Saturday, 22 March 2008

Malayalam Movie Review: Varavelppu(1989)

Varavelppu (= welcome) is a very notable Malayalam movie which saw the genius of three prominent people in Malayalam cinema- Sathyan Anthikadu who directed the movie excellently well, Srinivasan (a famous actor) who penned this story and Mohanlal who put forward one of his most memorable performances ever. Take a look at what this movie is all about.

Director: Sathyan Anthikadu
Story: Srinivasan
Actors: Mohanlal, Revathi, Jagadish, Srinivasan,Murali, Janardanan, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Mamukkoya, KPAC Lalitha
Music: Johnson

The story
After seven long years Muralidharan (played by Mohanlal) returned to Kerala, India, his homeland. He was happy since he had been missing home so much. His two brothers and their families were eager to receive him. His sister-in-laws had even made special meals for him. Everybody was happy that their dear Murali was home. Or so it seemed.

When Murali announced that he would not be going back to Dubai, it was apparent that the family was deeply shocked and annoyed. In fact it was because of Murali alone that both the brothers were leading a decent life without any debts. For them Murali was a source of income; all they wanted was that he continued working for them and supplied them with money with everlasting generosity. Murali was quite oblivious to all these and thought everyone loved him from their hearts. But he was soon to find out their true colours the hard way.

When the two brothers understood that Murali’s decision was final they approached him separately with ideas of putting his savings to good use (for them, that is). However Murali did not fall for their traps and decided something on his own- to buy a bus.

The brothers are totally exasperated. But they could do nothing about it. Murali thus became the proud owner of a bus which he named ‘Gulf Motors’. However everything was not going to be a smooth run.

The rest of the movie is about the various problems Murali faces as a bus owner- the bad condition of the bus, the treacherous employees, the irritating vehicle inspector(played by Srinivasan) and ultimately the wrath of the trade union.

After seeing Varavelppu you would feel how unfair life could be. It makes you realize that the life of an employee or a boss trying to make both ends meet could turn out to be equally difficult and tricky as an ordinary worker.

I believe that everybody who has seen this movie will always think of it as a classic Malayalam movie.Check out this song from the movie:

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Home Sweet Home!!

Some of you might have wondered where I had disappeared these past few days. Guess what?? I am back home- in the beautiful God’s own country of Kerala!!Well, it all happened quite suddenly. I was fed up of the cold and windy climate of Bradford and longed for the warm climate in Kerala. Moreover I was very homesick. So what else to do but to book tickets, pack our bags and to set off as soon as possible??On 14th March we caught the National Express from Bradford and reached Heathrow airport at 7 a.m. the next day. On 15th March we reached Kerala. The trip was quite tiresome but how wonderful it felt to see all the happy and familiar faces that received us!!

So I am fully relaxed now and enjoying the warm climate and adoring the occasional downpour here. A festival is going on in the temple near our house and the loudspeakers are on full blast! Well, I don’t mind; all that matters is that I am home- Home sweet home!!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Free Backing Papers Again!

Hello everyone! Here are the next set of free backing papers for you to download. You could check out more of my backing papers in the Crafts section...If you are new here, you may want to subscribe for my feeds.. Thanks for visiting:-)

Click on the thumbnail to see the full image. Have fun with your greeting cards and craft projects!!

Your comments are most welcome.. :-)

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Book Review: Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie

It has been many years since I first read Evil under the Sun. I got it from the library a few days back and read it once again. And found it equally interesting even this time. A perfect Hercule Poirot mystery!!

Book: Evil Under the Sun
Author: Agatha Christie
First published in 1941 by William Collins Sons & Co. in London, and by Dodd, Mead & Co. in New York
Detective: Hercule Poirot
Genre: Fiction, Murder mystery
Location: Smugglers’ Island off Leathercombe Bay, England

Poirot's Holiday
The story starts with Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective ('with an egg shaped head'), enjoying a holiday at the Jolly Roger Hotel, Smugglers’ Island. The introduction of Poirot is very interesting, it tells us what sort of a character he is:

“There was one very important person (in his own estimation at least) staying at the Jolly Roger...”

(Agatha Christie sure made her detective overly proud of himself and larger than life..I remember reading somewhere that she gradually grew an immense dislike to Poirot over the years!! )

The guests at Jolly Roger
Anyway, we are then introduced almost immediately to the several characters staying in the hotel.

The very talkative Mrs. Carrie Gardener, the reserved and quiet Mr. Gardener (whose main duty was to agree to whatever the Mrs. was saying), the athletic Miss Emily Brewster, the narrator of non-ending boring stories Major Barry, a little fanatical Reverend Stephen Lane, the young and energetic Patrick Redfern, the almost plain-looking Mrs. Christine Redfern, the successful and beautiful Rosamund Darnley etc..

But who was the fairest of them all? Of course Mrs. Arlena Marshall. Men were crazy about her and women jealous…

The island seemed to be an unlikely place for a murder to take place but Poirot remarked at one point: ‘It is peaceful. The sun shines. The sea is blue. But you forget, there is evil everywhere under the sun’

His premonition came true soon enough.

The Murder
Arlena Marshall was found strangled to death in a secluded part of the island.

The suspects seemed to be many. It was a well-known secret that there was an affair of sorts going on between Patrick Redfern and Arlena Marshall. Thus her murder implicated two main suspects- Patrick’s wife Christine Redfern and Arlena’s husband Captain Marshall. But then nobody actually liked Arlena Marshall. The opinion about Mrs. Marshall was almost the same:

Reverend Stephen Lane : ‘That woman is evil through and through’;
Mrs. Gardener: ‘…but I have said to Mr.Gardener all along that there was something evil about the woman’
Linda Marshall(Arlena’s step-daughter): ‘If only Arlena would go away, I could enjoy myself’ ; 'I'd like to kill her. Oh! I wish she'd die...'
Miss Emily Brewster: ‘I am afraid I can’t have any regret for her death-’

‘Because the victim was the kind of person he or she was, therefore was he or she murdered!’ Poirot’s tactics to solve this crime was to study the character of the victim. And as always he was proved right in his methods.

Agatha Christie’s formula for a mystery is generally well-proportioned with good characterization and a clever plot peppered with many false leads so as to confuse the reader. 'Evil under the sun' is an excellent example of how a mystery novel should be. I highly recommend it.

I believe there have been many movies based on Agatha Christie’s novels. But the best one is of course ‘Agatha Christie's Poirot’ the very popular British Television series with David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. David Suchet is absolutely adorable as Poirot. He is just as one would imagine Poirot would be while reading the novel.

Watch this video from 'Evil Under the Sun'.
Scene: Patrick Redfern being questioned by Poirot, Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) and Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser). (Inspector Japp and Hastings does not appear in the novel)

There is also a PC game Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun. I have never played it though.. Hope you enjoyed the review. Feel free to write a comment and let me know what you think.Have a nice day!