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Maniyarayile Ashokan Movie Review: Not Even Dulquer Salmaan’s Late Cameo Can Save Jacob Gregory’s Film From Being an Kitschy Saga

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Maniyarayile Ashokan Movie Review: Not Even Dulquer Salmaan’s Late Cameo Can Save Jacob Gregory’s Film From Being an Kitschy Saga

Maniyarayile Ashokan Movie Review: The one movie that often pops up in your mind when you watch Shamzu Zayba’s directorial debut, Maniyarayile Ashokan, is the classic Vadakkunokkiyanthram. The Sreenivasan film dealt with a man who suffers from a severe inferiority complex that nearly wrecks his marriage. In Maniyarayile Ashokan, the complex takes a whole new twist, even before its protagonist, the titular Ashokan reaches his marital bed. Maniyarayile Ashokan Movie Review: Jacob Gregory’s Onam Special Release, Produced By Dulquer Salmaan, Opens To Mixed Reviews From Critics.

Maniyarayile Ashokan marks the solo lead debut of Jacob Gregory, who had earlier proved to be a scene-stealer in the cult comic series Akkarakazhchakal and supporting roles in films like ABCD, 1983, Mandharam etc. He is also the producer of this film, along with his ABCD co-(super)star Dulquer Salmaan.

Maniyarayile Ashokan has Gregory play the titular protagonist, who believes his dark complexion and height are creating problems in getting him a bride. His parents (Vijayaraghavan and Sreelakshmi), and his friends, Ratheesh (Krishna Shankar) and Shaiju (Shine Tom Chacko) are supportive, but that doesn’t do enough to buoy his spirits. Especially when people have begun to poke fun at his bachelor status and he overhears a prospective bride rejecting him over his looks.

Until he finds out that there is a girl deeply in love with him. Things look bright and beautiful for Ashokan, as he falls for Shyama (Anupama Parameswaran), and even their families agree for the marriage, and get their horoscopes matched. That’s where the real trouble comes for Ashokan and his doomed love life.

Watch the Trailer of Maniyarayile Ashokan here:

If Thalathil Dineshan, the protagonist of Vadakkunokkiyanthram, needed a backstory, the first half of Maniyarayile Ashokan could comes close to that. The portions build up the insecurities of the protagonist in a fairly engaging manner and the characters feel interesting. The lush greenery of Vellaramkunnu adds to the visual appeal of the film. From Ashokan’s family to his colleagues to his friends (and their stories), Maniyarayile Ashokan does have something interesting to offer in people around the lead, who, unfortunately comes as the least interesting bit in these scenes.

Maniyarayile Ashokan also has the time to mention the story of Unnimaya (Anu Sithara), a village beauty who eloped with a postman years ago, leading to a parallel subplot as to why most of the men in the village are left with the hiccups. Unnimaya even has a song for herself, but her inclusion adds little relevance to the plot apart from the occasional hiccups…sorry, I mean, chuckles.

Meanwhile, back in Ashokan’s story, the cute romance between him and Shyama, enhanced by the beautiful “Peyyum Nilaavu” song, is marred by one crucial factor. The actors share no discernible chemistry, made even awkward by the fact that Anupama looks way too young to be paired with Gregory.

It matters little to the film, for Shyama is not ‘the’ female lead of the film, it is someone else. Or rather, something else. Without getting into spoilers, Maniyarayile Ashokan takes its time to arrive at what is its USP, but it is definitely an unexpected twist. At least I had no idea of such a plot development beforehand, so I was pleasantly taken back by the turn of events. Unfortunately, here’s where things do downhill for both Ashokan and the movie too.

Instead of taking a quirky route that would have worked well with the film, Shamzu, instead, chose to make the movie even more melodramatic. Remember what a great job Sreenivasan did with the descent of Dineshan’s tragic descent to insanity in Vadakkunokkiyanthram without making it look contrite?

The mental breakdown of Ashokan should have made for a gripping narrative. Instead, the post-interval portions of Maniyarayile Ashokan becomes an over-stretched saga, with plenty of songs and slo-mo sequences added to tax the viewer’s patience. The weak writing is most noticeable in these portions.

We also have a cameo of Dulquer Salmaan coming at a crucial point, but even DQ fans would find it difficult to justify if the cameo improves the film one bit. Unless you think seeing him in a Navy officer uniform is worth all the trouble. Dulquer Salmaan Is ‘Rockin Some Curls’ In His New Instagram Pictures and We’re All For This Cool Look!

By the time we get to the and see another surprise cameo, we rue the fact that Maniyarayile Ashokan fails to do good to what had been an unusual storyline in its attempt to garner sympathy for his protagonist.

Speaking of the performances, Jacob Gregory, who often shines in his supporting parts, looks the part of Ashokan. But his performance comes across as very one-note. The supporting cast fare better, be it Vijayaraghavan, Sudheesh, Sreelakshmi, Shine Tom Chacko, Sunny Wayne or Krishna Shankar.

Yay!

– Beautiful Locales

– Supporting Cast

– Unusual Premise

Nay!

– Gregory’s One-Note Performance

– The Writing

– The Over-Stretched Sequences

Final Thoughts

As a producer, Dulquer Salmaan hit a sixer with his first offering, Varane Avashyamundu. Maniyarayile Ashokan, his sophomore production, struggles to keep the pacing right and does little justice to its quirky premise. Maniyarayile Ashokan is streaming on Netflix.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Sep 02, 02:19 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

Charles recently joined the team, and he writes for the Headline column of the website. He has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism. He has worked for more than 1.5 years in a media house. Now, he joined our team as a contributor for covering the latest US headlines. He is smart both by him looks and nature. He is very good with everyone in the team.

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It’s Space Time! Yulia Peresild, Russian Actress With Filmmaker Klim Shipenko Will Fly to ISS to Shoot First Feature Film in Space, Same Month As Tom Cruise

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It’s Space Time! Yulia Peresild, Russian Actress With Filmmaker Klim Shipenko Will Fly to ISS to Shoot First Feature Film in Space, Same Month As Tom Cruise

It’s space time for the entertainment industry! After Hollywood actor, Cruise made headlines to officially traveling to outer space to film a new movie, Russia has chosen a famous actress and an award-winning director to to the International Space Station (ISS). Why? Well, the crew will fly to shoot the first feature film in space. Yulia Peresild and filmmaker Klim Shipenko will blast off in a Russian rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome on 5 October 2021. Yes, the same month as Tom Cruise and the director Doug Liman, who is due to flying to outer space to make a movie. However, the exact date of Cruise’s expedition is yet not known.

Russia has reportedly been looking for a ‘real superhero to go to the stars,’ and they made the casting announcement from the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos in November 2020. Candidates for the female lead in the film needed to be between 25 and 40 years old, and a Russian , to weigh between 50kg and 70 kg. Previous acting experience, was, however, not required. There were thousands of applications and finally, actor Peresild, 36, and director Shipenko, 37, was chosen. The Roscosmos announcement this week has triggered speculation that Russia could now be in a new kind of celebrity space race with the US.

According to Roscosmos, Peresild and Shipenko have undergone both a medical and a creative selection process. Their space flight training is set to begin in June and will include centrifuge and vibration tests, flights on a zero-gravity plane, and parachute training.

What Do We Know About the Movie?

According to Russia’s RIA news agency, the movie is about a female surgeon’s mission to perform an operation on a cosmonaut too ill to return to Earth immediately. BBC noted that the whole project will be covered by the Russian state TV Channel One and the co-producers of the movie will be Roscosmos chief, Dmitry Rogozin, and Channel One director Konstantin Ernst.

Peresild has starred in many films, big Russian dramas including The Edge and Battle for Sevastopol. Shipenko directed an award-winning disaster movie set in space—Salyut 7. He is also an actor and playwright.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos has also announced that Japanese online fashion billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will also go on a trip to the ISS in December this year. The business tycoon will be accompanied by Japanese cameraman Yozo Hirano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on May 14, 2021 01:15 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

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Karnan Movie Review: Dhanush’s Versatility and Mari Selvaraj’s Brilliance Make an Epic Combo! (LatestLY Exclusive)

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Karnan Movie Review: Dhanush’s Versatility and Mari Selvaraj’s Brilliance Make an Epic Combo! (LatestLY Exclusive)

Karnan : Dhanush, man! What a incredible performer you are! Sorry to gush about an actor in the beginning of a review, but this amazing actor, and two time National Award winning performer, deserves all the effing praise. Then there is the immensely talented Mari Selvaraj, whose debut directorial Pariyerum Perumaalum is nothing short of a classic. With Karnan, these two have managed to a create a film so evocative and hard-hitting that spells EPIC in every frame! Karnan: Dhanush’s Action-Drama Film to Premiere on Amazon Prime Video From May 14!

Karnan is inspired by the 1995 Kodiyankulam violence when a police force meted out inhumanities to a hamlet inhabited by a lower-caste community. Here, the timeline isn’t fixed, though as per the theatrical release, the movie was set in 1997. The hamlet that is becomes the focal point of Karnan becomes Podiyankulam. This village has a close-knit community where the law and order and discipline are managed by the elders.

We meet Karnan (Dhanush), a young man in the hamlet, who likes to laze around, while his elder sister Padmini (Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli). He already has a rebellious streak that is waiting to evolve into something far bigger. His village doesn’t have a bus-stop  and that has become a feud between Podiyankulam and its neighbouring village, inhabited by higher-casters, as the latter has one. The men there leer and jeer at the women of Podiyankulam when they come to catch bus from the stop. We also learn that Karnan had a younger sister who died in the middle of the road years ago, more so because the Podiyankulam  doesn’t have a bus stop.

Watch the Trailer:

In fact, the movie begins with this discomforting scene of the girl lying on the road, with foam frothing in her mouth, as vehicles ply around her without a care to stop. We see a mask  appear on her face, as she becomes some sort of a village spirit, that only Karnan’s grandfather can see in his dreams. However, while the masked girl makes occasional appearances, creating some haunting imagery, the connection is never explored later. Karnan Review: Dhanush’s Film Declared a Megahit by the Audience.

Speaking of imagery, there is plenty of that in the movie, mostly portrayed through animals that say a lot about the mood of the village, and of its hot-headed protagonist. In the beginning we see an eagle fly off with a chick, leading to its owner and her neighbours cursing the predator. This prompts Karnan to ask his maternal grandfather Yeama Raja (Lal), who is also a friend figure to him, why the villagers haven’t got used to it yet. From establishing about oppression in this scene, to later a donkey getting the ropes that bind him from escaping being cut off (by Karnan), the messaging about gaining freedom from societal bindings can’t get any clearer.

There is nary a doubt that Selvaraj is quite inspired by Mahabharata, not just in inserting themes from the epic but also literally borrowing character names. There is Draupathi (Rajisha Vijayan), a girl in the same village who has a crush on Karnan, while her brother Vadamalaiyan (Yogi Babu) dislikes him. The village head is Duriyodhanan (GM Kumar), who like his namesake, takes a liking for Karnan.

The antagonist, a police superintendent called Kannabiran (cinematographer Natarajan Subramaniam making an excellent acting debut), whose name refers to Lord Krishna. But the names are not merely borrowed. In a troubling scene, Kannabiran tortures some of the villagers for the audacity to naming themselves after the kings. While the caste hierarchies of the characters are never mentioned outright, you really don’t need that knowledge to understand the gravitas of the scene.

Mahabharata seems not the only epic that has inspired the director. Karnan’s first heroic scene involves a sword and a lake, after which he begins to get hailed in his hamlet. A couple of scenes later, a village boy brings a horse to take care of. Everything is set for Karna to be that knight in armour to rescue his kin. There is some heavy influence of the fable of King Arthur in there.

All you wait is for the protagonist to explode, his temper and frustration at the system ignoring their needs already on a high, and when that happens, it is effectively volatile. Be it the mid-point where Karnan demolishes a bus, or the attack at the police station or the brutal third act, Selvaraj refuses to temper the anguish of the lead.

But the anguish is supplanted by much warmth too, which makes the brutality even more difficult to watch. Karnan’s scenes with his sister and thatha are heartwarming, and Dhanush’s camaraderie with Lal is very nice. A little disappointment comes from the romantic subplot between Karnan and Draupathi, that’s mostly standard fare, and Rajisha Vijayan really doesn’t get much scope here.

Sorry to get to comparisons here, but one big reason I was annoyed with Master earlier this year is that director Lokesh Kanagaraj had to compromise on his craft to match upto his leading star’s superstardom. Here’s where Mari Selvaraj does better. He gives a gripping saga that doesn’t dilute its message, while also adhering on Dhanush’s superstar image (Come on, this man is unbeatable throughout the movie). Even when Karnan gives its star enough massy appeal, it is grounded and comes with painful baggage. The movie never fails to remind that the violence comes with its consequences – no matter how righteous it is – and even the protagonist can’t escape it. There is nothing best to describe the aspect than the scene of Karnan dancing with tears streaming from his eyes in the finale.

Karnan never goes beyond the environs of its rustic setting, yet Theni Eswar’s striking cinematography manages to give it the feel of a magnum opus. The appeal gets even more powerful by Santhosh Narayanan’s rousing score and RK’s sharp editing.

Finally, a paean for the star. Dhanush’s magnifique quality of getting smoothy imbibed into his character once again gives him another powerful role. Like with Fahadh Faasil, there is something immensely magnetic about his eyes, that the actor puts to incredible use in the more terse sequences. Karnan should bring more awards to this brilliant performer.

Yay!

– Mari Selvaraj and Dhanush

– A Powerful Saga

Nay!

– Rajisha Vijayan’s Role

Final Thoughts

Karnan is a powerful piece of cinema, where Dhanush’s superlative acting ability complements beautifully with Mari Selvaraj’s brilliant insight into caste politics. Karnan is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on May 14, 2021 01:09 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

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Revisiting Friends: 5 Shocking Moments From Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc’s Show

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Revisiting Friends: 5 Shocking Moments From Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc’s Show

The Friends reunion special is finally happening, and listening to the BG music in the teaser of the special episode brought back so many memories. From the iconic purple door with the yellow frame to the chick and the , all Friends fanatics remember even the smallest detail about the show. Of course, we cannot move forward without mentioning the cast of the show who gave us such amazing characters to the world. FRIENDS Reunion Special to Air on HBO Max on May 27.

Jennifer Aniston as Rachel , David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courtney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Liza Kudrow as Pheboe Buffay and Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani are still remembered for their roles on the show, and everyone is pretty excited to see them reunite again for the special episode. But before we get to see the special episode on May 27, we are revisiting a few shocking moments from the show.

Check It Out:

Chandler’s Confession About Ross’ Love For Rachel

This was one of those moments that we thank Chandler for. He accidentally tells Rachel that Ross loves her fondly while she is unwrapping an expensive gift given to her by Ross. What happens next is another shocking event. While the fans were finally rooting to Rosschel together, Geller is seen returning with Julie from China.

Chandler’s Proposal

You’d be lying if you say that you did not cry when Chandler proposed to Monica. That was a dream proposal with all the incidents that happened before this special moment. We all hated Richard at that moment, and the way it ended up being so chaotically beautiful, this moment will always be precious for Friends fans.

Ross and Rachel’s Breakup

Ross and Rachel’s breakup felt personal to all the fans. While the debate about whether they were or were they not on a break still remain, this moment was heartbreaking. Rachel crying and Ross trying to console her was the lowest moments where everyone thought this was it for them.

Joey’s Kiss With Rachel

While Ross and Rachel were over for good, no one expected Joey and Rachel to kiss. We all knew Rachel had feelings for Rachel but the kiss was very unexpected. Just like Ross on alcohol, we all were pretending to be “fine” with it. Friends Reunion Special: From David Beckham to BTS, Here Is Every Star You Will See in the Episode.

Rachel’s Pregnancy

Rachel that she is pregnant but everyone wanted to know who was the father of the child, And the moment when Ross picked up the red sweater, we all had our mouth wide open. This is one of the most epic scenes from the show.

Friends Reunion Special will premiere on HBO Max on May 27. The special episode will feature a variety of special guests including David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne.

Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon and Malala Yousafzai will also be a part of it.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on May 14, 2021 12:40 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

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