Hello Hello this is turning out to be a stunning weekend with the second Malayalam film releasing on OTT! After the magnificent Pada which I witnessed on Amazon Prime, I got a chance to watch the much awaited Malayalam film Bheeshma Parvam which is now streaming on Hotstar. One of the rare Malayalam films in the commercial space, the film had a historic theatrical run where I heard a lot of praises for the film. I will also let you in on a secret. If you have been following our Youtube Channel by the name Popcorn Reviewss you would know that Sadiq and I have been regularly reviewing stuff. And we had recorded our reaction to the teaser of Bheeshma Parvam which never made it to our channel due to technical difficulties. But I was totally blown away by the BGM in the teaser which had heightened my curiosity to watch this film at the earliest. And I finally have, is Bheeshma Parvam worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Bheeshma Parvam is a gangster drama which follows the norms of the Anjootti family headed by Michael. The story is cerebral and layered and a welcome rendition of The Godfather. This is the skill that the writers of the Malayalam Film Industry possess. If Pada was a twisted rendition on Dog Day Afternoon then this is a layered rendition(and not adaptation) of The Godfather. And if I were to draw parallels from last year, it was Nayattu and Malik in 2021 as opposed to Pada and Bheeshma Parvam here. The screenplay is convoluted and requires every bit of your undivided attention especially in the first hour. You need to pay attention to the characters and keep pace with the proceedings because there are no easy answers here which are spoon fed. You need to form a family tree of the Anjootti family to understand the relations between the characters.
Once you are past that, you will be much more comfortable with following the proceedings. The twists and turns are engaging with an undercurrent of tension which is simmering. Make no mistake, the drama is a slow burn with multiple subplots which will add to the ambience of the film. This leads to a jaw dropping twist and this is when all hell breaks loose culminating into a terrific and stunning final act. The screenplay here must be applauded for its brilliance in creating a world which is convoluted yet the atmospherics make you want to explore it more. Outstanding as always!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational yet also massy in parts and they leave you asking for more. The impact of the lines is absolutely brilliant which honestly was required in a film like this! The music is one of the heroes of the film. Some may say that the songs do break the flow of the drama here. But instead if you look closely, it adds to the empathy of the characters with what happens next. The BGM is fire babyyyy! One of the best background scores of the year that I have been listening on loop and that man Sushin Shyam must be applauded. The use of rock and techno was a refreshing idea that just gives the movie a different flavour. The cinematography and action set pieces are phenomenal and one reason why Malayalam cinema scores is the attention to these technical aspects! Director Amal Neerad does a spectacular job. If ever there is a way to nail commercial entertainers then you have to watch this film and study it. Neither does the director leave any loose ends nor does he let go of his tight grip. And needless to say that the he doesn’t take the intelligence of the audience for granted! The direction is outstanding.
The acting unit comprises of some of the biggest names in Malayalam cinema and they are fabulous to watch. One thing to note is how good some of the female characters are wriiten in Malayalam films and Bheeshma Parvam is no different. Amala Rose Kurian as Stephe and Dhanya Ananya as Elsa have their moments to shine. As do Maala Parvathi as Molly, Anasuya Bharadwaj as Alice and Veena Nandakumar as Jessy who are spectacular. Harish Uthaman as Martin is absolutely first rate. Sudev Nair as Rajan is wonderfully measured here. Lena as Susan and Srinda as Rasiya really make their presence felt. Anagha as Rachel looks stunning and does an equally stunning job. Jinu Joseph as Fr Simon and Farhaan Faasil as Paul are brilliant to the T. Dileesh Pothan who is on a bit of a roll with two great roles(see what I did there?😅) as James is again very understated and excellent. Shine Tom Chacko is an underrated actor and he brings all his measured madness into play here as Peter. Simply outstanding. Nadhiya Moidu as Fathima is an important cog and she is pretty good. Sreenath Bhasi as Ami is quite charming and yet equally brilliant in dramatic sequences. I have been a fan of Soubin Shahir since quite sometime now. This has got to do with his impeccable range as an actor – from comedy to pure drama to even action, the man can pull off any character. And he is one of my favourite characters here – Ajas. He lives every bit of it almost starting off as a quiet and collected Al Pacino in The Godfather to a deadly killing machine by the end of it. Absolutely magnificent. And there is a reason why Mammootty is a big superstar. Even at 70, he can serious perform stunts and also have this towering and magnetic presence onscreen, mouthibg some brilliant lines effortlessly. He is simply outstanding and the soul of Bheeshma Parvam.
Bheeshma Parvam is a gangster drama for the ages. Absolutely Brilliance Personified! Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Highly Highly Recommended!