MOVIE REVIEW: CHINATOWN [Malayalam]


Day 3 of my cold. I woke up at 0330 am to see Vishu Kani. Took a shower in the morning and went to the temple. Prayers for a better year ahead and on the way back, I remembered I was to reserve tickets for the family – to watch a Vishu release movie. Choice was limited, only 2 releases this year – Chinatown vs Doubles. Mixed reviews from the previous day, but Chinatown seemed to have edged over Doubles. So I went forth and booked for the second show.

Come evening, getting into the Archana – Aradhana theatre was hectic. The first show was JAM PACKED in both theatres. Feelings of  ‘Oh, this might just be worth it!’. With a sundae in hand, I sat amongst my cousins, surprised at the amount of family crowd that was out there for a 9pm second show.. either the Vishu effect or the 3 names this movie was riding on – Dileep, Mohanlal and Jayaram. [I go for the latter!]

An Aashirvad Cinemas production [Mohanlal’s], directed by the celebrated Rafi-Mecartin duo, the onus was always gonna be on humor and the humor went through a plateau of phases as the movie progressed.

The movie begins in the beautiful coastal state of Goa, where gambling and Casinos are legal. 4 Malayali friends were running a Casino there and minting money. In the quest for money and power, the local Goonda Mr. Gawda [Pradeep Rawat], murders all 3 of the Mallus, whilst the 4th [Mr. GomezCaptain Raju] survives.

After 25 years, Gomez is back in Goa, purchases a casino and plots revenge on Gawda. He recalls Maathukutty [Mohanlal], Zachariah [Jayaram] and Binoy [Dileep] {Children of his 3 friendsto return to Goa and manage the casino. Maathukutty is known for his avid indulgence in fights and has a number of cases registered against him; while Binoy is a guy who keeps falling in love with girls every 6 months and Zachariah has only one thought all throughout the day = MONEY!

The first half of the movie is filled with umpteen moments where one literally bursts out in laughter at the mimicry, the raw as well as the adult jokes delivered in the script. Jayaram and Dileep deliver comedy with ease, while Mohanlal seems to have lost a bit of his touch.

Kavya Madhavan [Rosamma] alongwith Poonam Bajwa [Emily] and Dipasha [Chandni] form the female trio in the movie. Rose was supposed to marry Maathukutty’s brother, but she eventually falls in love with Maathukutty. Emily is Gomez’ daughter and she pairs up with Zachariah; and Binoy has the hots for the home minister’s daughter – Chandni.

While Kavya has some substance to her role, the other two are merely involved in the merriment. Suraaj Venjarumoodu [Chandran]  as a goonda gives us both the extremes of the good and the bad of humor.

The buildup of the movie until the interval is brilliantly interlaced with humor that is so naturally depicted by all the actors and makes us go for the interval snack with the satisfaction that yes, this movie is gonna be a HIT.

Following the break, the movie does a COMPLETE U TURN to our expectations. The likening to the English movie ‘Hangover’ is strongly felt as the 3 heroes go through varying stages of intoxication as they party all night long leaving the 3 friends in a confused state on what did or didn’t happen the previous night. The sudden complicity of events took a heavy toll on the audience who were enjoying light humor until then. The ugly state of events characterized by the obnoxious Sumo wrestler who spends more screen time than any other in the last one hour, combined with the pathetic dialogues delivered by Dileep  in particular left the audience bewildered and surprised to how quickly the standard of the movie spiralled down!

To cap it all off, Jagathy Sreekumar‘s arrival towards the end of the movie as Jaggu Bhai [the biggest criminal in Goa] – oh well, no one was really bothered to figure that out by then!

Jassie Gift‘s music is foot tapping good as usual, but this will be one movie I will list among my ‘not worth watching 2011’

Kavya Madhavan on twitter: “So China Town..out n out entertainer for relax n watching..Leave ur thoughts n worries in schools n offices n come…..Sit..Relax..n Enjoy”

Final Verdict –  **1|2 out of 5. 

Kollam Pooram


When it comes to Pooram, the name that pops up in any Malayali’s head is Thrissur Pooram. Well Kollam Pooram is the equivalent of it in South Kerala.

I was able to attend it the last couple of years and been yearning to blog on it.  A half day holiday is usually given for all schools and offices the day following Vishu, the Malayalam New Year [mid April]. The whole event occurs at the Ashramam ground, in sync with the annual festival of Shri Krishna Swamy Temple.

Around 15 temples in and around the city take part – Anandawalleshwaram, Puthupally Madaswamy, Asramam Sree Maryamman, Pattathanam Sree Subramanya Swamy, Kadappakada Sree Dharma Sastha, Thumbara, Erattakulangara, Sree Sankarakumarapuram, Uliyakovil Kannamathu, , Kollurvila Bharanikavu Koikkal, Uliyakovil Sree Durga, Sree Narayanapuram Subramaniyam, Thiruvadivattam and Chekodu.

Pooram Ezhunallathu

The tuskers from these temples set out early in the morning to participate in the pooram. On an average around 50-60 elephants take part ranging from the little ones, to the old tuskers. All the tuskers are then bathed and readied.

 

 

 

Thirumumbil Melam and KettuKazhcha

Kollam Pooram 2010


The tuskers then line up in the temple ground, and we are treated to some wonderful percussions by the Chendamelam and Panchavadyam groups

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Kudamaatam

Following the melam, the tuskers are dispersed, except the two teams participating in Kudamaatam. Invariably the two teams come from Thamarakulam Maha Ganapathy temple and Puthiyakavu Shri MahaBhagavathy temple. The two teams are then paraded to the Ashramam ground where the eminent guests [Ministers] will officially kickstart the pooram celebrations. The two teams display a multitude of umbrellas one after the other, and the team with the better innovation wins.

Fun and Frolic

As we always religiously wait indefinitely for the arrival of the ‘Guests’, a multitude of eats, fun toys, balloons and objects of interest will keep us occupied till the event kicks off. Thousands of people crowd up the entire Asramam ground on the day to be a part of the big event.

 

 

 

Fireworks, Programmes

The kudamaatam is followed by a 30min long fireworks, which, well hasn’t impressed me as much [I have seen better ones at my college campus, but then Manipal is Manipal]. The evening is further lit up by the presence of some wonderful stage programmes by movie|tele artists to wind up a wonderful day of celebrating the start of a year.

I plan to blog in detail of the events this year hopefully if I get time to attend it.

 

 

 


 

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