Sunday, August 30, 2015

Memories (2013)

Director: Jeethu Joseph
Writer:    Jeethu Joseph
Cast:       Prithviraj, Suresh Krishna, Vijayaraghavan
Language: Malayalam

Sam Alex, a drunkard cop on long leave after the deaths of his wife and daughter, is forced to investigate a series of murders which are committed in the same pattern. His search leads to a serial killer, and something more than what he expected. 

It is a habit of Malayalam films that deals with such stories of serial killing to make it personal for the investigating officer as a cheap way to get the audience's attention. I detest it with much passion and there are just too many otherwise good films that got ruined because of this. 'Mukham' and 'Kariyillakattu Pole' are two such examples even though it is understandable to some extent in the case of the former. Best Malayalam film I can name from the genre is 'Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu', though I am going by my impression of watching it as a schoolboy on Doordarshan. It was written by Padmarajan and directed by Joshi. 

Coming back to the film in question, Memories, it started off decently enough with Prithviraj giving a good performance. Film starts to fall apart when he starts investigating the case and you lose it completely by the time it becomes personal in a predictable fashion. I hate it when each and everything in the film end up as a plot device and that is what happens with his brother character and those fishes that are totally out of place during that scene. That is just so unsubtle and lazy film-making. Occult/ritual serial killing films are quite hard to pull off but when done well they can be really glorious (True Detective Season One, Se7en). It is not the case with this film and you will really struggle to keep a straight face as they make breakthroughs. They really had to show figuring out the 'Jesus in Cross' pose as a major breakthrough!!! There is no effort to justify the showy nature of the murders from killer's point of view other than explaining it away as him being eccentric and a bible-freak. When they hit a road-block with a password protected computer, the officer calls for a computer expert to unlock it. I sighed with relief that at least they didn't go the 'Legacy' route with that; only for the officer to point at Bible and figure out the password all by himself. Give me a fucking break!!!

To sum up, it is another shitty serial killing investigation film with the only good thing about it being Prithviraj's performance. That, and introduction of the term 'Psychological Move' into Malayalam lingo. It is best when such films don't have too many coincidences by which many of the characters form connections and this one patently fails to do so but actually revel in doing the opposite. And what the fuck is with those unnecessary CGI scenes?? Based on what I have seen from Jeethu Joseph, Drishyam looks like a fluke and not the norm. 

Rating: 1.5/5