I like! Part IV – Amen (Subject in scrutiny)

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[Disclaimer: The post intents to highlight only those aspects I liked about the ‘subject in scrutiny’. I truly believe that I am not competent enough to criticize or point out any flaws of the creator’s vision. Writing off a creative piece which took hundreds of days to take its final form in five minutes is something I don’t stand for. My opinions can be extremely partial if the subject in question has any connection to any person or emotion or thought that is close to me. So welcome to the opinion of the blogger on the subject in scrutiny.
 A few other disclaimers because of the ‘baseless allegations’ of some dear friends after the earlier movie reviews published in this virtual world!
 (a) I am a ‘HUGE’ fan of the current craze- period. However that does not mean I will write a biased review about his movies. I would rather not write if I don’t like the movie!
 (b) The usual disclaimer of asking you to bear with my spelling mistakes and lack of reading ‘Wren and Martin’ remains!]

Finally with a long list of disclaimers here goes the fourth in the series after (i), (ii) and (iii) – Amen !

It’s after a long time that I am watching a movie at Cochin and hence there was a lot of excitement and confusion too! I was confused as there were at least three Malayalam movies that I wanted to watch and could not decide on one! However the following trailer of Amen cleared all the confusion .

 

One of the most interesting trailers that has released in the recent times. A mere ‘1 minute’ trailer which has succeeded in establishing the characters and making the viewers curious enough to  go to the theatre and watch the movie. So the first high point in the movie for me is this trailer. Impressive – Period !

If I were to describe the movie in one line – A movie based on an underdog but with a divine intervention! Amen is a movie which neither tries to establish a time period nor shows ‘real’ characters. It the story of Solomon and Shoshanna who lived ‘once upon a time’ in a land called ‘Kumaragiri’ – the land of the ‘good’, ‘bad’ and the ‘divine’. I refuse to call these ‘real’ because there are no shades of grey – its all black and white!

 It would be best to describe the movie through its characters . So here I go!

The ‘main character’ in the movie is an ancient Syrian Church at Kumaragiri which is the name of St. Geevarghese. The very soul of the movie is the said church. The church is not a mere place to pray for the people of Kumaragiri – it represents belief, faith, unity of the people of the said land. Truly the hero of the movie!

The ‘supporting character’ in the movie is its music! Since the movie revolves around the band of the church of which Solomon [protagonist] is a member, music gains a lot of importance. The music stands out for its variety and treatment. My personal favourite is “Aatmavin’. The fun, love, hatred, faith ,humour and all emotions whatsoever are conveyed through the songs .Truly out of the world – Hallelujah!

The other characters who stand out for their superlative performances are Indrajith as Father Vincent Vattolli, Fahadh Faasil as Solomon, Swati Reddy as Shoshanna, Rachana Narayanankutty as Clara, Natasha Sahgal as Michelle, Kalabhavan Mani, Chemban, Vinod Jose, Kainagiri Thankaraj as Chalipappan, Nandu as Philipose and Joy Mathew as Ottaplakal achan.

Indrajith as Vincent Vattolli takes the movie ahead. His styling and dialogues are very different and brings out a new dimension of the priests in Kerala. Through humour and slapstick comedy the character tries to send out strong messages to the society on love, life and the teachings of Christ!

Fahadh Faasil – as always delivers his best. The idiotic, naïve, helplessly romantic Solomon and his transformation as the movie progresses has been beautifully executed by the current craze -period. I take a bow!

Swati Reddy’s facial expressions in the ‘1 minute’ trailer had impressed me even before the release of the movie. Her lip sync is perfect and she looks truly christian. I guess half the job done by perfecting the two! Shoshanna has truly made ‘chatta and mundu’ a style statement . I would not be surprised if it becomes an attire in demand for Christian functions in Kerala.

Clara’s bold, on the face dialogues and her romantic, emotional side are definitely contradictory. But that’s the beauty of the character. Love the scenes where she confronts Shoshanna. Hilarious!Michelle is sweet and brings in the much-needed color to the ‘white’ Kumagiri.

The movie tries to convey a lot of messages that bible speaks of – one of love, friendship, mentoring, self-confidence, selflessness, joy of giving, spirit of competition, victory of the good over the evil and many more. Many movies have done the same. What makes this movie stand out is that all these strong messages are conveyed through wacky humourous situations!

Call it a movie of an underdog , a love story, a fairy tale, a comic trip or a divine intervention – all stands true for the movie. Lijo Jose Pellissery [director] along with Abinandhan Ramanujam [cinematographer] and Prashant Pillai [music director] is waiting to takes you to a ‘never seen land’ and through a ‘never before felt’ cinematic experience. Do watch it for them and of course  – goes without saying – for the current craze -period!

Amen!

He is here TO STAY!

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A friend whom I know since college was surprised to know the admiration and craze I have for an actor and his screen presence. Many people who read my virtual world noticed that I mention him on every other write-up I post. A professor and mentor mentioned that he noticed my admiration for the actor through my blog posts. My friends, colleagues and others having no idea about the Malayalam movie industry knows no one but him!. My mother gets irritated when I mention that I want to marry someone like him! Hence I thought I must write a few words just about him.

Years ago a young boy was launched in a film directed by his father which did not do well at the box –office and did not go down well with the critics. I have not seen the movie, hence do not intent to comment on it.

Media wrote him off as one of the star kids who had a dream launch but never made it big. He was forgotten. It seems natural as it will happen to any individual in the industry irrespective of whether he is a star son or not.

Media wrote him off  – ‘acceptable’.

Media wrote off the great man who directed him and has given Malayalam cinema some of the best movies till date –‘not acceptable’.

This is just a prelude to the story of the man who is here to stay!

He came back to the industry 8 years later without a bang! His role as in Kerala Café was intriguing – yet simple. The critics gave credit to the script and the story, however he was not ignored.

He established himself as a versatile actor with Chaappa Kurishu22 Female Kottayam and Diamond Necklace Seeing the way he enacts the characters with ease, I believe that either there is an element of the real him in every one of these characters or he is a brilliant actor or a bit of both!

Post these movies the media tagged him as the metro-sexual hero, Emraan Hashmi of Malayalam cinema. He remained true to it and excelled in it. However he went on to do Annayum Rasoolum. Media tagged him as an actor of brilliance and versatile. He hopes to remain true to that too!

He gained what he was denied the first time – commercial success and critical acclaim.

I have never met him in person. The image I have created about him is by watching his films, reading his views in the print media and watching his interviews. I find him extremely happy in his space and at peace with himself. May be that helps him accept success and failure with ease.

Beyond the great actor, excellent publicist (via twitter, facebook) I see him as an actor who genuinely wants to connect with the audience. His witty reaction on twitter when he reads negative comments about his movie, proves he is ‘real’.

I am waiting for Annayum Rasoolum to release in Bombay. But even before seeing the movie I am in love with Rasool though Rasool will always remain Anna’s .

Let another actor be born soon – till then he remains my current craze –period!