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MEMORIES (2013 - Malayalam) : A decent 'Who Dun It' crime thriller with a gripping second half. (Review By Bobby Sing)

23 Jun, 2014 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases

Memories - Malayalam

Having a keen interest in murder mysteries, I just discovered that where Hindi Cinema has evidently kept a deliberate distance from this particular genre in the recent times, there our South Cinema has constantly delivered quite a few ‘Who Dunit’ movies, especially in the Malayalam Cinema. And MEMORIES, written and directed by Jeethu Joseph is certainly one of those decent attempts in this genre which does have a better second half as essentially required by such crime investigative thrillers talking about a psycho killer.
Based on the case of a series of murders following an exactly similar pattern, the film actually works because of a convincing story progression, well-crafted by the director post its initial hour. It begins introducing its various characters, their backgrounds and the strange murders at a quite slower pace. But once the senior police officer calls in a drunkard ex-cop Sam Alex to investigate the case as per his proven instincts, the film turns into a top-notch investigative thriller superbly and has another great twist thrown in before its revealing climax. Besides its impressive amalgamation of love, passion, jealousy, religion, human psychology and a subtle touch of humour too further adds a lot to its overall impact, impressively.
As the downers, yes the melodrama looks like a clichéd one taking much time in the script in its initial moments and the culmination also could have been much more intense and involving as I personally felt. Plus writer-director Jeethu Joseph does take some clear inspirations from the world cinema, such as some parts of his basic plot and few scenes from French movie THE CRIMSON RIVERS (2000), the climax punch from KISS THE GIRLS (1997) and the hanging styles from OUR TOWN (2007 - Korea) specifically.
Still the positive point here remains that one cannot simply ridicule the film due to all these unofficially borrowed scenes at all, since the director does come up with a highly appreciable script of his own, including these partial influences quite intelligently (breaking the set pattern of just making a silly blind copy). So to give him the much deserving due, this is a perfect example of how inspirations need to be incorporated as mere inspirations only and not an easy way of copying the exact sources. For instance, there is a particular scene in MEMORIES when Prithvi finds the culprit face to face, runs after him for a long distance but then fails to lay a hand on him (running just a few feet away) due to his own physical disability caused by the over-drinking. Now though this scene is directly taken from THE CRIMSON RIVERS but the way Jeethu includes it in the film with reference to his drunkard character, simply takes the execution to a much higher level than the original source comparatively.
Therefore despite the borrowed influences, the credit needs to be given to the talented writer-director unarguably, for delivering a decent, quality thriller with a gripping script, innovative editing (with superb animated scene transformations), great cinematography, soothing music and an apt background score along with a praiseworthy lead performance by Prithvi, who thankfully doesn’t have any over the top, superhero powers to display.
To sum up, if you love watching tense, detective movies investigating about a wicked, serial killer roaming freely, then do watch MEMORIES as a must since the film is capable enough to serve your greedy grey cells with a fine suspense.
Rating : 3.5 / 5

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23 Jun 2014 / Comment ( 2 )
Crimson rivers and its individual sequel Angels of the apocalypse are the primary inspiration for memories. There are many scenes from Crimson rivers ripped for the malayalam film version.
Bobby Sing

Dear James,
Its seems that the comment was posted without even reading the content written here giving the exact references of inspirations.
So I would like to request that please do find some time to read the complete review too in details.


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