Category Archives: Movie

A piece on Malayalam Cinema

It was a pleasant surprise to see an article in Economic Times-Ahmedabad edition which amassed certain forgotten facts about Malayalam cinema. Though I still wonder why did they chose to publish it now..

Article points out how Malayalam cinema in 80s cleverly transformed into a single stream by marrying both ‘art’ and ‘popular’ cinemas into one form, even while Bollywood industry continued to distinguish them in terms of ‘intelligence’ and popularity’.

Few excerpts:

In the decade beginning 1986, Malayalam cinema gave the debate between ‘intelligent’ and ‘popular’ cinema a decent burial by cleverly marrying the two. Credit for this, of course, goes to directors like P Padmarajan, Bharathan, Sathyan Anthikad, Priyadarshan and Sibi Malayil who, in the company of writers like Sreenivasan and Lohithadas, helmed a series of movies that bridged the gap between intelligent and popular. By the end of the 80s, there was hardly any talk of art cinema — even among college students with Leftist leanings and high-brow aspirations.

Being an ardent movie buff and having watched numerous movies in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam, I can confidently say that malayalam movies from 1980 – 1995 were the all time best of Indian cinema. There was a unique concoction of intelligent, sensible, witty, satiric and emotional film making. But lack of new talent and experimentation is deteriorating the quality of malayalam cinema nowadays. Now, its the tamil and telugu cinemas which are taking the lead. Hindi cinemas are still stuck in ‘mediocre’ movies, but occasionally comes up few sparkling gems.

Coming back to ET article, it gives a very good narration of best malayalam cinemas..

In Anthikad’s Gandhinagar 2nd Street, Mohanlal plays a jobless Malayali youth who masquerades as a Nepali watchman in a posh neighbourhood. In Sanmanasullavarkku Samadhanam, he’s again an everyday Joe who desperately wants his ancestral house rid of stubborn tenants. And in Varavelpu, Mohanlal plays a Gulf returnee whose dream of settling in Kerala and running a private bus service turns sour in the face of trade union problems — a stark indictment of the state’s callous attitude towards entrepreneurship. In Malayil’s Thaniyavartanam, Mammooty is a school teacher who progressively goes mad — under the social glare of having inherited his uncle’s madness. And in Bharathan’s Amaram, Mammooty is a common fisherman — though there’s not a pretence anywhere in the movie at being ‘arty’.

Sreenivasan’s Vadakku Nooki Yanthram and Paavam Paavam Rajkumaran stood out in the marquee, Jayaram’s Mazhavil Kaavadi ran to packed houses. Political satires like Panchavadi Palam and Sandesham went on to become big hits. 

The biggest proof of how Malayalam cinema successfully married the two opposite and opposing forces is the commercial success of Sibi Malayil’s Bharatham: the movie won Mohanlal a National Film Award for Best Actor; it won Yesudas a National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer; and it won a string of Kerala State Film awards as well.

May be when more and more malayalam movies are subtitled, it would definitely have a much bigger audience who enjoys and appreciate ‘Good Cinemas’. Let’s hope for the same, and until then be satisfied with these occasional memoirs.

A Wednesday: Must watch thriller


Saturday night is not the best choice to watch a movie in Ahmedabad. Mostly because it is always overcrowded at all cinemas. Still we went to watch the new thriller ‘A Wednesday’ at a near by Drive-In Theater. I never expected it to be such a sumptuous treat from a debut director. What a movie !!. Beautiful narration, spine-chilling thrill, Awesome acting, Solid screenplay, Intriguing climax. What else you need from a movie ?

A wednesday is not just wedanother movie about terrorists. It deals the entire issue from a much different perspective, which unfortunately most often forgets to notice. It was a pleasure watching Jimmy Shergill act as a police officer. Not only did he justified the role, but he delivered a performance which he would not forget in his life.

When Anupam Kher and Naseerudin Shah shared the screen space after a gap of 10 years, they brought an amazing feel to the entire script. But most notably, the star of the movie is the director/scriptwriter Neeraj Pandey. He has given a solid script with an apt cast and a flawless direction. A lot to expect from a debut.

Experiments like ‘A Wednesday’ revives my confidence in Bollywood movies. Looking forward to see more from this director.

Dialogues from Shawshank redemption

The most famous dialogues of the Best Movie ever Made : SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION

Can anyone forget Tim Robbins & Morgan Freeman in Shawshank??…atleast I cant..coz this one movie taught me thru these dialgoues carefully..each line has a story to tell teach you..!!

RED: Andy? I guess we’re gettin’ to be friends, ain’t we?

ANDY: I suppose we are.

RED: I ask a question? Why’d you do it?

ANDY: I’m innocent, remember? Just like everybody else here.

ANDY: What are you in for, Red?

RED: Murder. Same as you.

ANDY: Innocent?

RED: The only guilty man in Shawshank.

RED: Heywood, enough. Ain’t nothing wrong with Brooksie. He’s just institutionalized, that’s all.

HEYWOOD: Institutionalized, my ass.

RED: Man’s been here fifty years. This place is all he knows. In here, he’s an important man, an educated man. A librarian. Out there, he’s nothing but a used-up old con with arthritis in both hands. Couldn’t even get a library card if he applied. You see what I’m saying?

FLOYD: Red, I do believe you’re talking out of your ass.

RED: Believe what you want. These walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. After long enough, you get so you depend on ’em. That’s “institutionalized.”

JIGGER: Shit. I could never get that way.

ERNIE: Say that when you been inside as long as Brooks has.

RED: Goddamn right. They send you here for life, and that’s just what they take. Part that counts, anyway.

RED: I have no idea to this day what them two Italian ladies were singin’ about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I like to think they were singin’ about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared. Higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away… and for the briefest of moments — every last man at Shawshank felt free.

ANDY: Here’s where it makes most sense. We need it so we don’t forget.

RED: Forget?

ANDY: That there are things in this world not carved out of gray stone. That there’s a small place inside of us they can never lock away, and that place is called hope.

RED: Hope is a dangerous thing. Drive a man insane.

ANDY: You’re right. It’s down there, and I’m in here. I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.

RED: Andy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, a million years of mountain-building there, plates of bedrock grinding against each other over a span of millennia… Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes, really. Pressure and time.

RED: I like to think the last thing that went through his head… other than that bullet… was to wonder how the hell Andy Dufresne ever got the best of him.

ANDY: Dear Red. If you’re reading this, you’ve gotten out. And if you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don’t you? I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I’ll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend. Andy.

RED: I find I am so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it is the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain… I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.