Skip to main content

Malayalam Movie Review: City of God



When I sat down to watch the Malayalam movie 'City of God,'  I expected nothing great. But once the movie began, I was totally glued into the unique way the story is presented, interlinking incidents in the lives of Tamil workers who work and live in the state but whom many Keralites may see as a 'nuisance' than as laborers and how they are caught in the ugly war between Kochi's real estate mafia and business groups. No doubt, it shocks me that the depiction of life in Kochi has become so violent, brutal and almost adulterous. But the movie represents the changes that have shaken Kochi as a city that is increasingly becoming a hub for the bad, the deadly and the dangerous.


A small time Tamil labourer, Swarnavel (starring Indrajith) is in love with Marathakam, a Tamil woman who flees her village to escape from her cruel husband..Indrajith is impressive in bringing to life the Tamil labororer he portrays. His performance is authentic and definitely a fantastic feat for a Malayali actor to accomplish on screen. Like many Tamil workers in the state, he works very hard to earn a living and dreams of settling down with the girl he loves - Marathakam (starring Parvathy Menon) though he knows that she has a six-year old son and a terrible marriage stacked that made her run away from her husband who lives in Palani. But tucked away in Kochi, their relationship blooms.

Meanwhile, the city's ruthless, wily business man and builder, Sony Vadayattil is doing everything to bring back the love of his life whom he had to abandon  - Soorya Prabha (starring Rima Kallingal). His love and longing for her borders between the desperate need to win back and possess the girl who had suddenly shot into fame as a celebrity and actress as well as prove his clout. 

Soorya Prabha represents the contemporary professional who is torn by ambition to make it big without having to compromise herself in the process and her own simple, sincere self that has a dangerous vulnerability, in the sense that it makes men become more attracted to her. The fact that her husband forces her to compromise herself brings out another uncomfortable facet of Kerala's so called respectable society - it is all a game of social hypocrisy.

Sony's best friend is Jyothilal (starring Prithviraj) has to constantly get the lady back into Sony's  life though he keeps pointing out to Sony that she had been married to a good-for-nothing guy for four years. The silence and scorn between Jyothilal and Soorya Prabha clash unspoken because their mutual attraction is deadly and intense. Their eyes and body language give them away though in words, they seem to contradict the emotions that are underneath.

In the midst of all this, Jyothilal kills Poonoose, a wealthy businessman because of a conflict that happens in a land deal. The businessman's widow Viji Punnose (starring Shwetha Menon) witnesses the murder of her husband, and is ready to do whatever it takes to revenge her husband's death. Shwetha uses her youth and looks to influence a young man who is so besotted with her that he is willing to kill Jyothilal. Their relationship is fueled by a mutual need that has nothing to do with love.


What makes 'City of god' gripping is that it has so many scenes and moments that are taken straight out of real life in Kochi and many moments are likely to get you truly reflective about contemporary social issues that are gaining acceptance in Kerala's once-conservative society. You have skyscrapers stand out wherein a beautiful celebrity is abused by her own and asked to be with other and on the other hand, a vengeful widow who pours expensive drink to a young man, hoping to win him over for all the wrong reasons. On the other hand, you have the slum like areas  wherein Lekshmi (starring Rohini) drinks liquor openly at the local toddy bar like a man. 

I also liked the way in the movie concluded. There was no usual preaching or message left for the audience. The movie treated the audience as intelligent enough to reach their own conclusions about the relationships that unfold due to circumstances that are both inter related and beyond control. 
Performances by all the actors are impressive. I think Indrajith is the best, followed by Parvathy Menon who plays role of the distraught but sexy Tamilian girl who is ready to lit ve with another man other than her husband and naturally, loves her son as the bane of her life. 

Lijo Jose Pellissery's 'City of God' is not the city that I know as my own. The Kochi he has shown is raw, bleeding and adulterous. It seems like a city that is forsaken by the gods.
But I'd say, it's a movie that is worth watching.

Comments

Most Popular Posts

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered the possibility that my thoughts and my personal journey would receive such online abuse or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience and not to insult others. My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to shout that as being insulting to your experience because our journeys are entirely different narratives. 

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.The intention of my article is to question - why are we even exchanging insults over an issue called caste? 

Should we not be aspiring to be above caste considerations instead of abusing each other …

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Why love matters - Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh has an amazing insight to share!

What is love? It means different things to different people. 

Have you thought about it? Do read: POWER OF LOVE

The best way to understand 'love' is to reflect on what it means to you from deep within - soak yourself in the thought of what the word means to you. For a teenager, love is 'crush', for a young person, her boyfriend is her love, for a mother, love is the baby growing every day. For a spiritual seeker, God is Love. 

The idea of 'love' just sparks our curiosity - writers cannot stop exploring the nuances of love. Some of the most beautiful thoughts in poetry are about love. Artists bring to life the loss of wounds and heartbreaks in their portrayal of love. Nearly every film that we see amplifies the emotion of love through complex narratives and songs.


READ: Love means to see one you happy




FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

But what exactly is love? Is it what we see on screen or read about in books?

Love has to be experienced first, right? But how do you know i…

Five ways to take charge of your anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward
Every day, the newspaper headlines are full of scary stories of people killing each other over trivial things - mostly these incidents happen when individuals lose their temper and turn violent. In traffic jams across Noida in the evenings, people don't hesitate to walk out and hit each other.  At workplaces, colleagues lose their temper and say things that they regret later. During holidays with loved ones, small things set us off and we say things that damage relationships forever. No one stops anyone. Everyone likes a big, bad fight. It's great to vent. After all, what's the big deal about getting angry? After all, if you cannot express what pisses you off, how can you call yourself human? 


Does anger solve your problems? You know the answer!

If anger solved all the problems in the world, this world would have been a perfect place centur…

Book Review: Nan Umrigar's Sounds of Silence, A Bridge Across Two Worlds

The year 1978 was a glorious one for Karl Umrigar – a young man who won many prestigious horse races, including the Indian 2000 Guineas and the Indian Oakes. Finally, Karl Umrigar fulfilled his dream – every jockey’s dream– to win the Indian Derby. His name remains in the Indian Derby scroll of honour. 
But just at exactly the moment Karl won, he fell from the horse.  A fall that finally saw the country mourn for him when the headlines of the Indian Express read, “The King is Dead.” Karl Umrigar, the young champion and loved by many, was laid to rest on May 3, 1979.
Karl Umrigar’s Death: Bridge between Two Worlds You can imagine what Karl’s death did to his family, particularly his mother – Nan Umrigar. She says, “Nothing could have prepared us for the darkness that descended upon us – nothing!
While her family tried to pull on with daily routine, Nan Umrigar found herself in such a state of agony and trauma that she couldn’t resume a normal life. She couldn’t let go of her son.
She heard…

A Dad's advice to the daughter he loves: Be yourself, remember you are special and treasure your strengths

Just a week ago, Dad gave me a very emotional pep talk at the Bangalore airport. The good thing is that whenever I feel emotionally vulnerable or stressed out, I replay Dad's conversation. It lifts me up and instantly brings a huge smile to my face. That's my Dad - yeah! 




As a teenager, Bangalore used to be one of my favorite cities though the garden city was not as ''global'' and ''vibrant'' as it is today. It was a pretty cool place to go shopping for stylish accessories, not that I could splurge and go crazy with shopping but I could do so on a limited budget. So, I used to look forward to our summer trips to Bangalore, from where we would head out to Whitefield. 

The busy, broad streets, the scent of street food and the vibrant atmosphere had always perked me up every time I reached Bangalore. Be it heading to Puttaparthi or Whitefield, my parents and I have traveled to Bangalore so many times that it became a kind of ''routine'…

What is true knowledge? Dada Vaswani's teaching on knowledge offers a valuable lesson!

These days, everyone is an 'expert' on a given topic and this is most evident on social media.  From make up to nutrition to every topic under the sun including coffee, wine and herbs, there are experts on every social media platform. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it can prove helpful in your quest for knowledge but sometimes these are misleading as well. Not all that shines is gold, remember? So how do you figure out the mark of a person with knowledge as compared to those who proclaims it the rest of the world?
Here is a wise quote from Ruzbeh N Bharucha's book, 'Conversations with Dada Vaswani' offers us a powerful insight about knowledge and what it means.
[MUST-READ: Sage Tiruvalluvar's Golden Advice on Friendship]

                               FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST
Sadhu Vaswani, who is much loved and revered as a spiritual master, shares the crux of what knowledge stands for. True - there is no wisdom greater than this.

Hey Jude movie review: Nivin Pauly and Trisha shine their magic in this feel-good, heartwarming entertainer

Acclaimed director Shyamaprasad's latest movie starring Nivin Pauly (as Jude) and Trisha (as Crystal) is a heartwarming love storyof two completely different individuals who find a rare bonding of friendship with each other, helping the other to deal with the distinct quirks in personality. The story also touches upon a very important aspect of human life - no human being is perfect and it's okay to be different and quirky but you also need to find a support system and practical ways to overcome it.


                                                    [Image: Hey Jude Facebook Page]

Jude is different but he still makes you laugh
From scene 1, you can sense that Jude is different from other men of his age - his reactions are slow, unpredictable and borders on immaturity unless it has something to do with the topics that interest him - for example, marine life or oceanic pollution. There is nothing laughable or frivolous about Jude but this is exactly where Nivin Pauly's portray…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…