romantic drama, the political stance it took in a subtle way is highlighted through its metaphorical story which represents the obsession of two nation’s over the reign on Kashmir. Leave the film aside, but even if one watches the title track of the film, Ratnam has a lot to say about the political tension over the place. It is not about the music or lyrics of the song but the way it has been visually portrayed tells a lot about Kashmir and the trauma of it’s residents.

The song starts of with police sirens and men in uniform guarding all over the small borders within the place. The army is marching all across the street strongly implementing their presence. The picturization of how people walk away with the daily guard and one shot where all children in school uniforms are expressing their freedom on streets might represent the future of Kashmir.

People are running from the hauntings. You feel like you are the hunted and you are the hunters stuck in the midst of political tensions. The fear of change, the fear of acceptance and the endless chase continues.


An Artist’s Perspective ft. ‘Pyaasa’ & ‘Rockstar’

Pyaasa highlights the journey of every artist who refused to change according to the system, the society and the culture and Vijay (Guru Dutt) did not do it because he thought it was cool but because that’s who he was. And throughout the film it is about Vijay’s journey of a never-ending search for peace, truth and freedom. And the same thought gives birth to Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar, where Jordan (Ranbir Kapoor) and his angst is the driving force of this story as it unfolds more like a puzzle with documented bits, making viewers aware of the societal arc which we also see in Pyaasa but in a linear way.

The endings of both Pyaasa and Rockstar justifies the journey of self discovery. In Pyaasa, when Vijay had a chance to reveal the truth of his writings which went popular without people knowing the true author but he chose to keep it as a secret and got beaten by a huge mob of crowd. While watching this scene, we question ourselves why did he do that? And when he confronts Meena, he complains about the society that tears away a man’s compassion and he believes that he will never find peace here, and begins another endless journey.

The same goes at the climax of Rockstar in a more musical way, he’s an empty man feeling nothing looking at the sea of people cheering for him. He’s just standing there wishing he was under that bed-sheet with the girl he loved and there’s no one around. And the thing which haunts him is that he’ll never find peace as at the end he conforms to the system i.e the company which has restricted him completely. These lines from Pyaasa will do justice to Jordan’s situation, “Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye Toh Kya Hai”

French Cinema, Hollywood movies, Movies

How ‘Le Samourai’ has inspired films like ‘Taxi Driver’

“An Inspiring Art”

Jean-Pierre Melville’s ‘Le Samourai’ has been an inspiration to many filmmakers and characters. This 1967 French film conveys the story more in a visual form and what I appreciate most about it is the minimalism of the dialogue. Almost like a silent film, cut the sound and you can still follow the storyline through stills. As you can see in the three frames above, the first two are from ‘Le Samourai’ and the last one from Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver whose protagonist Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) has a lot of similarities with that of Jef Costello (Alain Delon).

Talking about the first two frames, the opening shots of Le Samourai, these shots are remarkable as they itself act as a characterization to our protagonist as we see him alone smoking in a dim lit room and the only living being apart from him is the caged bird which is also a visual representation of Jeff’s character. The film’s first few scenes silently informs us a lot about our protagonist, his life has no purpose and there’s nothing in this world that can make him happy. Played by Alain Delon, the character works as a hitman as that’s the only thing he can do for his survival.

The film has been an inspiration to many films and characters ahead. Talking about one such is Travis Bickle’s character from Taxi Driver. The only thing that differentiates both these characters are their perception towards the outside world. Well, in short the film Le Samourai is that work of art which has been inspiring many artists over the years and continues to do so.

Let me know in the comments if you would like to discuss about specific and stay tuned for more such articles. Lots of Love.

Movies, Regional

Sumitra Bhave – Sunil Sukthankar’s ‘Astu: So Be It’

“Shift Of Mind”

Over the years, as life proceeds further, we come across its different phases and one such phase is old age. And when the mind gradually starts fading away its memories, all that is left is the beautiful mind. An insight from this beautiful mind is portrayed in the 2013 Marathi film Astu where Dr. Chakrapani Shastri (Mohan Agashe), a well known Sanskrit scholar and an Alzheimer’s patient is seen capturing this phase of his life as a new born baby. A simple film that on one side captures the life of an old man and at the same time shows the dilemma of a family losing their dear ones.

A scene which makes an impression on our hearts is the one where Dr Shastri calls Channama (@amrutasubhash ), which is where we come to this important story arc of the film where Appa follows an elephant and goes missing. The elephant owner Anta (Nachiket Purnapatre) and his wife Channama, how they take Appa into their family and their love and compassion for him that does aim towards becoming a moral discourse, an example for his kids to follow. Strength, empathy and humanity is what the film calls for, through this poor couple.

Director Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar are known for making films which are entertaining as well as socially relevant. Their films are more about the society and its people, they raise topics which are needed to be and they do the same through this film too.

(Astu: So Be It, Available on Amazon Prime)

Bollywood, Movies

Introduction of A Character: ‘Dawood’ (Black Friday)

Nothing is glamorized in this scene from Black Friday where Anurag Kashyap introduces Dawood Ibrahim as Dawood Ibrahim. Yes! In an attempt to paint an accurate portrait of the 1993 Bombay blasts, the film uses real names rather than fictionalizing them. No characters are sensationalized, everything is shown from a perspective. In a scene where Dawood Phanse (Gajraj Rao) meets Dawood Ibrahim (Vijay Maurya), which has a bit of humour but a lot of tension which is created via camera. It is the time where the story is in the phase of unfolding, reaching towards the climax, and also introducing one of it’s important characters.

A scene from Black Friday

The first frame, a shot where we see Tiger Memon (Pawan Malhotra) initiates and is the mastermind of the whole plan and in the same shot through the glass door a reflection of Ibrahim’s character is portrayed and it’s the first time we as viewers are introduced to him. The sense of tension is already present as Gajraj Rao plays his part through his dialogue. The middle frame, a close up shot of the reflection, a mysterious character whom we all have just seen in clips or images and we try to relate through it, finding it an accurate portrayal of the gangster. The last frame is specially for Phanse’s expressions, he’s shocked and surprised as well. That’s how tension is created through perfectly executed shots making it the ‘most realistic portrayal of true events’ we have ever seen in Bollywood.

Bollywood, Movies

Bay Of Life

A theory says that, If we compare our life on Earth, it is a very short period compared to the time scale of the Universe, so as per an assumption, our life could be a part of a temporary period converging the factor of life and death in the universe. While we consider death as the final point of our life, it’s importance towards understanding the true meaning of human existence and it’s the reason why it is said that facing death gives life meaning. That’s what we see in Nagesh Kukunoor’s directorial ‘Aashayein’ where the protagonist Rahul (John Abraham) is seen receiving life lessons towards the end of his life, though the film lacks at some points but it really has some beautiful moments that conveys the realism of a person heading towards the end of his life.After the 80s Bollywood has been failing to provide quality as it was the time where we saw a rise in Mainstream Cinema and the decline of Artistic Cinema. This film reminds me of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s classic Anand which is still fresh in our minds.Coming back to Aashayein, one of the most heartfelt scenes from the film is where an old patient asks the hospice trainee Madhu (Jia Mustafa) to remove her oxygen mask and she’s compelled to do so when the old lady says “Look into my eyes” and when the mask is removed, we see a smile which defines her need for freedom from life which is nothing less than a mere struggle.Highlighting the most mysterious aspects of the universe, Life and Death many mythological stories say that Birth is the most saddest point of human life while Death is the true gift of our existence. Well, these topics will be debated forever.Do Watch 📺 Aashayein, available on YouTube. .

Bollywood, Movies

Craze of Bollywood

In India, most of the people are either obsessed with Cricket or with Bollywood or many times with both of it. Movies and Cricket goes hand in hand and more than that, the craze and obsession with the stars involved in both these fields is much more than anything. Indian Fans love their favourite stars and just to get a single glance of them, they can wait for no matter how much long.

I remember the times when I used to visit my native place during childhood and wherein there were small workplaces, the walls their used to be filled with a lot of Hindi movie stars and Hindi songs playing on Radio. Though now we have evolved into the digital era, yet the love for Bollywood is still the same and many people have these movie stars placed in their hearts.

Priyadarshan has been one of the few directors in Bollywood who actually know the perfect recipe of a comedy movie and when a movie of such genre explores such a topic which everyone can relate to, it is a great achievement for cinema. A lot of people come to the city of dreams so that they can have a glance atleast of their favourite stars, I don’t need to name any star here, we are well aware of that. In a country where movie stars are more influential than politicians, it is surely a great thing for the stars.

Apart from Billu, there are a variety of movies which explores this Bollywood Obsession of India, for instance Anurag Kashyap’s story in Bombay Talkies or Farhan Akhtar’s Luck By Chance. The Obsession of Bollywood is for real and we admit it we’ll not stop loving it, for now it just needs a few changes for sure.

Billu| Dir: Priyadarshan|

Bollywood, Movies

First Rain × First Love

Ever wondered about the eagerness of a farmer just before the monsoons, after softening the land (ploughing), he only desires for rain. That desire and longing is beyond everything. The time between the arrival of the Monsoon has the true essence of a need. But as it arrives and progresses further, that desire tends to become more weak. The desire of having someone as a loved one is similar to that.

The gap between the first talk and then conveying your love to someone is nothing but a scent of pure love. And as time passes, it becomes weak but it depends on the way we perceive it, if you are the one for whom everyday is a new one, then it is easy for you to get away from bad aspects and focus on the good.

Ritesh Batra’s Photograph is a simple portrayal of our lives in metro cities. Story of the parallels Miloni (Sanya Malhotra) and Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), showing each of these two character’s deep life story and true portrayal of their unnamed bond. Director Batra paints it like a canvas which shows the true essence of love and longing for someone. Miloni, here is a beautiful character I loved, she is a person of few words. There’s a lot of thing she wants to say but everything is stored within her thoughts.

When I was watching the film in theatres, at first I felt it was slow but as it paces further the beauty of this story comes out. The one thing I love about Ritesh Batra, is the way he creates the chemistry between his characters be it in Lunchbox or in Photograph.