It has been quite some time since I penned something on this blog, and even longer, since I wrote a movie review. But there is no good time like the present to kill 2 birds with one stone. :)
We watched ‘Grahanam’ over the weekend. This movie is the brainchild of our close friends, Devika and Anand, who have put their heart and soul into its making. And it clearly shows. Grahanam is a thriller movie and it certainly lived up to its name.
When Grahanam started playing, the first few minutes was like a feeling that I find hard to describe. Seeing your friends and people whom you know personally, on the big screen was a surreal experience. The added effect of watching it in a theatre was even better, considering it was the first movie we were watching outside post the pandemic lockdowns. And it was well worth it! Without giving much away, for me Devika and Anand were the true stars of the movie. Devika carried the film on her shoulders, ably supported by Gibu, Binoop and Jayaram uncle. There is this one scene, where she is crouching atop a ledge, her body in a trance, hair disheveled and a frantic but frenzied look on her face! It was one of the most defining moments on the film for me, it showed her range of acting and how much effort she has put into the role to pull off a character that is clearly the backbone of the film! Btw, have you heard her sing? If not, please ask her! Multitude of talents, this girl is!
Gibu, as the hero, did a commendable job and I really liked the way his character shaped up towards the second half of the movie. I really enjoyed watching him play the man-with-the-upper-hand in the second half. Binoop and Jayaram Uncle, while their roles were not too lengthy, were crucial to the plot. The Sambavams were a hit and their chemistry was undeniable. I really enjoyed the few moments where they provided the laughs.
But to me, the star of the movie was the director himself – Anand. As the villain, he gave an extremely chilling performance. His calm and composed demeanor with a hint of psychotic tendencies was enjoyable to watch. And I must say, he had an amazing screen presence. I think between him and Devika, they are a powerhouse of talent. Kudos!
And last but not the least, the cinematography and the camera work. Never before did I realize how beautiful some places in Singapore were, until I saw them through Vimal’s camera. Some shots were ethereal, and some simply magical. Oh, and also, the songs! While all three are now chartbusters I heard, my favorite has to be Venmukilay! Something about that song, that keeps me humming it quite often.
When Devika and Anand gave us an outline of the story early on in the conceptualization stages, about 2 years back, I must admit, I had my doubts. Plenty of movies had been made in this genre and I was wondering how different this would be. Of course, at that point, I did not know how serious they were about this. I figured that this was one of those ideas that we all keep discussing, and then it would fizzle out. How wrong I was! And I cannot tell you how glad I am about that. Because from that point on, the carefree, fun-loving Anand vanished and metamorphosized into a meticulous, hard-working and knowledge thirsty man who was keen to get his hands on to this project. And he went about it methodically. He made a few short films, learnt the nuances of direction, camera work, angles and how to write a screenplay. He understood how to engage the audience and keep them curious enough to watch the next scene. He learnt as much as he could in the few short films he made and then put all those learnings into Grahanam. And it shows!
Kudos to the team and wishing them many many more successes!