Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  V_S on Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:03 pm

Of course. Evening veettukku pOnathum upload paNNidrEn.

Sorry you hear you lost your collection. Please let me know, I will share whatever I have.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  V_S on Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:42 am

plum,
Here it is:
http://www.mediafire.com/?scctbd3l1066a8n

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:17 pm

uNaroo

Manirathnam's hire-job in Malayalam. Sorry, after a careful second view, this is the best I can explain this movie.

Make no mistake, the film has everything going for it - a virtual bonanza of a cast of a bunch of solid actors, most of whom were either at the peak of their stardom(Ratheesh and Sukumaran, the late father of current stars Prithviraj and Indrajeeth) or in the first phase of fulfilling promise(Lalettan) or solid veteran performers(Balan K Nair, Prathap Chandran); a sea breeze of a score from Raja; a solid story and screenplay, which is not a surprise since those times were times of glory for the Malayalam screenwriter.

And an absolutely stunning-looking Unni Mary @ Deepa.(Ok, she doesnt have a big role, and I just got carried away. I have never considered her stunningly beautiful but even in his second film, Mani showed he can make anyone look beautiful, which is not surprising to us late 80s followers of Mani, who now know that Mani can make even Nirosha look beautiful).

In this story of the impact of Trade Unionism, gherao politics and the treachery of political parties to the cause of socialism, Mani manages to touch every cliche, albeit with signature stylish flourishes:

Two friends, one a principled do-gooder, the other drifting into aimless politics and becoming a hired goonda for politicians and union leaders, before a shocking incident makes him join the forces of working class - Check

Exploitative union leaders and a thulaabaram style killing of the righteous do-gooder leader among them - Check

Romance between the Do-gooder friend's sister and his friend, the hired goonda - Check

A corny climax with worker power overwhelming the party and union forces - Check

The last two are important - for you can see the genesis of two of his later movies here:
1. The romance between Murali and Sarathbabu's sister in Pagal Nilavu is picked up from this knot. What's more, Ratheesh, who plays Sarath's role here, is also named Peter, the same as Sarath's character in Pagal Nilavu. As in Pagal Nilavu, the unexpected tragedy of Ratheesh pushes Lal towards the cause of the workers, on whose side the heroine is. Revathy there. Sabitha Anand here. We know Sabitha as the glycerine-lady of 90s and 00s in Tamil filmdom. Here, she is the love interest of the hero, and while not a stunning beauty, she shows enough acting chops to give the role a dignity and loveability.

2. The climax of young, educated youth inspiring the older workforce to rebel against the exploitative "rich men" and their pigeon-stools of union leaders - the progression, sequencing and execution is the precursor to Aaydha Ezhuthtu's Surya-AjayDevgan knot.


Make no mistake - this is an interesting movie for it traces the genesis of the small beginnings of a Union, the way even well-meaning idealistic leaders like the character of Sukumaran here, a lawyer who helps the sea-side fishermen form a union to pressure the port trust into giving them a job as the trust has taken over the sea-front, thus depriving their livelihood. His transformation into a power-hungry leader, who abandons the very force of his genesis, the workers, gradually, is well captured here. Sukumaran, an interesting actor in all the movies I have seen of him, brings brilliant nuances to his expressions. With those genes, no wonder Prithivraj and Indrajeeth both are reliable actors

But the problem is Mani ticks another cliche here and shows their lair like a typical movie with the liquor cabinet, and all that a typical villain would do. Thankfully, he is not KS Ravikumar and we don't have a rape scene.


But this is Malayalam so the performers help you overlook all the flaws and make it a believable and watchable tale of a fishermen-neighbourhood disturbed by the port-trust taking it over, and the trials and tribulations they face as they are let down by the forces that they trust to help them, one after another, before the corny climax I mentioned has the youth showing how proper revolution is done to all the oldies, whole of Kerala and us. (Sadly, that happens only in fillums ofcourse. That too films not made by the realistic, and more nuanced and intelligent film-makers of Malayalam)

Mani, being Mani, racks up a few interesting moments and that's what makes the movie a watchable one, and prevents me from writing it off.
- When the newly formed union manages to successfully negotiate 7 jobs for fishermen in the port trust, they choose the 7 by lots. We see this through the eyes of the family of veteran Balan K Nair, who has a big family to feed. He gets left out in the lots, and we see him confronting the leader angrily. Ratheesh, the leader who considers Lal a dear friend, tries to defend it. Meanwhile, Mohanlal, a Hindu orphan who only recently came to this christian neighbourhood, gets a job-token, and the community angrily debates this. Even before this, Lal has observed the family's distress and volunteered the token to Nair's wife. Watch the reactions of Nair, Ratheesh and Lal himself as they elevate the scene brilliantly as Nair apologises to Lalettan for his hasty reaction, out of the pressure of hopelessness ahead.

2. They have only been made temporary workers, but it changes the mindset of the 7 families who got the job, and we get a rather cliched, but again well-executed(thanks to the actors) scene of Nair's family revelling in its new found (relative) affluence and refusing to share it with Unni Mary who asks for a measly 10 rs loan for essentials. Unni Mary leaves the house sighing wistfully at the talcum powder and other exotica that the family have bought with the money that they cannot spare.
(An aside here: Deepa is so lovely here, that I found myself wondering how the hell can they refuse HER , and Mani cheekily has Nair's grown-up son fighting with his parents for refusing HER the loan Smile. Oh boy, you caught my feelings there, Mani. Pat yourself )

Later, when the workers get betrayed again, Nair tries to rouse the neighbourhood for revolution, and he gets his payback as the folks turn their back on him. Good, if cliched, commentary on social equations.

3. Sukumaran, the lawyer who starts off ideally gets his first brush of temptation when Pratap Chandran, (the elder Union leader who is sort of a super-Union-leader taking precedence in the hierarchy of multiple unions(more about this later) in the environment) astutely sizes him up despite the former's ideological assertions, and has him kidnapped and gagged. Even as he pours himself a glassful of premium scotch, he slowly tells him "I could throw you in the sea and nobody will question me". Sukumaran says "I know, but perhaps you have something else to say for otherwise you would have thrown me, not brought me here in front of you". Then, slowly, Chandran goes back to his past, and throws the possibility of Sukumaran's own growth as a leader, jobs for all his union members and so on..

As he slowly embraces all this, Sukumaran is still a man going through the transformation and has a tellng sequence with his wife, who, with all the practicality that only a woman can muster, gently nudges him towards taking the offer, while keeping the illusion that it is all for the good of everyone. The way an ideological mind needs to pretend to itself that it is taking a temptation only for the common good is beautifully captured. Again, credit to the actors.

4. The multitide of the unions, and the negotiations between unions and factory owners having atleast 15-20 union leaders, each having his own small fiefdom, a commentary on the Kerala landscape, dotted with myriad coloured and patterned flags, each of a union with affinity to some party or the other. Reduce that leader count by half, and you could proably feed half of Kerala.

5. The best of the lot - the film opens with the orphan Mohanlal wnadering into the fishing community. He settles down in a tea shop and orders a tea

Tea Shop owner: Do you belong to Congress?
Lal: No
Tea Shop owner: Do you belong to CPI?
Lal: No
Tea Shop owner: Do you belong to XYZ party?
Lal: No
Tea Shop owner: Do you belong to YZX party?
Lal: No
TSO: Then, no tea for you.

Let's now come to the man for whom I watched this movie(for all my profession of love for Malayalam moviedom, the catalyst still remains one man, the hero of this forum)

Raja comes with an absolutely brilliant score - two lovely songs and as usual, brilliant BGM. This being one of the early 80s movies, must have been absolutely game-changing and stunning for the viewers, if they knew how to recognise it.

The climax I mentioned depends exclusively on Raja, since it features a lot of no-name youngsters in bit-part roles, and boy does he deliver! Must have been one of the earliest films to depend exclusively on Raja to elevate a cliched situation and scene to heights.(I mean Kavikkyil and all depended on Raja but never scaled any heights so dont qualify. 16V and all were genuinely scaled heights and Raja was also a contributor, not the sole contributor)

Since kadal and kadal sArndha music is a topical issue, I would advise V_S to catch this movie without fail. There are two songs

1) Deepame kAriruL neekki nee - is a lovely christmas song. The song captures several emotions as the community comes together in the aftermath of the first success with the union. There are Kerala-specific Christmas flourishes here with song starting with the tipsy maththai declaring
ellorkkum innALu thirunALu //Today is a celebration day for everyone
maththAikku ennennum peru nALU // But for Matthai(myself), everyday is a celebration(with booze) lol!

The song progresses hesitantly as the group of people, still tasting the first aftermath of some hope, slowly geting their act together to celebrate, and the song also establishes the dreams and feelings of each character. Raja captures all this in his tune progression, tune twists, and orchestration


Also, watch out how Mani has got the song choreographed as possibly the world's first flash-mob song, except, being portly mallu actors, they dont dance heavily but watch out how the song progresses as character after character join the centre hesitantly and randomly

2. The coup d grace. Theeram Thedi Olam Paadi

For those who havent heard, well, dont expect a new tune. This is nothing but Roja Ondru muththam Kekkum neram. But boy how Raja erased all traces of a humongous Saritha and the bearded terror Thiagarajan from my mind, and instead evokes the smell of fresh Sea water, and the nets and the fishes and the beach!

The song happens as Lal, slowly realising how he is in the clutches of evil forces and is doing their bidding, ends up hurting the prospects of a local youth and opens out to Sabitha Anand that he didn't mean to. The lovely flute prelude starts as Sabitha understandingly puts his rant at himself to silence with a touch. Mani shows his usual flourish in picurising the rest of the song, and it is a treat.

Overall, quite worth a watch for Raja, Lal and though many of you may not be familiar with the Malayalam actors, trust me, these are solid actors who you will remember for a long time. And of course, if you are a Mani fan, you have to watch Mani shaping his raw craft with the help of the awesome Mallu script writers, Raja and the brilliant acting talent available in Kerala. You can see shades of how some of Mani's later films might have germinated here, and enjoy the early blooming of his flourishes.




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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:04 am

Kilukkam

Kerala's answer to MMKR(Tamil) and Andaz Apna Apna(Hindi)*, a movie whose quotes litter an average Keralite's conversation.

Underwhelming in my sixth view, though, but I guess that shouldnt deter you from watching it.

The movie was my window into Malayali psyche - but no, not in terms of what it does on-screen but what happened off-screen for me when I discussed this movie with Malayalees.

My first watch was in early 90s on Cable television, and when I met my first Malayali friend, I expressed my admiration for his movie, showing off that I knew his culture and his movies. And he promptly gave me a taste of the legendary malayali snobbishness.

"What did you understand?", pat came the reply. And I found myself fumbling for an answer, and realized that all I could quote were the slapstick moments, filmed with typical efficiency by a Priyadarshan in peak-form.

"You didnt understand nothing", said the friend, showing me my place as a Malayalam Film Critic, "Kilukkam is all about the inside details that only a Malayali can appreciate. Stop claiming you understand our movies", he said in that "charming", snobbish tone that "endears" all Malayalees to others. "The main fun of the movie is the Trivandrum accent and sollAdals that Lal and Jagathy use, and that you'll never understand in your life"

Our Mallu brothers are very snobbish. When a foreigner evinces interest in our culture and movies, we tamils or for that matter, any other race, including the self-absorbed Bengalis, help them along, try to explain them more, secretly or overtly pleased at the attention. But, no, not our Mallu brothers. They tell it on your face that you are no good to appreciate them and remind you of the chasm that remains. Very few non-Malyalees gain their respect and admiration and love - which is why Raja's decent penetration inside atleast a few Mallu hearts is something only Raja fossible. I mean, Saarug, MJ, Rahman, Vijay are all popular in an external way with them but they keep them outside - they know exactly what their place is, that of being capable in non-mallu domain and being appreciated for it. Very few like Raja can actually get appreciated for what they did in the Mallu domain itself.

But he was right, my friend. In my sixth view, I still dig mostly the slapstick only, and the Trivandrum nuances still passes over my head.

But performances can speak to minds that languages can't. And that is where this film is elevated.

It isn't a surprise Lalettan is in peak-form, and his portrayal of the ne'er-t0-do-well tourist guide in Ooty scrounging for an existence, and chasing rainbows innocently, packs in the Lalettan-charm in full measure, and the Lal in his early 30s oozes charisma, innocence, a contrasting meanness that comes with street-smart surivival. These were days when Lalettan was coming to terms with his charisma, and had started using it in his performances consciously, and in small doses, it worked a treat. Nowadays, he uses it in Rajinikanth-size industrial doses, and falls flat accordingly.

It isn't a surprised that Jagathy is mean and loveable as he only can be, portraying a sympathy-less character, that is the butt of all jokes, and is accorded the least respect and dignity by the director. Only Jagathy can emerge with respect and charm from this mire of a role

It isn't a surprise that Thilagan and Murali come with a dignified portrayal, rendering their cardboard characters with respectability and attraction

These are all seasoned performers who are playing to their strengths.

What is surprising(not to me, though) is Revathy comes with a tour-de-force of a comic performance, using her physicality so effectively, and an all-round, charismatic presence to her role of a harassed girl, running away from her bete noires, and playing loony to find a respite. She isn't much admired beyond a few people from 80-s like me who got smitten during Mann Vaasnai days itself, and accordingly can see no wrong in her. And here she shows that those few people like me werent fools - never was her talent for physicality, tomfoolery, controlled pathos and playful banter used so effectively in a film. This is one movie where even the staunchest of Revathy critics, and those indifferent to her cannot but fall for her charm and competence.


I abandoned the movie this time towards the end as it meanders into fights and sappy closure techniques. But it remains a charming movie which I can watch again atleast tthree-quarters of it again and again, thanks to the roof-raising trio of Jagathy, Lal and Revathy.

*Comparison is in respect of the cult classic status accorded to the respective movies, not in terms of quality.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  groucho070 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:22 am

Plum,

UNaroo sounds a lot like Elia Kazan's On The Waterfront. Especially picking up the lot part.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  app_engine on Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:53 pm

WOW plum, great write-ups on #20 (1 to 0), #21 yAthAmozhi, #22 uNaru & #23 kilukkam!

kilukkam was the first Malayalam movie I saw in theater with my wife Smile Until that time, we went to only Thamizh movies together for the first few months of our wedded life...and she loved the movie so much! (She still talks about it once in a while and we've watched a few times on video since then).

Yes, Revathy was nice in that movie...and the movie was ok overall...in my personal rating, however, many steps below chithram (which is my all-time-fav from Priyadharshan)...


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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:18 pm

UNaroo sounds a lot like Elia Kazan's On The Waterfront. Especially picking up the lot part

Ahem! Well, Mani being Mani ofcourse...

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:21 pm

Yes, Revathy was nice in that movie...and the movie was ok overall...in my personal rating, however, many steps below chithram (which is my all-time-fav from Priyadharshan)...

I still haven't caught Chitram fully...although I have sat through the execrable remakes in Telugu and Tamil(with Mohanbabu/Shobana and Sathyaraj/Roja, respectively).
I can see why you would rate it above Kilukkam, especially with Lalettan, and not Mohanbabu or Sathyaraj, leading the proceedings. Kilukkam loses steam half-way through and meanders through to a mediocre climax.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  V_S on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:28 pm

plum wrote:Since kadal and kadal sArndha music is a topical issue, I would advise V_S to catch this movie without fail. There are two songs
Sure plum. Thanks for your recommendation. I have so many pending malayalam movies to watch. Any movie closer to the sea is very memorable and the songs should speak about that land. BR's kadalOra kavithaigal is one which immediately comes to my mind when speaking of thamizh movies.

Superb write-ups plum on unaroo and kilukkam cheers Need to watch these movies with your write-ups.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:30 pm

And I just figured that Unaroo released a couple of months ahead of Komberi Mookkan. So, idhu dhAn original. ROja Ondru is the nagal.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  V_S on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:40 pm

groucho070 wrote:Plum,

UNaroo sounds a lot like Elia Kazan's On The Waterfront. Especially picking up the lot part.

What a movie that is! My favorite movie of Marlon Brando. Watched it many times. Very Happy

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  groucho070 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:24 am

Well earned Oscar for Brando. Statement against House Committee on Un-American Activities (forced kAtti-koduttal).

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  app_engine on Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:02 am

Still with Priyadharshan, let me add one more Smile

#24 MukunthEttA, Sumithra viLikkunnu - another sweet little tale with Mohanlal & Ranjani (possibly predates to Chithram and some similarities with nAdOdikkARRu...like Chennai being the setting, kuzhAyadi queue, "TN politician" in the picture etc...when I took my Bangalore friend to this, me revisit, he commented that this was heavily inspired from some older Hindi film...wikipedia says 'katha' of 1983...nevertheless, interesting writing and Lalettan takes care of the rest, some nice comical scenes, some emotions...more like Sathyan Anthikkad movie actually.)

Directed by : Priyadharshan, written by Srinivasan who also plays the villain

Actors : Mohanlal, Ranjini, Srinivasan

Music by : Ousapachchen I think, average score.

Age rating : G / U, my kids loved it when we watched on DVD and had to do a couple of repeats for them.

Movie rating : OK



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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  app_engine on Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:10 am

Now, moving on to a Sathyan Anthikkad movie which is somewhat similar to Priyadharshan's veLLanakalude nAdu, with setting changes...

#25 varavELppu - movie got filmed mostly in and around Palakkad and I'm familiar with most of the exact places that appear on screen and so the movie felt somewhat like a "local video" when I watched the first time Embarassed However, watching on DVD after years showed me the interesting moments / nuances and the movie is really good IMO.

Directed by : Sathyan Anthikkad, written by Srinivasan (so, some similarities to his other movies is quite expected)

Actors : Mohanlal, Revathy, Srinivasan, Murali, Innocent and such regulars

Music : Johnson, some typical songs that jelled well with the storyline, now can't recall for any uniqueness though

Age- rating : All can watch, like most Sathyan Anthikkad movies

Movie rating: Good!


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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:22 am

Mukundetta is a take-off from Katha. However, it is just the story....it was a story amply suited for Sreenivasan-Mohanlal Dasan-Vijayan antics(albeit at a non-slapstick level here), and given that the best part of the Malayalam movies of 80s was the screenplay-mise en scene-milieu-integrity etc that they achieved, I see this as a separate movie by itself.

Katha itself was a worthy original with Shah and Sheikh in top-form with a drool-worthy Deepti Naval in tow, compared to which Ranjini, while believable as the above-average neighbourhood girl who will set aflutter the boys' hearts, fails to evoke the same feeling in the viewer.

The story, of course, has several possibilities, and was exploited again and again

In 1989, Robert-Rajasekar made it with, of all people, *Janagaraj* in Lal's role. That movie is also (not so) famous as Vidyasagar's debut - Poo Manam.

In 2002, it was remade in Telugu

In between, Pandiarajan did his take in Kabaddi Kabaddi, along with Karan. This movie can be called a rape of Katha/Mukundetta. This is again (not so) famous as the debut of Rasika@Sangeetha, of Pithamagan, and now Krissh fame.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:23 am

Trivia: Varavelppu was written by Srinivasan based on real life experience by his father.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:24 am

And I would have thought, Lal and Sreenivasan should have had a role-reversal in Mukundetta with Lal playing the suave, smooth-talking casanova and Sreenivasan playing the quiet, introverted, socially-challenged role.

However, to their credit, they played against type very well and made an equally memorable movie..

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  app_engine on Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:55 pm

Nice titbits on those sweet films, plum!

One more Sathyan Anthikkad film that I watched only on DVD recently but was a big hit those days in Kerala...

#26 mazhavilkkAvadi - part of the film happens in Pazhani, many dialogs in Thamizh / ThamizhALam etc and Urvashi scores many brownie points. One can easily say it is Urvashi's movie, even though Jayaraman / Sitara do the lead roles in the movie. Nice little tale with typical Sathyan brand comical & emotional moments...

Directed by : Sathyan Anthikkad

Actors : Jayaram, Sitara, Urvashi and other usual suspects

Music : Johnson I think...he was Sathyan A's regular prior to IR (Shyam did the most famous nAdOdikkARRu, however)

Age rating : Universal / General audience

Movie rating : Pleasant to watch - don't miss it!

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:16 am

App - Mazhavilkavadi is, indeed, Johnson, and what's more, won him the best MD award from kerala state for that year. I didn't know all this when I sung "Thangathoni"(A female solo lol!) in my Chennai college farewell after seeing it in Chitramala of Doordarshan. You should have seen the baffled faces of my Chennai youth mates, and the favourable reaction in the faced of the class mallu beauty. Of course, it was too late in the day(Farewell, remember) to start wooing...never met her afterwards. Such is life...

*Parts of the above post are embellishment(including the part about wanting to woo the mallu beauty...sathtiyamA chechi rangela dhAn vehcurundhEn Laughing ) of the actual happening - but post interestingA irukkaNumE ungaLukku so adhukkAga epdi ellAM menakkeda vENdi irukku...


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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:27 am

Ee Puzhayum Kadannu

Way back in the 90s, while in college in West Bengal for post-grad studies, came across the Sallapam cassette from a mallu friend, and fell in love with the songs...and Manju Warrier, who, even in that 1"-1" space in the cassette cover, oozed such charismatic pull and presence.

When I returned home after that, Asianet, then as now, was my favourite go-to channel. That's when I came across this beautiful song (Link to be given by appengine)...Kakka Karumban. Those were days movies didnt interest me much, and music was my primary search. So, never bothered about knowing the movie beyond its name. And duly kept only the song in memory.

Today, as I started watching this movie, having missed the titles, just caught sight of Manju Warrier, despite being smitten by who my only watch of a movie starring her is Kanmadam which I wrote about few days ago, and Dileep. The background score, kept raising familiar strains, but without actually plahying the tune...and I knew this was Ee Puzhayum Kadannu, the Kakka Karumban movie.

So it turned out although Dileep showed why despite above-average capabilities, definitely in comparison to the acting-challenged tamil counterparts, he is no Mohanlal, and cannot sustain my interest in a sagging movie. Warrier, on the other hand, made me realise, why despite just 3 years and 19 movies, she remains a darling of Mallu masses who salivate at the prospect of a potential comeback by her, now in her late 30s, even now.

I stopped watching the movie after the song, as it seemed a typical mish-mash of a spirited romance, sacrificing hero, suffering heroine due to her 3-sisters family with a typically oppressive suitor to her elder sister, and so on....however, a word on Warrier,

Warrier here is what Jyothika was to tamil later - wait, that's no indictment of Manju. She is this bubbly, spirited, high-on-expressions, instantly likeable girl-next-door-but-with-gorgeous-looks, the family masses' darling. Now, I can see your surprise -for most of you belong to my school which doesnt consider Jyothika all this...but then, see Jyothika through the eyes of the unwashed masses of TN who consider Jo all this and more.
Of course, you and myself thoroughly disapprove of this jyothika template
Manju Warrier made me realise why I was wrong to disapprove this template - the fault was with Jo, as she made me realise that this template can lead to a perfectly loveable and capable actress like her.

Otherwise, nothing much to say about the movie.

Both Sallapam and this movie are by Johnson. Lovely songs in both.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:19 am

maNichitthirathAzhu

Super Awesome Brilliant!
This, in my 16th viewing. (Not to mention quite a few watches of the several remakes, including the excretory sequel to Chandramukhi, Aaptharakshaka, just a day earlier. I believe Vishnuvardhan was so ashamed of this sequel that he died before the release of this abomination of an insult to Manichithrathazhu!)
More later - I made some notes while I watched. My mobile has crashed now so will recover it and post later.

But, here's my summar:
If you havent watched it, watch it ASAP
If you have watched it, watch it again
If you have watched it a 100 times, watch it for the 101st time!

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:45 pm

Traffic(blah), Usthad Hotel(Duh), Second Show(bah), Diamond Necklace(Wow!), Snehaveedu_2ndTime_GoingOn

Christmas divasam nalla bangiyAyi kazhijnu.

New Wave Malayalam cinema is over-rated. (Traffic(Amos Perros Blah), Second Show & Usthad Hotel(both Dulqar Salman, s/o Mohemmad Kutty) )

But Lal Jose's Diamond Necklace saved the day.

Fahad Fazil is much better than Run-Beer Gafoor.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:09 pm

When I took the d2h connection last year-end, one of my main motives was to catch-up on specific Mallu classics. As I wrote over the last month, I did end up seeing a substantial chunk of fine mallu movies over the last month but in fact, not even one in the main list of movies that I had in my mind, the crema-de-la-creme of the Golden age, had appeared yet.

It was rectified today, if only partly. I got one from my original wishlist today albeit only the second half. For some time, I flirted with ignoring it to catch it from the beginning in the next run(esp with mom competing for the remote for SUN TV and Nadhaswaram). However, such was the purity of art in front of me that I ended up watching it until end.



This movie fetched Mohanlal his first National award. I don't see how the award committee could have escaped giving him the award. There could be lobbying. There could be favoritism. But, sometimes, award committees are left with no options to manouevre.

My wife never understood my admiration for this portly, chubby-cheeked, "bamblimaas" of a man and his antics in various movies I have shown her, of him.

Today she understood why he garners so much attention

Even in the rarefied oeuvre of Lalettan, this one is a jewel in the crown, and no wonder, it brought him his first national award.

The last time I had my mind under duress through a movie, and just fighting back tears - not tears at a melodramatic situation, but pure tears of the unbelievable heights of art being achieved in front of my eyes - was UdhiripookkaL. After that, this was the next instance.

You may ask - and a snarky nephew did ask - what is the difference between me and my mom, who had similar emotions for manipulative melodramatic TV serials. It is just a different version of the tv serials, isnt it, he mocked.

How do I explain him?

That it is not about the emotion, the scene or the situation. It is what these artists painted in front of us, simply living the life of the characters they took on.
Malayalam cinema has a formidable acting pool, and every drop of that pool is used here to full effect as Oduvil Unnikrishnan to Murali to Oorvashi(completely unlike her pre-jodhika loose proto-type in tamil ) to a controlled Lakshmi, not to mention the under-rated Nedumudi Venu, ably stringed together by Sibi Malayil, with more than a dollop of help from script-writer Lohitadas, give a tour-de-force of a performance as you just watch lives unwinding before your eyes.

That it is not about manipulating tear glands, but sheer truth of art as Mohanlal, in the climax, performing the kutcheri in his sister's wedding, holding back the information on his brother, who he just cremated a few hours ago. Is it possible to show tears tanked in your eyes, and you holding it back as per the situation of the movie? Yes, it is. Lalettan shows us how. This is beyond anyone except the dictionary of acting, Mr Sivaji Ganesan himself. Bacchans, Aamir Khans and even the Mammotties and Kamals possibly cannot make up this moment.

Lohitadas, ofcourse, is a man who easily whips up that rare quality called vatslyam, in his scripts.
If you take away the writing, the mise-en-scene, the performances, you could mistake the innocent-as-dew characters, who have so much vatsalyam for each other and the world, in general - you could mistake it for a Vikraman world. But no, the God is in the details. It is those details that Lohi, Lalettan and the enormously brilliant supporting cast whip up here with not just precision but an enormous emotional quotient which cannot but affect you.

It is difficult for me to write anymore - though I realise I have written hardly anything about the movie itself. Sometimes, excellence in art does that to you. Tie your hands. And mouth. And your soul itself.

Bharatham

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  plum on Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:12 pm

And the songs: oh could I die for these. KJY-Ravindran maash. Move over KVM, this is the pinnacle of semi-classical in movies.

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Re: Malayalam films / music thread - മലയാള സിനിമ / സംഗീതം...

Post  app_engine on Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:54 pm

WOW, what a write-up on bharatham!

(I'm yet to watch this renowned classic...should catch up soon Embarassed )

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