My first release – Happy Journey in Kerala Cafe

For the first time in my life, a film I made is being released today. A film called Kerala Cafe. A 63 print release in Kerala. 10 directors to share the excitement and anxiety with.

What exactly am I feeling besides the butterflies in my tummy?!!!

The closest approximation I can make is the kind of feeling one has when going to a new school. Remember how you felt odd at this new school but wanted to make friends and be liked? Well I feel the same way.

I am not someone who believes in films made by/for/of the filmmaker. Like in the rasa theory, I crave to know if my work can touch the audience… will it make them smile, worry, twitch their eyebrows, chuckle and make them think?  And this I have been craving for a long time… and now its here, so lets face it with a smile and humility.

My name ‘Anjali’ means offering; and that is exactly what this is. A quirky piece of me to everyone. Happy Journey…

65 thoughts on “My first release – Happy Journey in Kerala Cafe

  1. anjali,

    heard the interview on air this morning . after nylas comment about you i couldnt stop me to to google “anjali menon” and now reached here.

    I love serious movies ,Kerala cafe is one among them. all stories were amazing , for ” happy journy “, a special congratzz & thanks to make jagathi sreekumar a part of it !!

    all the best for ” manjadikuru” (really catching one-line/theme music)
    hopes will be a serious movie

  2. Anjali,
    I simply loved your Happy Journey.I am a businessman in Bangalore .My passion apart from my business is writing and directing Malayalam dramas and have done many.My latest one was a 2 hour drama with 136 actors in it…people from different walks of life,many of them first time actors….4 month old child to 82 year old lady acted in it and was considered a grant success.
    Now I am producing a short film in Tamil(also doing a small role)to encourage some youngsters in a film institute….My next venture would be producing & directing a 45-60 minutes movie.I am looking for one person to do another one hour movie to have an experiment of a two story film…one each before and after the interval…will be discussing with some directors including Martin Prakkatt(Best actor fame).
    Would like to know whether you have an inclination to do it Anjali.
    Anyway,Keep doing good movies…
    We need directors like you
    All the best
    Mathew Mampra

  3. Happy journey was just simple and awesome! Glad to see that Malayalam movies are gaining its momentum. By the way, was it the novel “We the living”, which talks about a girl in Soviet Russia or “Anthem”? I liked it when the girl said ‘its gonna change all our lives’
    Good luck on your future endeavors! 🙂

  4. hi Anjali
    i think ,kerala cafe opened up a lot of discussions.
    Whether it be the raising rate of Suicides causing financial problems,a train tragedy which every body want to forget,sex mafia,a typical NRI feelings,how we deal with age old peoples etc…
    It was really nice and heartening to see a new venture,(which we need to continiue in future)which is passing a lot of messages to a common man .I beleve every creations whether its an MF Hussain PIcture or a nice movie or a satge performance whatvere it be it is sending lot of messages to a viewer.

    I strongly beleive without some sort of conveyance the venture will not be perfect.

    In this context i have to say about “your part” in kerala cafe.HOw unsecure a lady in our society is the core of the issue,which you succeded to convey and i dont think our society will change and its a debatable issue.Any way the way you made it out deserves appreciations.Your charecter selection was awesome.I beleive Mr Jagathy sreekumars selection is the best part above every thing.The way film is progressing the eagerness start with fear and slowly shifting to a lighter sense but the message is conveyed in the same time.

    Waiting to see more creations from you and also waiting to see more ventures like “kerala CAfe”

    Best of Luck and “HAPPY JOURNEY”


  5. Anjali,

    Saw kerala cafe. Happy journey is good. No wi feel like i shoulkd watch manjadikkuru, but dont know how to get it. Waiting for more of these kind from you. All the nest


  6. Dear Anjali
    I becoming a little curious about your Manjadikkuru and Kerala cafe. I am attracted by sincerity of your language in the blog. I will let you know my opinion after seeing the movies. We need more people like you especially in Kerala.
    Best of luck

  7. hi anjali, saw kerala cafe and glad to say happy journey was the best among the lot. the effortless flow was superb. looking forward to your future films.

  8. Hi Anjali…

    congrates frns, realy touching beze inthe day to dat saw lot of incidents but dare to respond…whe it’s come to screen..enjoyed and made me think a lot…once again our pryers and wishes to your future endoveres

  9. A director’s real challenge is, extracting good performances from the cast.You have done it.Crispy and witty writing deserves special mention.Happy journey looks like a simple film among other films in kerala cafe but it made the biggest impact while revising.The only reason why i bought a ticket again to watch kerala cafe,only to watch and enjoy happy journey.All the best.

  10. Thanks a lot for Happy Journey. It was wonderful – my favorite from Kerala Cafe. I hope upcoming artists like you can answer the foreign delegate at IFFK who asked “Where have all the Malayali women directors gone?”. All the best!

  11. seen yr film ,,,,,,
    gr8 and sincere attempt,,,,
    hats off,,,,,,
    concentrate more in timing and thala….
    and the power of silence in between the shots….
    woods r lovely dark and…………………….
    best of luck

  12. I think I am one among the few who guessed the climax of Happy Journey!! (though it is an untold story so far.)

    That is simply b’coz I was forced to make bold attempts (like in the movie) more than once when I had to travel all alone!

  13. Hi,
    Good attempt.We felt it like a real life documentary.we didnt even feel this is a movie and these peoples are actors.Felt like seeing some BBC or Discovery documentaries.Quite Natural.Congrats

  14. ഹായി ചേച്ചി…..
    പ്രായത്തിലുള്ള വെത്യാസം കൊണ്ടെങ്കിലും എനിക്കങ്ങനെ വിളീക്കാം എന്നു കരുതുന്നു….
    ബ്ലോഗ് ഉണ്ടെന്ന് ഒരു അര്‍ടിക്കിളില്‍ കണ്ടു അങ്ങനെ തപ്പിയപ്പോഴാണ് .. കിട്ടിയതു…
    ചേച്ചീടെ കൂടുതല്‍ views, dreams ഒക്കെ കൂടുതല്‍ പങ്കു വെയ്ക്കുമെന്നു പ്രതീക്ഷിക്കുന്നു….
    കൂടുതല്‍ നല്ല സംഭാവനകള്‍… സൃഷ്ടികള്‍ ഒക്കെ സിനിമാലോകത്ത് ചേച്ചീടെ വകയായി ഉണ്ടാകട്ടെ…. എന്നു ആശംസിക്കുന്നു…..

  15. Hi Madam,

    After reading Manorama Interview only i came to knw about your blog.

    Kerala Cafe-yil 3rd price urappanu…Kandu total flim njettichu.

    From manorama Interview :
    Q : Cinemayku pirakil nilkan agrahikunna alodu endinanu “abinayikkan arum shanichille” ennu chodikunathu…

    My Ans : Luk at one nice mirror , you can find a heroine over thr

  16. By Annyan : njettichu…10 pulikalil pu-puli

    By Remo: Nithya menon eni ariyapedunathu Kerala Cafe Fame ennayirikum.

    By Ambi :Onnum parayanilla..i just wana become a director lik u ..

  17. “best among d rest”
    its a real awakening
    continue ur journey happily n confidently as u got d “reel” stuff!!

  18. Hi ! This is Rtn Sayantan Sinha, President 2009 10 Rotary Club of Delhi SM. Professionally, I head a limited pan India organisation with its core competence in Facilities Management group. I look forward to your support to further benevolent causes of Rotary.. I am sure you can contribute by way of your precious time, effort and otherwise.

    Tx, rgds,


  19. Hi Anjali,,

    It was an excellent effort.Missed Manjadikuru during the film festivals. Really hope it will touch theaters.

  20. Watched Kerala Cafe y’day. I guess am a little late already!
    Congratulations to your crew and you, Anjali, for a fabulous work! Your segment was what I liked the best among all 🙂
    Thank you, for the wonderful movie and keep going!

  21. A very nice movie. Enjoyed it a lot. Watched the movie at BGR along with my mother-in-law. She gave a 10/10 for Happy Journey.
    Hope to see more from u

  22. Hi Anjali,
    I saw Kerala Cafe yesterday @ Trissur Jose, A nice film. Your movie was really nice…simple way to put across a nice thought, and u’r film got excellent claps after the movie. Congraax… Two trivial questions, Which was the book the gal read in the bus. and Hw does it feel while directing a veteran actor like Jagathy..

    Also, heard Sagar Shiyas telling about the experiences he had in Manjadikkuru. Waiting to see that.

    1. Thank you Mathew,
      the book was ANTHEM by Ayn Rand – a beautiful “liberation love story” 🙂

      JS Sir is an epitome of professionalism and truly a Director’s Actor. One learns so much even when one is directing him.

  23. Hey Anjali..!!

    Claps, applause and kudos to Happy Journey! The 10-15 minutes was indeed a happy journey! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of your movie, like I enjoyed a few others out of the 10!

    All the best. Looking forward to many more films from you 🙂

  24. actually I was waiting to see your work .I missed Manjadikkuru. you tried to Communicate a powerful message through simple objects which we can identify from our daily life. bridge leads among the 10 in Kerala Cafe as per audience .But I will suggest Happy journey because the director of bridge having lot of objects for communicating his message , he also having a bright canvas supported with terrific out door locations.But in the case of Happy journey the director only having limited objects .So communicating the idea with limited object in convincing and interesting manner is very tough…

  25. hi Anjali..i was reading about the Perumon Tragedy on which “Kerala cafe’s Island express” was based.. and so did the reading of ‘links to links’ bought me to the review of ‘Happy journey’.. As for twitching eyebrows, smiling, worrying.. i guess those endless verbs would have been after i had seen the movie while it’s released in chennai (i hope to..).. As of now from what i have read “happy journey” is the next best to “bridge” among the 10.. Guess that’s indeed a Happy note for you. BTW.. i remember reading in Prithviraj’s orkut comm. that your “Manjadikuru” went on to win a lot of laurels.. May be with your Lucky red seeds (Manjadikuru) which tantamount to your talents, wish u good luck in the years to come.. May be i shud check my old cupboard stacked with old toys to find if i still have my collection of ‘kunnimuthu'(the lucky red seeds as they are called in tamil) if they bring me some good luck ;)..

  26. hai sis,,,,,,it was smthng great…….me in the same college where u did ur graduation…..amoung the ten movies…..ur movie was the 1 which got a big round of applouse…u seriously deserve it…..waiting 4 ur manjadikuruu…….i greatly hpoe that u can bring wide variety of movies.u r absolutely right……short films r the best way to inject a thought…..and they r more than enough……why shud it b draged and simply make a mkt product…………

  27. Excellent Work..! congrats..!This is one of the best in kerala cafe.we are so lucky have an actor like Jagathy. Good start. expecting similiar great filim from you..! full length mainstream movie.. Keep it up. all the best

  28. Hey anjali. Applause for your very own ‘happy journey’ and anwar rasheed’s ‘bridge’. The intricacies, subtleness, and the comic stroke. Awesome. Jagathy only could have done the role so perfectly. 🙂 We need more movies and stories like happy journey and bridge. Truly. Kudos again to the whole happy journey team. 🙂 You are being watched from now on, anjali – the way you made this, the next from you is highly highly awaited. Really. 🙂
    Have a nice day! Great work again.

  29. Hi Anjali,

    Saw Kerala Cafe. Happy Journey is one among my favorite 4, along with Puramkaazhchakal, Bridge and Island Express.

    Coming to Manjadikuru. Only by the closing ceremony of IFFK2008 I realized that I missed out “Manjadikuru”. After that I tried reaching you by emails(which i got from your blog, Manjadikuru) just to know about the release of the movie. Still waiting for that movie.

    Now from the facebook group, got a message about it’s success @ SAIFF 2009.

    Can you tell me when is it getting released in theaters or in DVDs?

    Once again thanks for Happy Journey 🙂


  30. nice!

    i came to your blog through one of flickr link to read story of Manjadikuru (a story which will forever remain in my heart now). Similarly you may have heard of Shabri who collected berries for Lord Rama.

    Would have been great if can see your film


    is that also a film launched?

    nice keep up the good work…
    thank God to make me suddenly see this blog and see good work

  31. Hi Anjali..

    I was finding a way to express my views about having watched your creation “Happy Journey”… Just then got hold of your blog.

    You truely deserve all those good words mentioned here about your work. But, the best thing that I could figure out was the way in which you answered any question that the viewer could have in the script… like,

    1) Why didn’t JK scream when he found out that she is a terrorist?
    Your answer: He was threatened by her not to move

    2) Wasn’t there a break in the journey from Ekm to Calicut?
    Your answer: There was a well crafted halt scene when she asks JK not to leave from his seat.

    Looking forward to your new works.. Do you have anything in the pipeline for us to keep waiting for?

  32. Congrats..!! Liked the movie very well.. It will comes under Top 3 films of Kerala Cafe. Just done some googling about you to appreciate your works. Anyway Thanks for the film and do wait for your future Projects.. Kudos..!!

  33. first i want to say thanks. coz you show us a very beautiful story. nithya’s acting was good. small and simple story. wow. all the best for your next project. i am jishnu a digital film making student form chennai. my home town is in aluva. all the best madam, may you can do better and better than this!

  34. Saw the photo feature on you on sify movies and then some googling got me here. All the best for Kerala Cafe. I will definitely watch it when it comes to Bangalore. Achan and Amma wanted to watch Manjadikuru; do you have a copy in dvd? Will also tell them to catch Kerala Cafe. All the best. (Btw I’m Umesh, Rupesh’s brother if you didnt figure out yet)

  35. Hi, Anjali Menon

    I Really Very Glad to see your DEBUT Film Making..
    Congratulations Ma’am for this Excellent Work
    I Really Expecting More Works from You…

    Bibin Jacob

  36. “A worth watch classic Indeed”
    “A feel of world class Cinema ”
    “A genuine product for its consumers”
    “Utilization of the powerful medium ” -socially relevant
    “gentle and simple response to the critics of malayalam cinema”
    “My heartfelt wishes to Anjali and Team”

  37. My opinion is that it is a gud one, you probably know it from anyone who knew you personally..

    I want to share to you is about a person who was sitting next to me– He was a little old man about 60 yrs old.
    He started saying after the interval-that he liked your concept very much; it is something that is most probable happening these days.

    He continued- that he had a late marriage, he had a single daughter, she is now in 12th,,she had played such tricks on people[i think he referred to jagathi sreekumar character]- he stopped there…talking about that much

    and continued he wished to make her daughter little artistic.Sometimes her daughter says.”she aspired to be a film director sometimes..”

    At the last, he realized that happy journey director was a female…he was surprised..looked even more happy..

    and started saying” she[you] are going break much much barriers.ahead..
    .. ”


  38. I just returned from Kerala Café. Thought of searching some of the directors who contributed to this wonderful piece of work before going to sleep 🙂
    All the movies were exceptional!! One of my favorite being happy Journey !It brought us fear and smile in us simultaneously ! You have done a wonderful job (wonderful seems to be too small word though) in this short film ! Keep making good movies !!

  39. Thank you everyone for the good wishes & encouraging responses 🙂
    @Pradeep ‘yado bhava sthatho rasa’!
    @INetIdentity Thank you for the comments. The Kerala Cafe sequence is actually part of the Happy Journey script as that is the resolution for our protagonist JK.
    Ranjith’s masterly stroke comes after the table shifting when the nervous JK desperately seeks “oru coffee” right at the interval!
    @ Midhu Am glad that you embrace the freshness. Anthem by Ayn Rand if one of my fav books. Its relevance to the film is the fight against stereotypes.

  40. Just reached home after watching Kerala Cafe. What can i say, “the closest approximation i can make is the kind of feeling one has when going out for an early morning walk after a long time, a fresh embrace to my body n soul”..
    Ur segment stood out, especially the way u brought out that fear lurking within all of us and having thoughts that we never even cared to’ve when we seen death rt in front of us.. really gr8, ayn rand ur fav author?

  41. Let me juxtrapose mine and my friends view on this movie –

    He says “One of my top 3 picks from Kerala Cafe…”

    I say “Great start, good builtup till Jagathy starts feeling the bhaya rasa; then for the rest of 4-5 odd mins, a random thought, did the script go a tad bit loose… But all in all a good watch, Ranjith’s masterful connection sequence where Jagahty decides to travel by train and walks away from another one of his ‘small villian’ chances… Do Keep them coming… :-)”

    Btw, thanks to all you guys for making Kerala Cafe it was definitely a novel movie experience… Cheers

  42. Hi Anjali,

    I look forward to watch your. Had read about Manjadikuru, but had to miss it during the film festivals. Really hope it will touch theaters.

    I’m now in Bangalore and it looks like that i need to wait some more time to watch this effort called Kerala Cafe. Anyways, Once i watch I’ll surely tell you whether it made me smile, worry, twitch my eyebrows, chuckle and made me think? will surely post my review at Cinemakazhcha


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