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The Family Man 2 – a layman’s review

Shrikant Tiwari, a TASC (NIA) agent, hunts down LTTE terrorists to save the Indian Prime Minister. Amidst flying bullets, we see epithets and F-words and cuss words raining cats and dogs. When characters aren’t using cuss words, they shoot or travel by a Mahindra Scorpio. That is Family Man 2 for the lay man.

Manoj Bajpayee, true to his skills, plays Shrikant Tiwari exceptionally well. While the Prime Minister Ms.Basu is modelled on the lines of Mamta Banerjee, she talks about PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ schemes. Basu’s meeting with Sri Lankan President Rupatunga resembles the Modi-Xi meet at Mahabalipuram, for the event is quite recent. Modi’s many overtures to Tamil Nadu finds a mention in Basu’s saying so – ‘maine ithna kiya in logon ko’. Basu doesn’t spot the bindi, a prominent symbol of bengali hindu women. Here again, Mamta Banerjee sneaks in.

The series is a thriller yet has its scenes of cryptic humour. The scenes were Talpade, Shrikant’s assistant, drools over Umaiyal, the police officer from Tamil Nadu, are a treat to watch. Shrikant’s personal life, full of troubles, is an un-welcome distraction though.

The series talks about ISI-LTTE links. Though the LTTE had tried to get help from Palestinian rebels, it has not been fully established that the now defunct LTTE had anything to do with Pakistan’s ISI. Reality was that Pakistan had hobnobbed with Sri Lankan govt to needle India.

The characterisation of the female terrorist, Raji, merits attention. Played brilliantly by Samantha Akkineni, Raji, though the tough fighter that she is, has a soft corner for the Pakistani agent Sajid. This is depicted not so explicitly but becomes visible when, on hearing about his death, Raji stops her dinner midway and moves from the scene abruptly.

The characters of Bhaskaran and Deepan are modelled definitely after LTTE Chief Prabhakaran and LTTE’s chief ideologue Anton Balasingham. However the events that take place are not true. It is true that Balasingham’s words did not carry weight with Prabhakaran in the post 9/11 world and that ultimately led to the obliteration of the LTTE.

Muthu, the TASC office from Tamil Nadu is played brilliantly by Ravindra Vijay. When Talpade talks about ‘South Indian Food’, Muthu asks, which state in South India as there are five states that comprise of South India.

The attention to detail in the series merits attention. When Raji goes into Jebaraj’s home, the poster in the background displays the ‘Eelam’ geography and talks about remembrance. The clock shows 8:15 when Tiwari’s family has its dinner and later, when Tiwari and his wife have a chat, clock shows 8:45. Many such items show the efforts the crew has put in for the production.

A treat to watch – Family Man 2.

P.S.: The executive producer’s name is Rahul Gandhi. And the irony shows.

 
 

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Drishyams – a review

Drishyams – a review

Drishyam -2, sequel to the super hit Drishyam, a malayalam blockbuster, is a continuation of the the struggles and tirades a peace loving minority community family has to go through in this new India run by fascist forces of the majoritarian kind. 

The films not only portray the daily trials and tribulations of a quiet family and its head, but also the daily terror of having to prejudge every moment of existence so as to protect themselves from the aggressively poised officialdom run by the majority maniacs.

While in Drishyam-1, Mohanlal, as George Kutty, had to go to extremes to safeguard the peace in his family, he continues to do that in the sequel to ensure peace and respect to his family. The extents to which a malayalee christian has to go, not to do something spectacular but only to provide a decent livelihood for his family, speaks volumes about the precarous nature of polity in India that is increasingly becoming intolerant towards the minorities. 

Drishyam-1 came about in 2013.  That the writer, Jithu Joseph, had to come up with a sequel in 2020 paints the picture of India post 2014 – the decisive year when India took a draconian turn towards the right and gave up all pretences of being a secular nation safe for the minorities. 

The depiction of the characters speak for themselves. 

Geetha Prabhakar, an IPS officer, is married to a Mr.Prabkarar, an IAS officer. While the IAS controls the civil society, the police wife, in the form of IPS, instills terror in the minds of the cinema loving and not-so-educated George Kutty. It should be noted that this depiction of the people in power, though done subconsciously, presents the India of today, where  the bureaucracy is held by the same group of people who want to destroy the tranquility that prevails in the lives of the minorities, that too, in a progressive state like Kerala.

The extent to which the IAS-IPS duo go to bring trouble to the  peace loving George Kutty family is seen in the manner of purchase of 2 acres of the latter’s land. By using their financial clout, Mr and Mrs Prabhakar ensure that Saritha and Sabu infiltrate into the serene lives of the Goerge Kuttys. 

The Prabhakars are even able to influence the top rungs of the policy hierarchy (Thomas, Phillip) and use them to seek vengeance on the George Kuttys. A tale of damaging the enemy’s eye with his own hand – a device expertly conceptualised and executed by the vengeful Prabhakars, even when they are out of the police and bureaucratic force. One shudders to think what would have happened if the Prabhakars had been part of the bureaucratic setup.

The majoritarian maniacal side of the Prabhakars manifests itself yet again when it makes Thomas, the Inspector General of Police, to begin digging the local church cemetery, much to the consternation of the local bishop. The Prabhakars wouldn’t rest before they disturb those that are awaiting their day of redemption too.

In Drishyam -1, the eatery owner, Ikka, a kind and elderly muslim man is cheated routinely by Sahadevan, a police man. While Ikka can’t retaliate, Sahadevan continues to harangue the former. In Drishyam -2, Ikka continues to be kind and even provides employment to Raghu, a differently enabled worker. Ikka is so kind that he even advises Jose, a on-time-criminal, to find a new livelihood.

While in Drishyam-1 Rani, George Kutty’s wife is practically illiterate in English, even after six years, she continues to be so in Drishyam -2. This is the true state of the minorities in India. Neither can they progress nor can be be educated. While George Kutty has moved on to become a theatre owner, one should not forget the struggles he should have undergone to come up in life. We also come to know from Rani that George Kutty has had to take huge loans to become what he had become. We also need to understand that Rani had to continue to labour and peel the coconut by hand so that the family could come up in life and send the second daughter to a convent.

To sum it up: Drishyam 1 and its sequel are the microcosm of the current state of affairs in India where minorities live in constant fear of their lives and properties. The two movies are nothing but the personification of the India that the country has become since 2014.

P.S.: I expect to be appointed to the editorial board of either The Hindu or Puthiyathalaimurai. 

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2021 in English Posts, movie review

 

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பரிணயம் – திரைப் பார்வை

பரிணயம் – திரைப் பார்வை

கேரள நம்பூதிரிகளின் சமூகத்தில் ‘ஸ்மார்த்த விசாரம்’ என்று ஒரு கொடுமை இருந்ததை ஜெயமோஹன் தளத்தில் வாசித்திருந்தேன்.

அதைப் பற்றிய கதை ஒன்றைப் ‘பரிணயம்’ (പരിണയം) என்று திரைப்படமாக எழுத்துள்ளார்கள். எம்.டி.வாசுதேவன் நாயரின் திரைக்கதை அந்தர்ஜனம் என்னும் நம்பூதிரிப் பெண்களின் காணச்சகிக்க முடியாத கண்றாவியான விதவை வாழ்க்கையை நம் கண் முன் நிறுத்துகிறது.

நம்பூதிரிக் கிழவருக்கு நான்காவது தாரமாக இளம் மோஹினி வாழ்க்கைப் படுகிறாள். நம்பூதிரி இறக்க, மோனிகா விதவையாகி, பின்னர் கருவுருகிறாள். கருவிற்குக் காரணம் யாரென்று தெரிந்துகொள்ள நடைபெறும் விசாரணைக்குப் பெயர் ‘ஸ்மார்த்த விசாரம்’.

பெண்ணைத் தனியரையில் அடைத்து ஒரு நம்பூதிரிக் கூட்டம் விசாரிக்கிறது. விசாரணை கொடுமை. அதனினும் கொடுமை, விசாரிக்கிறேன் பேர்வழி என்று வந்த கூட்டம், விருந்து, கேளிக்கை என்று நேரம் கழிப்பது. விசாரிக்கும் நம்பூதிரியாகத் தோன்றும் திலகன் நடிப்பு அபாரம். நெடுமுடி வேணு கேட்கவே வேண்டாம். விடுதலைக்கு முன்பான சமூகச் சூழல், நம்பூதிரி சமூகத்தில் ஏற்படும் ஆரம்ப கட்ட முற்போக்குச் சிந்தனை இயக்கம் பற்றிய குறிப்பும் திரைப்படத்தில் உள்ளது. பிராமணர்களுக்கான ‘ஊட்டுப்புரை’ சங்கதியும் தொட்டுக் காட்டப் படுகிறது.

கதையின் வசன அமைப்பில் சங்கிலித் தொடர் போன்ற ஒட்டு வெளிப்படை. குரியெடத்து தாத்ரியின் ஸ்மார்த்த விசாரம் என்னும் நிகழ்வு புகழ் பெற்றது. தாத்ரியின் தொடர்பில் இருந்தவர்கள் எண்ணில் அடங்காமல் போக, ராஜா அதனை நிறுத்த வேண்டி இருந்தது என்பது வரலாறு. அந்த வரலாற்றின் அடிப்படையில் எழுதப்பட்ட கதை என்று தோன்றும் விதமாக வசனம் உள்ளது. தாத்ரியின் விஷயத்தில் பல குற்றவாளிகள் வெளிவருவர். மோஹினி தனது கோழைக் காதலனை நிராகரித்து, இறுதியில் அவன் ஏற்ற பாத்திரங்களையே தனது கணவர்களாகக் கூறுவது தாத்ரியின் வழக்குடன் ஒப்பிட வழிகோலுகிறது.தனது காதலனை நிராகரிக்கும் மோஹினி, காந்தியடிகளின் கதராடை இயக்கத்தில் ஈடுபடுவது போல் திரைப்படம் நிறைவுறுகிறது.

பெண்கள் முன்னேற்றத்தில் காந்தியடிகளின் கதராடை இயக்கத்தின் பங்கு தொட்டுக் காட்டப்படுவது நிறைவாக உள்ளது. மனதை வருத்தும் நிகழ்வுகள், கொடுஞ்சொற்கள், பெண்களின் நிலை என்று பல தளங்களில் மனதைப் பாதிக்கும் திரைப்படம் ‘பரிணயம்’.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2021 in movie review

 

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Desaadanam – movie review

Desaadanam – movie review

This film can’t be made in Tamil. Thank you Mollywood for producing such a poignant movie on a subject that has never been spoken about in the south indian movie scene. ‘Desaadanam’, the poignant movie that doesn’t shout yet delivers the cornucopia of human emotions in a non-intrusive manner, is a delight to watch.

Panchu, a namboodiri brahmin boy of 8 years or so, is so gifted that he is well versed in the dharmic school. His excellence attracts the attention of a religious order of the Advaidic thought and the pontiff of the Mutt asks for Panchu’s ordainment as the next Acharya.

The trials and tribulations of a loving family that consists of an octogenarian grandfather, a caring father and a doting mother are depicted in a most elegant manner in the movie.

Scenes where the child performs the annual remembrance rituals for this family members who are alive and to himself (Atma Shradham) when he moves from joyous childhood to a sudden monk-hood would move viewers to tears. Just in case you understand the Sanskrit mantras recited in those scenes, the effect would multiply manifold.

While parental emotions are to be expected, the portrayal of innocent friendship that Panchu has with Devikutti, a girl of his age, is authentic. While the children fight for some nuts earlier on in the movie and try to snatch from each other, once Panchu becomes a monk, she accepts a sweet from him as a holy prasad. Metaphors such as this galore.

Music is soothing to the ears, with the background scores non existent in most places where deep human emotions are adequately sufficient to carry forward the scenes. In such frames the music director makes his presence felt by the absence of his music. Well judged.

The movie doesn’t preach, fight for perceived injustices and abuse the viewer’s senses but is a treat to watch. The movie has won a national award, and rightfully so.

Don’t miss it, at any cost. Available on Amazon Prime.

Once you watch, write a line in this site about your experience.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2021 in English Posts, movie review

 

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