‘M’ Movie Review

“Who knows what it’s like inside me? How it screams and cries out inside me when I have to do it! Don’t want to! Must! And then a voice cries out, and I can’t listen anymore. Help I can’t , I can’t!”

‘M’ is a 1931 German Movie directed by Fritz Lang in Nazi Germany. The movie revolves around a psychopath who kidnaps children and murders them. It is considered as a classic in world cinema and the best movie directed by Fritz Lang. This is Lang’s first sound movie and he uses sound only where it is needed unlike many of his contemporaries who thought that the characters needed to talk all the time when the movies took that gigantic leap from silence to talkies.

Courtesy: You Tube

A number of children are kidnapped and murdered in the city of Berlin. The police force is under tremendous pressure from the press, the government and society as a whole to nab the killer. The killer leaves no trace. As a desperate measure the city police unleashes the entire force under its disposal on a manhunt. This leaves its impact on the criminal underworld whose nefarious activities come to a halt due to constant police patrolling and increased vigilantism.

The underworld decides to pursue the killer on its own through their well formed network. Information is passed on to the beggars in the city to keep an eye on anything suspicious. A blind begger identifies the killer while he was preying on his next victim. The killer escapes the pursuit and takes shelter in a building.

Fritz Lang tells the story in such a way that both police & underworld are on the trail of the killer and ultimately the underworld gets the killer first. The killer is subject to a sort of Kangaroo court hearing of the underworld. The underworld has its own court, judge, prosecutor and defense counsel and its own principles. Majority of them want the killer to be sentenced to death while the defense counsel pleads for his release because the accused is mentally unwell and needs medical attention. The killer presents his side of the story by saying that something inside him forces him to do the killings and he cannot help it.

Peter Lorre did a clean act as the murderer, ably supported by Otto Wernicke as Inspector Lohmann, Gustaf Grundgens and an whole bunch of excellent actors.

The script written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou is excellent. Fritz Lang knows how to tell the story. See how brilliantly he has pitted the psychopath between the underworld and the police. The director manages to get into the psyche of the serial killer as well as the underworld criminals and poses the question of morality, whether the criminals have any right to try the murderer who is mentally sick. The theme is relevant even today and has a universal appeal. The shots are brilliant and the camera work by Fritz Arno Wagner is top class which could give todays movie makers a run for the money.

All in all the movie stands tall even after 89 years of its release, not only as a pioneer in serial killer genre but for the brilliance of the director who could pull it off with limited technology available during the era.

Rating:4/5

Anjam Pathira- Movie review- Definitely not a thriller

Anjam Pathira (Fifth Midnight), directed by Midhun Manuel Thomas is a Malayalam crime movie. Police men gets killed in the city of Kochi, which prompts the investigation team to believe that a serial killer is on the run. The police is clueless regarding the death of their colleagues. Investigation is led by a lady officer Catherine Maria (Unnimaya Prasad) and the team, which includes ACP Anil Madhavan (Jinu Joseph) and a psychologist Anwar Hussain( Kunchacko Boban), is all at dark when police men, one after another gets killed. The only clue left behind by the murderer is the statue of neethi devatha (goddess of justice)

The story takes you through the various hurdles the investigation team meets on the trail of the killer. The killer is always one step ahead. Various plots and sub plots later you reach the real culprit. But the story loses the steam well before the climax.

This is not the edge of the thriller, as many are touting it to be. Although the movie keeps you interested upto a point but it does not get into you. There are many holes in the script. It was interesting to note that why the question of only the police men gets killed never seriously crossed the minds of the investigating team. It is also hard to believe that a criminal psychologist was involved in the entire investigation and he leads you to the real culprit ( Yeah, the super hero always does it single-handedly! Do not blame the director, blame it on the star system ingrained in your subconscious) . The body exchange of the Christian priest with a convict, that too in a jail is hard to believe. The director, who also wrote the script, did not have a grip on the entire plot is evedient from these faux pas.

The criminal investigation thrillers should able to hitch you slowly and keep the viewer guessing. The plot is not new, as we have seen or heard this story line multiple times. The treatment is also not new. So what is the director offering new keeps popping up in your mind especially if you are watching the movie after reading the reviews and all that hype and hoopla.

The cinematography by Shaiju Khalid, is good, but again not great as being claimed by many. The background music is some time jarring. in the acting deparment, Kunchacko Boban, Unnimaya, and Sreenath bhasi are good (Again not great), while Ramya Nambeesan is totally wasted as the wife of the psychologist. Indrans showed the range of the actor in the brief role assigned to him, especially with that chilling smile. Sharaf U dheen could not measure up to the role essayed to him, same goes for Jinu Joseph.

The climax is a dampner. The climax plays an important part in any crime thriller. It is appreciable that the director Midhun Manuel Thomas , who is mainly known for his comic flicks has dared to change the track. All in all it is a watchable movie but not a great thriller.

Rating:3/5

Director & Writer: Midhun Manuel Thomas

Cinematorgraphy: Shyju Khalid

Producer: Ashiq Usman

Picture: Courtesy Google

Video Clip: Courtesy You tube