Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Under The Spot Light: Venpa

Today marks the very first time I am writing a film review for a Malaysian Film. Venpa is not your ordinary feature film. It is a film of a run time of about 50 to 55 minutes. Therefore it is neither a short film or a full feature film, I would rather classify the film as a short feature film. I had the privilege of attending the one time special screening of Venpa at Federal Theater on Monday the 6th of February and thus here am I writing this film review

Below is the link to Venpa. I leave up to you if you want to watch the film first before you read my review, or you want to read my review first before watching the film

Link To Venpa Film

Story Review

If I could summarize Venpa in 3 words I would call it "A Beautiful Poem". The movie taps into the theme of "Your Unproposed 1st Love". Thenavan is our hero of the film, meets Kalyani who is under distress due to certain events in a public area. He reaches to her aid and from here we can notice they both no each other, but although Thenavan approaches her gently, she seems to shun him away as if she hates him and we don't know why

He than goes on to help her settle her issues and we can see clearly he is mesmerize by her and yet again we see Kalyani keeping Thenavan at a distance. As they are about to part ways, Thenavan ask's Kalyani for a coffee date, which she reluctantly agrees after a little persuading from Thenavan

Here it is revealed that both Thenavan and Kalyani knew each other from their schooling days and Kalyani is a couple of years younger to him. We are than brought back in time through a sequences of flashback scenes about their schooling days and the events that lead to why Thenavan is all friendly and warm to Kalyani but she is the opposite to him

In a nutshell, it was love at first sight for Thenavan on Kalyani and due to a series of events Thenavan was not able to propose to Kalyani and she ends up being together with a senior of theirs. We are than brought to present time back to the coffee shop and the sequence of events after that leads to an unexpected end to the film

I have tried my best not reveal as much magic of the film here as I strongly believe you should watch this film and travel with it to feel it's magic.

So much of memories ran through my mind during the film. It brought back beautiful memories of my very own first unproposed love in my university days. You made me feel like contacting her and apologizing to her and telling her I loved her in the past. Hats of Venpa for bringing that connection
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Director Review
Kavi Nanthan

To the local short film fans, Kavi Nathan is a well know figure. I personally have not watched any of his past work and Venpa is the very first film of Kavi I am watching and that was a privilege indeed. The success of Venpa can be attributed to 3 factors and the first factor is Kavi's screenplay

It is not easy to do a 50 minute film which brings you through an emotional travel. To do a travel in a film, you need to have built and an proper end, and to do all of those in 50 minutes and keep it so engaging, so realistic and beautiful deserves a ton of praises

The film was very well edited in the sense that as you watch the film it brings you to flashback and there is couple of scenes which moves front and back in the timeline, but due to excellent editing, it was so easy on the eye to watch and follow.

I loved the whole theme of "Unproposed 1st Love" because I believe it is something that nearly everyone who will watch Venpa, would have had such experience in their life and that makes it all the more easier to connect with Venpa on an emotional and intellect level.

Kavi, your dialogues were a highlight for the film too. It was so meaningful yet so light to be understood. My particular favorite was the part where Thenavan says he LOVED Kalyani. I think we all were expecting him to say I Love You, but saying he LOVED her carried so much more meaning to the film and added a lot of value to it.

My one and only request to you Kavi is to convert Venpa into a full feature film length. They way you ended the film gives you lots of scope to explore if you are going to make a full feature film, especially Shiela's character. I am looking forward for Venpa The Movie

Rating: 4.4/5.0  
The Cast
Yuvaraj @ Thenavan

Yuvaraj a.k.a Thenavan is the second factor to the success of Venpa. The boy has immense talent and this is just a pinch of his capabilities. The character of Thenavan is not an easy character to play as he has certain turmoils happening in his mind as he meeting Kalyani.

He needs to suppress the internal conflict enough to show Kalyani he is calm and collected but express it just enough to let the audience know there is something running in his mind, That is no easy task and he executed it very well.

My favorite scene of Thenavan was the flashback scene at the mamak shop when he speaks to Sathya Abang. Watch his eyes closely during those scenes and you will notice how the emotions in his eyes changes when Satya Abang tells him something and yet he is forced to maintain a smiling face and be excited yet his eyes carried a lot of pain. That scene shows you the brilliance of Yuvaraj and the Malaysian Local Industry has now found a new hero in him

On a note of improvement, the scene which he teared didn't really convince me it was a genuine tear and that is something he can work on future films. The future is bright for this lad.
 Rating: 4.3/5.0

Agalyah Maniam @ Kalyani


Agalyah a.k.a Kalyani plays a very pivotal role in the film. She is displayed as a very serious
women and a lady of few words. At all points of the film she is shown to be someone who is not drawn to Thenavan. Given a chance she would have avoided him completely but due to the circumstances she had to speak to him.

Her individual smiling shots was absolutely beautiful and it was a huge treat to those watching her on the big screen. I primarily enjoyed her scene right after the flashback whereby there is a huge emotional change on her face towards Thenavan.

Again she will turn out to be a new gem in the Local Film Industry sooner or later
 Rating: 3.8/5.0

Santeini @ Shiela & Thevaguru Suppiah @ Sathya Bang

Another character who deserves to be mentioned here is Santeini who played the role of Shiela. She is without a doubt my favorite character of the film. I think he character was so beautiful crafted and design by the director yet so underplayed due to the short length of the film. If the film were to develop into a full feature film length, I would love to see more of her character on the screen as I find her so mature and intellectual. In fact if you watch the film closely, you will notice that it is because of Sheila that makes the whole ball rolling for Venpa.

Lastly not to forget Thevaguru Suppiah who plays the role of Satya Bang. This character will remind you of your actual high school senior or university senior. Someone who you speak of with so much of respect, someone who you wouldn't mind doing anything for because they mean alot to you. The role he played reminded me of my Segi University seniors.

He played his character with so much ease and calmness and perhaps he most the most natural actor among the four. Satya Bang is another character with so much more scope to explore shall Venpa be made in a full feature film. Director Kavi holds him in very high regards and I can't wait to see him in more future films

 Rating: 4.0/5.0
The Music
Varmman Elangkovan

When I first heard the song from Venpa, it did not create any magic in me. I felt the song was Ok, nice to listen but I wasn't "wow" by it. To me it was average at best.

But when I saw the screening of the film, the music in the 3rd big factor is making Venpa a success. Hearing the song with the visuals and the timing was simply amazing. The background music at parts of the film were so well placed and so beautiful tuned. It was MAGICAL.

To express an emotion well to the audience, the performance of the cast alone is not enough. You need a beautiful bgm to help it reach to the audience and Venpa had that magic. That is why I truly believe Venpa will be a huge success among it's audience.

Now I am totally in love with both the songs in the film. That is what movie magic is all about

 Rating: 4.7/5.0

Final Verdict: Venpa will take you through a magical journey and remind you of your first unproposed love

Final Rating: 4.3/5.0

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