Saturday, May 8, 2010

Back again with a bang !

Team Harihar Nagar seems to get better with every sequel, and as always leaves the audience in stitches. In Ghost House Inn is hundred times better and more hilarious than its predecessor. Though the storyline draws more than inspiration from some Hollywood flicks, there is something strikingly original and fresh in the execution of Ghost House Inn.
The coolsome foursome get together again, this time to make good use of the treasure they had acquired or rather preserved from the evil clutches of John Honai. Thomaskutti, who is now the sole possesor of this wealth plans to invest it in a mansion which he wishes to convert into a resort;and his buddies are only willing to chip in. After some initial glitches, with a resolute denial of any kind of superstitious intereferences, Mahadevan and gang (with family) set out to de-haunt the mansion off the ghosts of two lovers eliminated by the vengeful Dorothy madama. Things don't start well for the friends and finally they have to seek the help of Father Dominique who had already warned them of dire consequences, if they prolonged their stay in the cursed mansion. The denouement is loaded with surprises and the events are at times a bit spooky and equally hilarious.
The star cast is more or less the same from Part 2, with Nedumudi Venu (no Honais this time; though Lakshmi Rai appears for a song with some groovy moves !) and a few others like Harisree Asokan joining the bandwagon. Jagadish is at his comic best, and adds a new, all encompassing word to the dictionary, that can be used in any context -- "vithrumbichirkkuka". Sparkling dialogues, a few picteresque locales, heavy beat songs, and side-splitting comedy prove to be ample compensation for whatever flaws the plot might have.
The movie ends on a happy note, with Thomaskutty's anxieties about future finally at rest and the friends taking a pleasure break,till another mystery or adventure comes calling. In short, Lal, as always, provides a wonderful, clean, stress-free movie that makes one laugh one's heart out. Hats off to Lal and the whole crew, with the hope that there will soon be another Nagar or Inn, as the case may be ! Till the next instalment, let's go ... "o ramborambo .... !

Friday, May 7, 2010

katha thudarunnu. . .

If Innathe Chintavishayam was urban and upper class,and Bhagyadevata was refreshing,the latest offering from the family-movie man Satyan Anthikad -- Katha Thudarunnu -- is a bit of a disappointment. In other words, the movie lacks the essential Anthikad touch, and therefore fails to impress. Even the songs by Ilayaraja do not seem to work the magic. And, there are no serene locales (except in a song) that usually form such an important part of Anthikad flicks. The only relieving factor is the supporting cast, comprising the bunch of Anthikad regulars --- Innocent, Mamu Koya,KPAC Lalita, Lakshmipriya (Jayaram's lovestruck sister in Bhagyadevata)and so on, among whom,his regular stills man Mohan's(Momi has been doing bit parts in all Anthikad movies) absence is rather conspicuous.
The plot revolves around Vidya Nambiar (Mamta Mohandas) who marries musician Shah Navas (Asif Ali), much to the consternation of both their families and the respective communities. the rest of the movie deals with what happens to her after her husband's death, and how she is eventually redeemed by an auto driver Prem (Jayaram) and his colony friends.
Mamta's character is given so much focus that she at times overshadows even Jayaram; and mostly situations and characters are made for her sake, to move her story forward. Also, there are a number of loop holes here and there that prompt some obvious questions regarding the turn of events that take Vidya on a steady downhill ride till she meets Prem. Though the movie ends on a note of hope, it lacks a sense of completion and at the end of about two and a half hours, one does not get out with the satisfaction of having experienced a Sathyan Anthikad story.
Nevertheless, Anthikad's penchant for social satire, and a firm belief in the essential goodness of man show through in the characters of the colonywallahs who share a warm camaraderie and willingly come forward to help not only each other, but even someone who comes into their midst, even if temporarily. That's where Anthikad has probably left his signature -- in celebrating companionship, in preserving hope, reiterating that there is still goodness in this world so long as there are samaritans, so long as there is faith (in each other and in God).