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Okkadu Migiladu movie review: This Sri Lankan refugee drama is laboriously long

Okkadu Migiladu, which loosely translates to ‘the lone survivor,’ is a war cry where the protagonist Surya, played by Manchu Manoj, urges the audiences to think about what freedom means and why is it that we are erecting barriers in the name of religion, region and country among many other things.

In the film, Surya is a Sri Lankan refugee, whose family flees their nation in the midst of the civil war. However, it does not take him too long to realise that no matter where he lives, he might not be part of any nation, and that he will always be treated as an outcast. For a film which has such a well-intended message, it is hidden in a maze.

In one particular scene, Manchu Manoj asks “Manaku Desham anedhe ledha? Memu Manishulam Kaadha? (Don’t we have a nation of our own? Aren’t we human beings?).” What could have been an extremely poignant sequence turns into a melodramatic sermon which makes you wonder why everyone in the film is hell bent on waging a war on the audience. And it all boils down to what Ajay Andrews, who directed the film and also played a key role named Victor.

Throughout the film, he addresses multiple issues and the film deals with three different themes. This makes the audience unsure of what to focus on. Are we supposed to empathise with Surya’s fight for justice in his university? Are we supposed to feel the pain of refugees living in a foreign land? Are we supposed to be angry with the Sri Lankan army for all their atrocities on Tamilians during the civil war? Whose side are we supposed to take? Are we supposed to root for the survival of refugees who are running out of time in the middle of the sea?

Still from Okkadu Migiladu

Still from Okkadu Migiladu

None of this is complicated, and for almost three decades, we have read about (or come across) such incidents. The problem with the film is that it takes a simple but profound question — Where do we belong? — and extrapolates to so many other issues that watching the film feels like you are playing Pinball. It is all over the place. Perhaps, the only question which feels relevant here is — “Why did Victor cross the sea?.” Because he wanted to survive. End of the story. But subtlety is shot dead right in the opening frame of the film and everyone hams it up so much that the war cry of the film turns into a sound of a million crickets stridulating in the middle of the night. It’s beyond painful.

Okkadu Migiladu, however, does prove three things about Manchu Manoj — 1) He can cry 2) He can emote while crying 3) He can even emote what it might feel like if he is stabbed with a knife. That is all you need to know. Everything else is just bonus and he just keeps shooting one monologue after another. It is not Surya whom you see in this movie. It is Manchu Manoj. And the kind of emotion he brings to his character is, for the lack of a better word, exhausting. I can only imagine what he must have felt like while performing the scene. Phew!

Then, there is Ajay Andrews himself who plays the most important character in the story — Victor. He is the bridge between the past and the present, and he does a fine job to portray all the intensity that is intrinsic to his role. While the actor in him has a looming presence throughout the film; as a director, he pays a huge price in the end. The finesse in his thoughts to wake us all up from our slumber to realise that we are better together, does not translate to either his writing or direction. Everything about the film looks amateurish, especially in terms of its production design, editing, cinematography.

And let us not even talk about its ‘novelty’ factor. If a filmmaker chooses not to have ‘songs’ or ‘comedy’ in the film and retain a serious tone, it has to result in something exciting in terms of the narrative. On the contrary, at a runtime of close to 140 minutes, Okkadu Migiladu feels laboriously long — as long as rowing a boat for 14 days out in the sea. By the end, I felt like a Lone Survivor myself. This is a painful film, both for the characters in the story and also those who watch it. Two big thumbs down.


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Malayalam actress assault case: Trial against Dileep and other accused to begin a year after abduction


Feb,18 2018 13:45 28 IST

Exactly a year later, the much-anticipated verdict in the Kerala actress kidnap case, in which actor Dileep has been named as the eighth accused, is to emerge with the trial set to begin very soon.

Dileep. File Photo

Dileep. File Photo

And the question that is uppermost in people’s minds is — will Dileep walk free or be behind bars.

It was this day last year that the abduction incident took place while the actress was on her way to Kochi from her house in Thrissur.

Her driver allegedly joined hands with a group of ‘criminals’ led by Pulsar Suni, who is the prime accused, and drove her through the busy streets of the commercial capital of the state and after two hours she was dropped near the home of director-actor Lal.

After she told him about what had happened to her, Lal called the police. The driver was first taken into custody and in a few days the rest of the gang, including Suni, was arrested.

But the twist in the tale, in true cinematic style, came when superstar Dileep was arrested on 10 July, 2017, after two rounds of questioning. After spending 85 days in jail, he got conditional bail.

Since then the police probe team has been busy in tying the loose ends in the now high profile case.

The trial court in December accepted the charge sheet that names a total of 12 persons, including Dileep as accused, while his former wife Manju Warrier, is a key witness.

The 650-page charge sheet included secret depositions. Among the list of witnesses, are around 50 from the film industry.

Now all eyes are on the beginning of the trial as the police is burning the midnight oil to see if they can successfully recover the visuals of the kidnapping and alleged molestation, which is reported to have been filmed by the gang.

Published Date: Feb 18, 2018 13:45 PM | Updated Date: Feb 18, 2018 13:45 PM


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Drake donates $1 million to struggling Miami residents on set of his God’s Plan music video

Los Angeles: The song is called God’s Plan and Canadian rapper Drake dropped a music video to match on Friday in which he gave away almost $1 million in cash to people in Miami.

Drake, the world’s best-selling artist of 2016, followed it up with a challenge on Instagram urging his fans to “go out and be nice to each other.”

Drake gives away a wad of cash in God's Plan music video. YouTube

Drake gives away a wad of cash in God’s Plan music video. YouTube

The God’s Plan video upended the usual lavish efforts from music production companies, and instead showed Drake handing out wads of cash to struggling families, toys to children, scholarships to students and checks to a women’s shelter and a youth club in Miami, Florida.

“The budget for this video was $996,631.90. We gave it all away. Don’t tell the label,” says the message at the start of the video

Before its release, Drake, 31, called the video “the most important thing I have ever done in my career.”

Emotional fans took to Twitter with effusive praise.

“If you’ve seen Drake’s God’s Plan video and it didn’t hit your heart then I just don’t know. That man’s doing it right,” tweeted one man, Michael McGraw.

“Cried reaaaal tears looking at God’s plan music video. it’s a good life,” a user called Janae wrote on Twitter.

Hours later the Grammy-winning singer issued a challenge on his Instagram saying “let’s all watch the world be nice to each other even if it’s for 24 hours.”

God’s Plan has held the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the past three weeks.

Published Date: Feb 18, 2018 13:48 PM | Updated Date: Feb 18, 2018 13:48 PM


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Ram Gopal Varma appears before Hyderabad police in obscenity case filed over God, Sex and Truth


Feb,17 2018 18:22 14 IST

Hyderabad: Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma on Saturday appeared before Hyderabad police in connection with a case of obscenity booked against him for his movie God, Sex and Truth, and also for allegedly insulting the modesty of a woman.

Ram Gopal Varma. Image from Firstpost

Ram Gopal Varma. Image from Firstpost

The filmmaker, whose controversial movie with American adult entertainment star Mia Malkova was released on internet last month, appeared before the officials of Central Crime Station (CCS) in response to the notice served on him.

The police officials questioned him about the allegations made against him by women activists.

On 25 January, a day before the release of the movie, Varma was booked by the CCS. A case under section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 was booked against him for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form.

The filmmaker was also booked under sections 506 and 509 of Indian Penal Code for allegedly making personal comments against women activists during the debate on the movie on some television channels. When activists accused him of promoting obscenity, Varma allegedly offered to make similar movies with them. He has been charged with insulting the modesty of a woman.

The CCS this week issued fresh notice on Varma as he could not appear before the officials earlier.

Women’s organizations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh had staged protest last month demanding ban on the release of the movie on web and Varma’s immediate arrest.

The activists alleged that Varma released the movie on web to avoid the certification by authorities. They said the filmmaker is portraying woman as a sex object and promoting pornography.

Published Date: Feb 17, 2018 18:22 PM | Updated Date: Feb 17, 2018 18:22 PM


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