Notebook: ‘Not book,’ puhlease…..

Releasing after a long wait, the much-hyped movie Notebook was struck down by the combination of a senseless script and green narrative style. The long delay and the furphies knitted about its making seemed to have taken its toll on the movie. Indeed, the director had a lot to speak to the audience, but the movie turned out to be a failure yet brave try by Rosshan Andrrews. It was so bad for Andrrews that Notebook got compared a lot with Udayananu Tharam, his successful debut film and Classmates, by Lal Jose.


Notebook is about three young girls studying for Plus Two. Amiable yet sober predilections, dissensions, and general similitude make the audience whiff an aroma of the bond amongst the three. The story takes a turn when one of the girls is popped the question by a young bloke of the same batch. Girl chums keep the boy in check for sometime and finally help the young couple spud love. An increased count of amative dialogues reflects a 16 year-old’s love, but the expressions of the hero helped only to deceive his words. So much so that the lover girl ends up with a bun in the oven. The theme is based on the activities and incidents that happen thereafter.


The hero, Sooraj reminded the viewer every now and then that he is a cub, thanks to his fragile acting. The young girls did well, especially Roma and Parvathy in each and every scene with so much panache and competency. The music director of the movie Mejo Joseph did better in his short yet captivating stint on the screen than what he could manage with the tunes. The school principal was immaculate and gripping. When the film could have been contrived in a better way, the director found only private womanly matters to make it peppy in the beginning, only to abase a major portion of family viewers. The film turns technical with the introduction of pregnancy test kit and ways of abortion, and the successive endeavors of the girls are enough to make the viewers oscitant from then.


The movie wanted to communicate so many things simultaneously, yet could come up with only a few, thus not living up to its propaedeutic strains. Scuttle scenes in the second half, expressions of the parents of the girls, the lives of the girl pals after the set of incidents and the anonymous letter in the end did not seem to have any connection with the story till then. Andrrews says Notebook is about the love and understanding that should arise between parents and children; but one would wonder how he passed on that message in the movie. No great scenes to relic when you leave the theatre, suggesting Notebook failed to infuse the intended inputs. The producer of the movie, PV Gangadharan and Andrrews deserve a lot of applause for the intrepid attempt in putting up such an experimentation with youngsters, thumbs down to the script writers Bobby and Sanjay though. To sum up, (do) ‘not book’ Notebook expecting much from the skites about the budget and efforts put in to the making of this film; there isn’t much in it. The good old movie Daisy stands way above this one in content and treatment. I would give Notebook only 4 out of 10.


PS:- This is the first movie I ever saw on the release date itself! πŸ˜€

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36 responses to Notebook: ‘Not book,’ puhlease…..

  1. Re: Sunil Parmar

    πŸ™‚ Not a planned hibernation period! Just that I took leave from blogging, due to workload and unavailability of blogs in office! πŸ˜‰

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  2. PS:- This is the first movie I ever saw on the release date itself! πŸ˜€

    ::))

    likrd that part in the post.
    The post as usual well written, definite words used, with a proper
    alignment.

    the post is definitely deserves more than four out of ten.

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  3. Hey Sree,

    I knew this movie wont be a success. It may have been badly scripted or directed perhaps, but above all the Malayalam film industry is in too much of a star power crisis, for this sort of movie with newcomers to succeed.

    Nice Review..

    With Best Regards,
    Srijith.

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  4. hmm..nice review. πŸ™‚
    Many of the indian movie makers fail to deliver the actual joy of the highschool life as they get drifted away with other (not real) stuff’s. And you have beautifully underlined that πŸ™‚

    I only said nice review.. πŸ˜‰ I dnt think i wud like tha movie anyway!
    πŸ™‚

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  5. SriJ: I remember a tamil movie ” paneer pushpangal” wich came out 10-15 years back. The same old school love story.

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  6. Re: Passerby55

    Really PB! This is the first I saw on the release date. A kinda frustration resulted in the naming of this post too! πŸ˜‰

    Glad you liked the post! πŸ™‚

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  7. Re: Srijith Unni

    Yes, but I saw two out of the three girls performing extremely well. The director tried too much and may be that resulted in my disliking of the movie! πŸ™‚ Sad you to know you are deprived of access to Blogger from office.. 😦

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  8. Re: Marutham

    Thanks a lot Marutham. Moviemakers fail to recognise the feel of highschool life – YES!!!! As a result, no great scenes to remeber when you leave your seats!

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  9. Well..havent see this.. But have heard mixed reviews.. Seems the story is in similar lines to ‘Daisy’ except for this pregnancy part..

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  10. Re: Samuru999

    Thanks a lot Margie.. I am good… Yes, busy a lot! Plus no access to Blogger from office! πŸ˜‰ Hope you are all fine…

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  11. Re: Ajith

    Yes, mixed reviews coming… Some directors go on to say this is the best movie ever made! πŸ™‚ All sorts of claims. Some of my friedns liked it, though I didn’t.

    Unlike Daisy this one… Just that it is also a school story. The hero doesn’t have much importance here…

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  12. First day…first show aairynuo? must have been an effort getting it for the first day rite..since u do not have the reviews on at that time…n then have such a show must have been quite a thing!

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  13. Re: Seema

    Yes, it was the show on the first day. But I went for the second show. That in fact is also the first ever second show I am going!!!!!!!!!! Tcikets were available then… No big rush, but good capacity still..

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  14. man !

    u have gone a long way !
    congrats.

    i can’t believe sreejith in front of counter for the 1st day 1st show, from hte one who went for his first ever show recently !

    Keep going.
    πŸ˜€

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  15. Re: Intruder

    Hahhahahahaha! True, very true!

    I badly wanted to see that movie and I went for it with my roommates on the very first day. And that too for the second show! Quite an experience!!!! LOL

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  16. Displaced_mallu

    I havent seen a worser review in ages..I have watched both the lovedale movies Daisy(back in th e90s on TV) and now Notebook over th e internet!Daisy cant hold a twopence to Notebook..all the descriptions you said are about Daisy andnot abt Notebook.Prathap Pothen was not in his mind when he shot Daisy the only saving grace is the songs.Notebook is a highly realistic film which conveyed many things in multiple dimensions.The main points being
    1)How the good-for-nothing piano player came up in life- dont judge plp by their acads alone
    2)the value of friendship and also its sideeffects.
    3)how anyone can fail a friend given the circumstance(Poojas betrayal) and eventually that frriendship (esp teh one we form from childhood lasts forever)
    is above all- that we can forgive any offence if we truly loved.
    4)the repentance of the lover Sooraj..the statement-“God expects onlky this much from a 23 yr old”
    5)how the ggirls father acutually forgave Soorj knowing fully well that he was the cause- a lesson to forgive others
    In short to a keen film watcher who is used to watching good films and can critically extract what the director/script writer is trying to see..for him this was s treat.I suggest you see some movies by TV Chandran (Adoor etc. can be watched later on). or even most Sreenivasan films and try to understand what the director is trying to convey thru each scene and shot.
    I havent seen in more recent times a better characterised film (a distinct characterisation and )
    maybe you did not understand that tthe lover fellas(sooraj’s) acting was purposely kept low ..that is what you call a balance of characterisation to highlight other things. In this film note that as in all good films there are no heros and no heroines but everyone has herioic and villanous qualities..the mark of good character building.
    I can go on..but I am totally disappointed by your reivew.I would suggest you study cinema more keenly and seriously as another art form

    displaced_mallu

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  17. Re: Displaced_MalluHmmm…. strong words…. I accept your words and respect your thoughts. At first I thought you were Rosshan Andrrews himself, because of the mention of the detailed breakdowns of the scenes and the implications of it. In that respect, each and every movie could be justified. Thandavam, Immini Nalloral etc are also Malayalam films which could be heralded for the geniune approach of the director, if that is the case! Take an instance of Immini Nalloral. It is about a person who is an ardent fan of a movie actress’. He is also a crazy person. He kidnaps the actress from a shooting location and takes her to a jungle. Finally, after realising that she will never love him, he decides to let her go. By then a kind of ‘Stockholm syndrome’ develops in the actress and she starts loving her kidnapper. Finally they unite and marry. This is the theme of the story. Did you ever think what all were the intentions of the director? πŸ™‚ There are many people who desire fame and celebrities. The director could tell that. A man may do anything to get a lady trapped into his love. The director could tell that. A woman, however freely mingling she might be, do not like alien circumstances and the company of a stranger. The director could tell that. A woman, however resistant she is to a stranger the first time, may surrender to the love of that person. The director could tell that also. Despite all these, the movie turned out to be a disaster. Why? Actor Jayasurya did too much. The cast was poor. The situations were bad. Expressions deceived the words and situations. Result? A disaster. I don’t know whether that was a hit or not, but to me it is an ugly film! πŸ™‚ I only wanted to tell you with this example that, you can hail a movie as great citing things from here and there. But a movie is an overall package. I said I liked the two girls Roma and Parvathy. I liked the person who acted as the school principal. I liked Mejo. I gave appreciations to Andrrews and Gangadharan. But the movie, to me, collapsed! I can say only ‘to me’ because, this write-up is not the result of a survey or audience poll, but my personal review.Coming back to your points… How can you say that the hero was toned down purposefully? :-)) No director would think like that. He would always want to extract the best out of each and every object he is filming…. Otherwise, he is not a good director. Poor comments about the piano player. It is not necessary that such a person would come up as a hero. Agreed, it can happen and has happened. But that doesn’t make any great impact as far as the theme of the movie is considered and that point is not at all making any plusses or greatness to the movie. The value of friendship is not coming out from the movie. The movie speaks about the honesty of one girl, the evasive nature and prick of conscience of one girl and the helplessness of a third girl. These are some qualities and defects of their minds and has nothing to do with their friendship. If you remember, in the beginning when the piano player tries to jump down from the top of the building, one girl decides to support him, even though there was some discouragement from the so called friendship gang. There is no such aspect like friendship in the movie, other than the image of planting a sapling in the beginning and a small gathering by it in the end. The repentance of the hero doesn’t affect the story man! It is of zilch importance. Also, please remember that the hero came to know about the incidents that happened in his lover’s life only at a later time. Repentance would have made sense had this man was informed of pregnancy and that he had rejected to marry the girl then. Also, the behaviour of the hero was like, he was not at all bothered about what could happen to his lover after the ‘incident’. No lover in this world behaves like that! He would at least ask her ‘Is everything okay?’ πŸ™‚ That was a poor thought by the director. Do you mean to say that the behaviour of the girl’s father was apt???? I would kill such a father!!!!!!!I don’t need anybody to instruct me to watch TV or Adoor. Plus, there are more good directors around. Let me tell you one more thing; TV or Adoor will never take films such as Notebook. If you have seen their films, you wouldn’t have left that remark! About trying to know what the director means through his films >>> It is something you should get from the film automatically as watching it, and should not be the result of a deep thought after seeing the film! The director needs to instill such thoughts into you! If you like to show an example of all the aspects of a person (good and bad) infused into a character, then the actors and actresses in Notebook should not be the examples. You can point to the characters in Balachandra Menon’s ‘Ammayane Sathyam’ to let people understand better.Sad that I disappointed you. Thanks for the advice…. :-))

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  18. The mistake Roshan Andrews committed is, he tried to give unfathomable meanings to the movie. Like Siddique- Lal do, he should have been bold enough to state that the movie is a pure entertainer. We actually do not know if he actually intended to convey any message to the public who spend money to have some fun. Even if he had tried to do so, on hindsight he should have been slightly smarter to realize how it has turned out.The final question is, why should there be always a message with the movie?One advice to you as well (I hope u dont mind :)): Looking at all the prerelease gimmicks to popularize the movie, one cannot estimate how good is it, or never judge the book by its cover πŸ™‚ This is very true in case of mallu movies. Not many movies have been able to live up to the hype it created pre release. I can name a few like Dubai, Praja, Daya, Rasikan,Vellithira and the list goes on and on and on.

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  19. Re: Sreejith NarayanIt is not necessary that all movies convey some message. Movies can be made for the purpose of entertainment only. But then this one boasted of having some fantastic messages in it, only to disappoint many.No problems! I am ready to heed to advices! πŸ˜‰This was not judging the book by the cover. This movie had a lot to expect. First of all, all new cast. Then, this came from Andrrews who had a successful debut. The budget was only an added attraction. You always expect very good movies from directors who have made the some hits…. πŸ™‚

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