Shafi’s latest venture Makeup Man is the first movie of 2011 which finds home well in the genre of a complete Family Entertainer. From my following of Raju’s fan page in facebook, I was aware of the midweek release and since I had just got done with another exam, felt it would be an appropriate outlet to channel out some 2 hrs of fun. Personally I have had no hard feelings against the actor Jayaram, always enjoyed his contribution to the industry over the years and justifiably welcome his Padmashree status.

Balu [Padmashree Jayaram] is one of those blokes who is broke in life, owing loads of money to multitude of blade companies, one of them run by [Jagathy Sreekumar]. The movie begins with a bit of humor where Balu gets arrested for sneaking to his own rented house in the middle of the night, trying to avoid paying the landlord. He gets taken to the local “Mathrika” station where he gets let off when he narrates his perils. A girl Soorya [Sheela], is in love with him and runs away from home the day before her planned wedding.

Soon they go get help from Balu’s friend [Suraj Venjarumoodu], who is a production controller executive and get married at a temple with the help of some junior artists pretending to be their relatives.

In the meantime, director of the movie ‘Cinderella’, [Siddique] is fed up with the ‘actress’ the producer [Janardhanan] has brought for the movie, the female being some reality show winner. 😉 So he asks her to leave the set and decides he wont move ahead without another worthy actor instead.

Coincidentally, Suraaj arranges accommodation, just for one night for the newly wed Balu and Soorya in the room where the previous actor stayed. A purely accidental incident wherein the producer sees Soorya go into the Actress room, gets mistakenly convinced, she will be the perfect actress for the movie. In dire need of money, Soorya, who has no clue about acting tries to give it a shot, and once again, theatrically timed coincidence, convinces the director that she is the perfect one for the role.

Here on the movie picks up with real good pace, and Jayaram’s inability to stay with his wife, needing an excuse, he adorns the role of the Actress’ Makeup man, and that is how this movie develops.

As the movie grows on, Soorya becomes aware of her innate talent of acting and is unable to resist offer of a second movie. A couple of misunderstandings, strains the relation between the husband and wife so much so that Soorya aka Anamika [Filmstar name] circumstantially denies ever being married to him, so that she can sustain in the industry.

Final Verdict 7.5/10

  • Padmashree Jayaram, might have lost bit of his fluffy hair, added a couple more wrinkles to his face, apart from that, it is a typically comforting genre wherein he easily marks his territory.
  • Sheela is fantabulous as the housewife turned actress, with a well toned figure, she carries the role given to her fairly well, though when the movie started, I felt she could emote more. But overall she does well to keep our eyes glued on her whenever she had the screentime.
  • The strength of the actors in the fringe keeps the movie enticingly rich. Humor has no limits when the maestro Jagathy with his junior Suraaj are involved. Kunchako Boban and Prithviraj appear as themselves [cine actors] and are restricted to guest appearances and do justice to their cameos.
  • Siddhique needs special mention who plays almost second fiddle to Jayaram all throughout, though it was difficult to even fathom him and Sheela as a couple 😉
  • Comedy, Love, Tragedy and a happily ever after; you can definitely take your family out to this one for 2.5 hours of entertainment.

P.S. The music didn’t impress me much, hence no mention.

MOVIE REVIEW: GADDAMA خادمة [Malayalam]

Earlier this week after returning from Mangalore, I watched Arjunan Sakshi, but left the theatre disappointed, as the story had so much scope for being moulded into a blockbuster, but somehow the director seems to have missed the plot with the second half losing all the excitement and bite which the movie kicked off with.

To cover up the disappointment of a wasted 40 bucks, I decided to go for Gadamma. A Kamal movie gets its own respect. The movie is expected to carry over nice and easy to the target audience. So I had no second thoughts to catch the movie on the day of its release itself.

In Kamal’s words: “One of the biggest sources of Kerala’s socio-economic boom over the last five decades is the sweat and hardwork of our Marunaadan Malayalees who toil day in and out to earn the daily bread for their family back home. Some get the blame, the abuse if they don’t keep in touch for a bit, but little do Keralites fathom the perils of the NRI! This theme has never been presented in India in any industry, and as a Malayalee, this is the least I can do to convey our gratitude to them”

The movie revolves around a typical Malayalee girl hailing from Palakkad,  Ashwathy [Kavya Madhavan] who due to the financial constraints of her family and the unfortunate death of her husband [Biju Menon] is forced to be the bread earner of the house and opts to go to the gulf [Saudi Arabia]. One of the strictest Arab states in the Middle East, we are very well aware of the difficult living conditions for women, the amount of restrictions they have in life. She is forced to wear a Burkha at all times, and is taken up under a sponsor to work for him as a Maid.

From here on the story pans out into the numerous troubles Ashwathy faces– sexual abuse, battery. Ashwathy is accompanied by Usmaan [Suraaj Venjaarumoodu] who is the car driver at the sponsors. He indulges in a sexual affair with the Indonesian maid there and gets caught and is kicked out of the sponsor’s house. Ashwathy helps the other maid to escape the premises and in turn is battered as punishment.

One fine day, she calls it quits and tries to runaway from the sponsor’s house and in the entire second half of the movie, we see her running into some good and bad people, eventually culminating in a deportation. On a parallel, there is a Malayali social worker [Sreenivasan] who makes an effort to try and identify ‘Unknown Indian’s whose bodies arrive at the mortuary and secure their return back home. In other words, he plays out the role of a helpful social worker, who eventually helps Ashwathy also leave the damned place.

M. Jayachandran does his magic with 2 beautiful songs, though this time I felt maybe a Malayalee singer should have sang the emotional number, ShreyaG’s dictional tone kind of didn’t sync well, but then that is just my opinion 🙂

Final Verdict – 8.0

  • This is not a movie you would list to watch on a weekend after a long tiring week, cause this is no stress buster, and for the fainthearted, well it is a hard pill to swallow.
  • Any household having anything to do with a person in the Gulf, should go watch this. It is so easy to write off saying, ‘Oh, he is in the gulf, look at the wonderful life he is leading’. This movie highlights just one incident as the main, with a few more other small small issues surrounding it, and will help shed a little light on the hardships people face there.
  • No doubt, being born and brought up in the Gulf, I have heard from my mom many times about the hardship my dad faced and I dint have to think twice to go watch this. I am fairly sure everyone also agrees to the different ‘eye’ with which people look at us.
  • Sreenivasan delivers one of the strongest messages in the movie when he states. “If a small shrub is able to grow all alone fighting the scorching heat of the desert, then we as humans can even swallow the bitter pill of a ‘came to the gulf and all went wrong’, to return back home and pretend as if it was all a bad nightmare and start all over again.
  • Kavya Madhavan has carried the character brilliantly. The subtlety with which she expresses the pain and anguish through her eyes alone [in a burkha]; makes your heart go out to her. And to her credit, we can very much say, she is back with a bang.
  • This is surely one movie meant for the middle aged and above and any youngster with something between their ears.


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