Monday, September 2, 2013

Movie Review: Memories



A man is kidnapped, tortured, killed and then hung in a public place. The cops arrest an young man who confesses as the perpetrator. Before long, another murder takes place in the same manner. One of the top cop then asks Sam Alex(Prithviraj) to aid the investigation. But there is a problem. After a personal tragedy, Sam has taken to the bottle and doesn't want to come back into the police force. How Sam changes this decision, comes back to battle his personal demons and finally nail the culprit forms the rest of the story.

Scripted and directed by Jeethu Joseph, this film also marks the director's return to the genre he debuted as a director. I personally like Jeethu Joseph as he is only 4 films old and he has already experimented in 3 genres. The second reason is the pace set of his movies. He is never in a hurry to tell a story. He wants to make sure the audience is with him and do not want to confuse them, giving them enough time to catch up with him. You can see this while Sam Alex deciphers a crime scene or while Sam is arriving at a conclusion based on his deduction. When everyone finally find out the identity of the killer, the first thing Sam tries to do is match the killer's missing dates with that of the dates of the murder. The director is not ready make his characters jump into conclusion without proper reasoning. Despite a pace which is unhurried, the director successfully keeps us hooked to our seats with his style of storytelling.

You can treat the movie as a murder mystery. You can also treat the movie as a one man's attempt to take control of his life which is spiraling out of control fast. Many of the scenes have many subtexts which make the viewing more interesting and fun. One of the most evident scene is when Sam picks up the book titled "Holy Bible, the solutions to all your problems" when the investigation team is blocked by the password screen on a computer. The script is written in a rhyming fashion. The movie starts in a shootout and ends also with a shootout. In the final scene, Sam has a hostage situation in hand. Earlier in the movie, he has failed miserably in such a situation. The script writing is heavily inspired by Hollywood style of writing. But Jeethu Joseph infuses drama very intelligently especially the final confrontation with the killer.  Also, the background music has been used very effectively. When Sam is about to deduce something critical from the surroundings, the background score reaches a crescendo.

The film is not entirely devoid of drawbacks. Luckily the positives outweigh these drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is the long tracking shots implemented with the help of VFX. Sometimes the camera tracks a moving vehicle from a distance. In one shot, the camera pulls back from the conversation and goes through many places which includes buildings, forests, roads to finally end up in a roadside cart where the next scene starts. The VFX is evident thereby rendering the scene very cheesy. The other point is the interval between the murders. The murders happen between a span of many months. This does not come very evident while watching except during a conversation towards the second half of the movie.

Prithviraj excels in the role of a cop who has lost the interest to live taking refuge in the bottle. As an star, he has taken care of his physique keeping it in shape in the recent years. This also poses the biggest challenge for him. It is impossible to hide a good physique. How Prithviraj and Jeethu Joseph finally manages it is by clothing the lead actor in shirts which a size or two too big for him. This conceals the physique to a certain extent. Then Prithviraj transforms himself into a drunkard. I am not only talking about the stubble, puffed up cheeks and watery eyes. The way he crouches, the way he walks, the slow reactions. All these add up on the screen to give us a drunken cop who still has not lost his touch. Some of the scenes are played brilliantly especially the sarcasm while mentioning "common sense" as the source of deduction and also how he casually shakes the flask to mix the alcohol with the soda while interrogating the shopkeeper.

This is a good thriller. The investigation does not start immediately. There are emotional blackmails necessary to make Sam accept the case. But even with the heavy duty drama, this is an engaging thriller. If you have not seen it yet, go get a ticket as films like these needs our encouragement.

Language: Malayalam

Genre: Thriller

Rating: ****

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4 comments:

  1. Heard lot of good things about this movie. Planning to watch it thanks to your review.

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    1. Great! You will have to chase this movie as there are limited screens in Bangalore now featuring this movie. And the timings are weird. :)

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  2. Oh I haven't heard but after reading your review, I feel I should watch this movie.
    Thanks for shearing :-)

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    Replies
    1. It is a malayalam movie. Not sure if you know the language and there are no subtitles. :)

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