Monday, July 18, 2011

All about Belly, All about Magic

Ever since its release, Delhi Belly was being flaunted as bold, and a "ground-breaking and inventive" comedy (see Taran Adarsh's review). Nikhat Kazmi (Times of India) said that "it re-writes all the moth-balled rules of an ageing industry".

I waited for the film eagerly, and finally when I saw the film, it was not a complete disappointment. But is it really a path-breaking film? I had enjoyed Mithya (2008) and Sankat City (2009) (two other recent Indian comedies with mix-ups involving under-world / gangsters in the backdrop) as much if not more. (Delhi Belly poster had high resemblance of Hangover -- I guess it was intentional.)

In contrast, Salt n' Pepper was yummy overall (concept, execution both), living up to the accolades it received. One could smell the freshness. It hardly had any 'story' but it held the viewer's interest almost throughout the film. I'd have rated it a great film if it avoided:

1. The repeated laments about a woman's life being incomplete without a man,

2. The scene where the husband lifts the burqa and says "shubanallah" (I found the first burqa scene funny), and

3. The song scene in the second half -- it was plain boring to me.

I'd still rate it the best Malayalam film to have come out this year. Above Adaminte Makan Abu and Traffic.

(My friend Rajeev later told me the first Burkha sequence in this film was 'inspired' from Marai Porul, a Tamil short film by Pon. Sudha.)

Cheers to Aashiq Abu. Cheers to the writers, Syam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair. Cheers to Lal, Shwetha, Baburaj, Asif Ali and Mythili. Many cheers to the producers and the audience.

[PS: I believe in Magic. I believe in the Deathly Hallows. I believe in J. K. Rowling.]


Vilayatyeri Imbichikoya started his social work by taking TB patients to government hospitals at a very young age. Imbichikoya won the first Nawab Rajendran foundation award for his contributions to the society.

He was always busy helping out people to access their rights -- be it health, government welfare schemes or more routine things like filling out forms and applying for government jobs. (The formal education he could boast of was four months at school -- first standard.)

Sri Imbichikoya, Vappa for us, passed away at the age of 62 at Medical College Hospital, Calicut this May. I consider it a blessing that I could meet him and get to know about him when he was alive. And it puts the responsibility on me and Bena, Umma (Ayisha) and others who remain to carry the good work forward.

[the photo was taken after he fell ill, early May 2011]