God’s Mischief -The Journey of Survival

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Pathemari
Direction: Salim Ahamed
Cast: Mammootty, Jewel Mary, Siddique, Sreenivasan, Salim Kumar, Shaheen Siddique, Viji Chandrasekhar and Joy Mathew.

Plot premise:The plot features the life of Pallikkal Narayanan who migrated to the Middle-East during his teenage years in the early 1980s, when the Kerala Gulf boom was at its peak. He belongs to a very poor family and was forced to take up the responsibilities at a young age. He plans to leave Gulf and settle in his hometown when he comes for every vacation; but is always forced to go back.

12107808_10153714338017774_3017800305717842928_nEven adventure enthusiasts would think twice before crossing the Arabian Sea on a dhow without ample gadgets.  50 years ago, desperately poor Malayalees with no hope, little skills and a growling belly, hung on to the billowing sails that took them to an unknown land of plenty. The newly gushing oil wells of the Persian Gulf were beckoning cheap labour in the mid-1960s.

12079518_10153716277907774_2037661269262551633_nThe first generation of migrant Malayalee workers who ended up in the deserts of West Asia knew not where they were headed for. They only knew their Dravidian tongue, the virgin paddy fields, the bountiful rivers and the sound of the never-ending rain, but soon they were all Malayalees of Arabia, turning their desert dreams into mansions back home, building a new Kerala.

10410697_10153494170737774_1450299502487338457_nPathemari” or “the dhow” recreate the journey of a young, desperate Malayalee from the Kerala coast to the Gulf in an old cargo vessel. Malayalees’ Mega Star’ Mammooty, play the role of the carpetbagger. Interestingly, 35 years ago, Mammooty had played a small role in Vilkkanundu Swapnangal(1980) the first Malayalam movie on the Gulf migration. Mammootty’s voice was dubbed by Sreenivasan.

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Every Keralite has at least one friend or relative who is struggling to support his/her family by working tirelessly in Dubai. Pathamari” is about such struggling Malayalis in Dubai. As it is a familiar story for many of us, there is no suspense element in it, but we still sit firmly on our seats just to see what happens next.

USMM 30 - 3The way the movie ends is also quite nice and this adds to the overall good when Narayanan’s coffin is brought in, his best friend proposes that it be kept on the verandah of the new house that was being built, that had been the man’s dream. When his sons think otherwise, Narayanan leaves home once again, never to return.

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SALT MANGO TREE: 3.5/5
SALT (chemistry):The story is not new, but the way it has been presented along with the right casting makes it a must watch. Hats off to director Salim Ahamed for bringing such a real life story to reel life, helping many realise the struggles of each and every pravasi
MANGO (what’s fresh?): Refreshing to see Sreenivasan in a role that tells a tale or two of its own.
TREE (strength): After critically praised C.K. Raghavan in Munnariyippu(2014) & the disturbingly real Venu in Varsham(2014). Mammooty’s Pallikkal Narayanan is yet one more of his most hard-hitting performances during recent times, it is a treat to watch the hero, who portrays the character in a dedicated manner.

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  • Courtesy : various sources
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Breaking the Barrier

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Genre: Comedy-drama
Direction: Gauri Shinde
Cast: Sridevi, Adil Hussain and Navika Kotia.
A housewife who enrolls in an English-speaking course to stop her husband and daughter mocking her lack of English skills,and gains self-respect in the process.
The film marked Sridevi’s return to filmmaking after a 15-year hiatus.
The story was inspired by Shinde’s mother, a Marathi-speaking woman who ran a pickle business at her house in Pune. Her mother was not fluent in English, which embarrassed Shinde as a child. In an interview, Shinde said, “I made this film to say sorry to my mother.”
Howzzit? : Will make you smile days after you leave the theater.
MANGO(fresh): Amit Trivedi’s background score is exceptional. Remember, if you end up shedding a tear or two, this man is responsible.

How_old_are_youHow Old Are You
Genre: Comedy-drama
Direction: Rosshan Andrrews
Cast: Manju Warrier, Kunchako Boban and Amritha Anil.
A UD clerk in Revenue department, There is nothing interesting about her life; she leads a mundane life but she craves for a change.
The film brings back the terrific Manju Warrier, who stayed away from the movies for 14 years.
The story, credited to Andrrews, borrows from his own directorial venture Ividam Swargamanu (2009), where Mohanlal plays an organic farmer fighting the land mafia.
Howzzit? : A good watch with a good story to tell.
MANGO(fresh): Gopi Sunder’s lilting melody, Not to be missed is the humming bits in the background score of the song Vijanathayil.

 

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This isn’t the first time a film has been made on a woman out on a voyage to discover her lost identity and certainly it wouldn’t be the last either. Which is perhaps why the biggest similarity between ‘How Old Are You’ and ‘English Vinglish’ lie in the struggle that it’s protagonists put up against all odds. That they are played by two of the best actors in showbiz today is an added advantage.

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The films depict the transformation of the meek, put-upon Indian housewife into a confident citizen of the world. Inspired to rediscover their younger selves, with big dreams and aspirations.
It’s no surprise that by the end of the film, the ladies conquer their fears.
Ultimately, what make the films memorable are the small, step-by-step choices Shashi & Nirupama makes to transforms themselves. The way the character has been crafted and interpreted is gloriously feminine, and uniquely Indian.

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TREE(strength): The silent pains of millions of hapless mothers and wives, which gets conveniently ignored in their households. Their quest to unearth their long buried identity.

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