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Aug 10, 2006

Movie of the week

I recently watched the Malayalam movie Udayan aanu tharam. Its your usual feel-good movie, spattered in true Sreenivasan style with situational comedy, one liners, and a central theme that moulds the movie from beginning to end.

The movie looks at the malayalam film industry with a touch of satire. From the role models of aspiring directors and scriptwriters, through to acting skills training and the various 'side businesses' of the superstars.

I've a couple of key criteria that I must be satisfied with before I can give a favourable verdict.
1. (And most importantly) a great script/plot.
2. Character-driven acting.
3. Innovative cinematography and sound & visual editing techniques.
4. The movie has something different about it when compared to others in its genre.

This movie had an excellent underlying theme. I liked the protrayal of the 'ordinary' scriptwriter/director. The climax may have been a bit 'utopian' but its unfortunately part and parcel of the mallu masala movies from the last couple of years.

The actors fit their characters to the tee. I thought Salim Kumar's character was a bit of a third leg. The pick of the lot was definitely Rajappan aka Saroj Kumar :) The end where Saroj Kumar pulls the facial reactions of a 'psychic' reminded me of Sreenivasan at the end of Kaalapani when a gun is pointed to his head.

The cinematography had nothing spectacular, but nothing more should be really expected from a drama/comedy. The various instances of visual humor worked without being too obtrusive (over aaki illa).

I thought the scenes between Sreenivasan & Jagathi and Sreenivasan & Mohanlal were hilarious. The background score and all the songs (though maybe out of place in the movie) was melodious. Sreenivasan's son has a future in music. It was good to see Indrans (kalyanam kettan minimum, thaali kettan olla arogyam venam).

Verdict - A must see. I'll definitely watch it again.
Dialogue that stands out - Heh... Make-upinoke oru parithi ille da...
Comparable movies - Vadakkamnookiyendrum, Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala, English Medium.
Downfalls - The ending, half-utilised characters, nothing spectacularly different about this movie.

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