Ne (Neena) Na(Nalini)… 2015

Neena is an acronym of the names of two women characters in the film. ‘ne’ from neena (Deepti Sati) and the ‘na’ from nalini (Ann Augustine). it is the story of a man, Vinay Pannickar (Vijay Babu) who is pulled into a confusion of emotions and relations with two women. Although the film is named Neena, Ann Augustine has very little role to play although she plays a pertinent role in the film.

The film brings to the forefront what I’ve always felt confused about. It is a statement from a married man or woman/or somebody with a partner, especially when at a crossroad in their relationship. They would reply, “I am married, therefore I can only be a friend.” To me, the line reaks of hypocrisy. There in that line lies the lie.. it is as many would say not an outright no nor a yes but more of a compulsion to stay within a marital relation/partnership when his/her emotions lies elsewhere or is effected by somebody else. Why can’t they just muster some courage and leave rather than manufacture lies to be in the best of both worlds!

The film partially revolves around this answer, its reasons and consequences. It tells the story of a man, a very gentlemanly man who is torn between his affection for two women. A woman enters into the life of this seemingly happily married man and he is unable to let go, but pulled into it. He has a wife who understands the intention of the other woman and the tinglings in her man. It is actually no fault of hers, and thankfully, the unfaithful man as in a usual extra marital relationship does not blame the faithful wife!

The question that then pops out is was he really happy or acting happy all this while! the emotional trauma that ensues is showed beautifully.

The character of Nalini is required for the film, Ann has played her part well, especially her part when she indulges in anxiety eating, that scene with a tub of strawberry ice cream is too well done. And the woman looked stunning in her saris and earrings but why was she draped in the traditional Kerala two piece sari at home! In addition, what the character of Nalini, the wife, cannot express out loud is given an utterance in the words of their house help who seeks to be going through a similar situation – there is a subtle element of class!

The ending director Lal Jose brings about I feel falls short of taking a gamble with the given topic at hand. There could have been two more viable endings, and those would have been a cherries on this neena cake. But then the audience may not have had the love for the character of Neena then by the end of the film which the current ending now ensures!

Deepti Sati, the newcomer does justice to her role, although the dubbing was painfully slow and stretched! Vijay Babu is brillaint as the man in an emotional confusion, Lena as the doctor is gracefully poised, Vinu Mohan’s cameo hits the bulls eye. We get to see Ann Augustine after a long time .. And excellent cameta work of, the ever so popular cinematographer, Jomon T John.

Go into the theatre with an awareness that it is a serious film and not a breezy romance or rom com!

Plus, look out for the new music director and his songs – Nikhil Menon. Well he was the reason I was interested in this film in the first place 🙂

©pins n ashes 2016


Action Hero Biju Abrid Shine & Nivin Pauly


Action Hero Biju begins a new genre within the police story in Malayalam films. It has the same honest officer in the likes of roles played by Suresh Gopi, Mammootty and Mohanlal. However, the story does not revolve around a single case or “the verbal diahorrea”* scripted by Ranji Pannicker mouthed by our earlier superstars. Abrid Shine brings through Sub Inspector Biju Paulose the day today workings in a police station and their interaction with the common people who come to the station. First off, the police hierarchy is clearly defined. Secondly, the focus of the film is on different kinds of complaints they receive daily, the people who make those complaints and the police procedures of tackling them..

As a result, what is crime gets to be redefined in the context of Police stories in malayalam films .. While crime gets redefined, so does a victim and a villain.

Crime could be an employer not paying salary to an employee, somebody slapping another person on the road, a drunkard creating a traffic block, a theft in a house, over speeding, not wearing a helmet….   These many scenarios also give the director an oppotunity to bring in newer faces, there are about 15 or 18 newcomers who have brought in that kind of real feel to the complaints. This actor in the picture below is Suresh. He has written, composed and sung this song in this film. You need to watch the film to experience why seeing this man makes me lol 🙂

There are some old faces too whom we have loved on screen before.. Devi Ajith, Rohini, Suraj, Jude Anthony, Meghanthan, Prashanth, Vinduja Menon…

Suraj takes the cake… If only this actor can find himself more roles like these so that he can transform from a comedy star into a character actor like Siddique & Sai Kumar.

Thirdly, the film ticks because of its very tight script that keeps all the episodes together.


Fourthly, the story of the film is free from the inspector’s personal life. But the romance between the inspector and his fiance is captured really well especially through the song composed by Jerry Amaldev, sung by Yesudas and Vani Jayaram through the streets of fort Cochin.

Nivin Pauly in a police uniform is as good as Kuttan and George of his earlier films. Some of his facial gimmicks are too good to miss. But since we have grown up watching suresh gopi and the rest, we may not feel that punch initially..

So if we are carrying that baggage it is better to leave it at the ticket counter when we decide to buy the ticket.

But that is exactly it.. The film is not about an action hero delivering such punches, it is about a sub inspector, his circle inspector and the commissioner who try to do their duty and maintain the peace and order in the city.. The foil and reminder of such earlier films is also done in an interesting way.. !

©pins n ashes 2016