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24 Dec 2017

MAYAANADHI- the bold and beautiful river (an outlook) - By Rahul Sharma

As the title says, MAYAANADHI- is nothing but a raw magical journey through that magical river of romance; which is pristine, crystal-clear, yet with an abstract course of flow. So glad to say that Aashiq Abu has succeeded in bringing the best out of him through Mayaanadhi. Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair has once again proved their legacy through such a brilliant multilayered script. This would be one of the most promising and sincere love stories to appear in Malayalam in recent times and is supposed to stay as 'a pro-time classic' for pretty long time within the hearts of the audience. The film slaps on the face of all those 'so called' norms of 'fake moralities' in the society- say in a prudent manner and grabs its position with a backbone through its sincere way of storytelling sans gimmicks. It openly speaks about various strata in a man-woman relationship.

The story revolves around two characters - Mathew/Mathen (Tovino Thomas) and Aparna/Appu (Aishwarya Lekshmi) which itself is the highlight of the film because, the story just 'revolves' around the characters without getting 'into' them. Usually, while playing with romantic stuffs, scriptwriters often give catchy dialogues to their characters to render, thereby injecting their emotional status (spoon-feeding) into the minds of the audience. Unlike this usual scenario, here the scriptwriters Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair and the director Aashiq Abu have tried to reduce the emotional verbose, thereby allowing the actors to perform and behave maximum in a natural way, staying within the script. Undoubtedly, this has become one of the career best performances of Tovino, say in a character role which of course is the protagonist indeed. One cannot find a single trait of 'Tovino' in 'Mathan' which makes him one of the most bankable actors from the south. Same applies with the lead actress Aishwarya too. It is hard to believe that this is her second film. Aishwarya  has marked the character 'Aparna' with a stellar performance, which is almost irreplaceable. The characters 'Mathen' and 'Appu' were absolutely safe within the hands of Tovino and Aishwarya respectively. The duos had lived on screen even with perfect micro expressions bound to the script and we are so graceful to watch  such emerging lead artists performing on screen.

Music by Rex Vijayan was so synchronized with the pace of the film which did never appear as a mere filler. It did hit the marquee with the ethereal voice of Shahabaz Aman, which was mind pulling. Songs 'Kaattil..' and "Thoni niranju... pranan kavinju...." will never leave the ears of the audience even after they leave the theaters. Costumes by Sameera Sanish deserves a well applause for making the film colorful without loosing its true sense. Cinematographer Jayesh Mohan has done a good job in capturing the 'most wanted' moments with proper sense and last but not least, editor Saiju Sreedharan deserves an applause for making such a multi-layered romance flick interesting and engaging with prompt and proper cuts.

In fact, Mayaanadhi is a brave and stand out attempt from a vibrant and voracious crew under Aashiq Abu. He has once again emphasized his position as one of the most talented directors from the south. Now, the audience are to go with the flow of the river and engross the feel in its true sense. If Mayaanadhi gets a warm welcome, then that would certainly mark a new beginning of live and sincere attempts from more and more writers, directors and actors out there in the industry. Ashiq Abu has proved it before with his second movie- 'Salt and pepper' and now the flow has taken a new course and let this be a stand out deed.

Hats off- Team MAYAANADHI , for giving a promising and sincere watch.

-By Rahul Sharma

16 Nov 2017

QARIB QARIB SINGLLE- feel fresh, free and fine! (an outlook) - by Rahul Sharma

QARIB QARIB SINGLLE- Got to watch yet another movie, directed by Tanuja Chandra from the house of JAR Pictures. So glad to say that Bollywood Rom-Com is still fresh and smooth when it gets into the right hands.  Tanuja Chandra and Gazal Dhaliwal had written the screenplay for the story by Kamna Chandra. Undoubtedly, Qarib Qarib Singlle (almost single) is one of the best movies of the year, with a brilliant screenplay and splendid performances of the lead actors- Irrfan Khan and Parvathy Thiruvoth.

Romantic comedies and journeys had always been one of the favorite genres of the Bollywood. But this one, is a real stand out and strikes the chord with few of those classic movies ever made. The script is so well written in such a way that one would feel like as if he/she is sitting in between the characters within. Viewers could easily connect and travel with 'Jaya' and 'Yogi'. Actors Irrfan Khan and Parvathy have done a splendid job on screen by living as 'Yogi' and 'Jaya' respectively. Parvathy, being one of the finest actresses from Malayalam, was so brilliant on screen in such a way that it never makes one feel  that this was her debut film in Hindi! She plays a Mumbai settled 'mallu' girl, while Irrfan plays a romantic vagabond with a layered background. Irrfan, of course needs no introduction and was really mind blowing. Irrfan and Parvathy were irreplaceable in the film.

The story picks up with the most modern relationship styles, say with the dating apps of modern days and takes us to the real ethnicity of human bonding. It deals with the perspectives of both- the man as well as the woman included in a relationship. It shows 'that' point of time when one could find oneself being in a relationship and the movie speaks a lot about the 'attitude of letting things go'. Ideas like - "Apni dil ki baat suniye" (Listen to the voice of your heart), "Jo karo, dil se karo" (Whatever you do, do it with your heart) and "Living in the moment" are few of those ideologies which many of the Bollywood film makers do try to establish through their stories but often end up with cliches and gimmicks where once the movie comes to an end, the characters cease to exist within the minds of the people. This is where QQS makes a difference. The movie is 100% fresh, sincere and natural and the makers can feel proud of it. Even the music by Vishal Mishra and the poetic lyrics by Hussain Haidry stays within the story and goes with the mood. It just vindicates the subtle concepts and the inner whirls of the characters-especially the song "jaane de" - towards the climax. Even the cinematography by Eeshith Narain was so crystallized in such a way that it had captured the whole life of the film sans gimmicks.

On a crispy note, QQS is a quiet, simple, feel good, cool and classy dish- being served fresh. It proves that Bollywood romance is still fresh sans heavy budget, item songs, glamour shows, foreign trips and unwanted fillers. Films like Qarib Qarib Singlle, Shaadi Main Zaroor Aana etc. should be welcomed in such a way that it would lay an offset for the upcoming range of Bollywood Romcoms.

PS: Special thanks- Tanuja Chandra, Gazal Dhaliwal, Shailja Kejriwal, Alan McAlex and Ajai Rai
- Rahul Sharma.
(pic courtesy: Jar Pictures)

2 Oct 2017

GANDHI Lives Here - Rahul Sharma

He was a phenomenon. Let me say, probably this would be the most demanding moment for a person like him. The current world needs a Gandhi. The present India is missing him more than like anytime in history. Some would tend to ask whether Gandhian ideas can have any more practical implications in today's world. My answer to them is nothing lesser to a hammering YES. Sometimes, the world itself requires a bit of introspection. There is hardly anyone who could have done so much of introspection into one's self as he had! As far as the Indian scenario is concerned, today, we live in a rotten broth of political insecurity. A political spectra that gets enlightened towards the right side so as to set the nation ablaze with fascism lies on one side; The left side of the political spectra has turned into a headless chicken with too many plucked feathers in it! INTOLERANCE has engulfed the entire system as a whole. Yet, when we see that round face with specs on a newly made 200 rupee note, the INDIAN hope starts regaining its strength. It vindicates that someone is there to check these out! Yes, that is the Gandhian principle. It remains as a 'scale zero' in the entire world politics. It helps someone to move towards either sides along an imaginary scale of ideologies.
Today, as I stood in front of Raj Ghat, say one of the most sacred monuments of modern India, being carefully maintained; I feel like the air here is pretty much positive so that once an Indian comes here, he will get that vibe which keeps on radiating within him. This is Gandhi. The Gandhiji. The man who lived his words. The man who was an epitome of self-introspection. The man who had passed with a lantern of smile that throws the light of non-violence all over the world becomes relevant in this age of narcissistic politicians.
As I stepped out of Raj Ghat, Somewhere along the opposite side, just in front of Raj Ghat, I saw an uneducated U.P native, trying hard to pull a heavy cycle rickshaw (inset) that left me orphaned of all those ideologies I had learned through books. I was in that rare sort of trans state while I plugged my headphones in and played this song from Rang de Basanti: "Luka chuppi, bahut hui.... saamne aa jaa naa...."
Thank you Mahathma
Pic Courtesy: Valsala Mundott <3