Monday, 28 September 2009

Malayalam Movie Review- Vadakkunokki Yanthram (1989)

“Njanoru sundaraneyalla doctor. Karuthittanu. Pokkavum kammi...Njanithuvare creamukal onnum upayogichittilla.....Athu thechal velukkumo??”

Dineshan (Sreenivasan) knows he is not handsome. And that he is not tall and that he could never be attractive to women. In short, his confidence level points to zero. It is at this point of extreme inferiority complex that he decides to marry.

Now the girl {Shobha (role handled by Parvathy)} that he is about to marry happens to be extremely beautiful and taller and fairer! Dineshan is obviously perplexed and finds it hard to accept that someone like her would love and accept him as her husband.

What follows is marriage and of course, lots and lots of trouble. Dineshan, in his desperation to win Shobha’s love and respect concocts infinite number of plans and schemes. His friend and adviser is Innocent, who in his enthusiasm to help him, pushes Dineshan into even more trouble.

What starts off as a small problem soon becomes serious and affects his relationship with his wife as well as his mother and siblings. His inferiority complex makes him do unnecessary and insensible things and takes him alarmingly towards a mental breakdown.

The first few minutes of the movie does not have any dialogue at all, but within that time we get an idea of the protagonist’s character. This is emphasised by the hilarious letter that Dineshan writes to a psychologist explaining his problems. As the movie develops we cannot help feeling an urge to stop Dineshan from doing anymore stupidity.

Well, Dineshan may not have done all that if his wife knew about his condition or if his mother and siblings gave him some mental support or if Dineshan was an untroubled man in the first place...Then there will not have been a movie!

Written and directed by Sreenivasan, Vadakkunokki Yanthram is another one of his outstanding work. The movie’s success has been, I believe, in taking the audience through a man’s emotional and psychological turmoil. And to top it all, Sreenivasan’s performance was magnificent!

In brief, a great movie and which deserves the status of being one of the best movies in the 80’s...

Written and Directed by Sreenivasan
Cast: Sreenivasan, Parvathy, Innocent, KPAC Lalitha, Usha etc.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Malayalam Movie Review: Nadodikkattu (1987)

‘Angane Pavanayi Shavamayi’

Nadodikkattu is the story of Dasan and Vijayan, two simpletons who unknowingly falls into one mess after another in their struggle to become something in their lives.

Dasan: (Mohanlal) His catchphrase is ‘I am B.Com. First Class!’ He is so proud of being a graduate that he repeats it whenever there is an opportunity. You might think that he has a great job, but he is a peon in a private company which pays just enough salary to meet daily expenses.

Vijayan: (Sreenivasan) He is a very funny guy and more idiotic than Dasan. Dasan takes advantage of him a lot- like making him cook, do household chores and constantly reminding him that he is not a graduate. Vijayan is a peon too.

And so everything goes reasonably well until one day they lose their jobs! (Ahem... they beat up the new Managing Director by mistake!!)

Cows to the rescue?!
No job, no money, no food! Their landlord feels pity for them and gets them a loan from the bank to buy cows. He convinces them that selling milk was a great business and that it was the secret of his success. He also sells them two cows which he claims would give them 25 litres of milk a day!!

Some Comedy scenes from Nadodikkattu

Dasan and Vijayan are so happy with the prospect that they start dreaming about their prosperous future. Surely they should buy a new car, a new house, TV, refrigerator, VCR, A.C......But the cows do not give them 25 litres of milk a day. Not even close. Each day the quantity of milk starts dwindling... Things start to appear dim once again and the only way they could think as a way out is to leave the country.

Dubai Dreams
Soon they meet a man named Gafoor (Mamukkoya) who promises to take them to Dubai for a certain sum of money. Dasan and Vijayan give him all the savings that they had ever made and in no time they find themselves in Dubai. So they think! It is not long before they understand that they are nowhere near Dubai but in Tamil Nadu, the neighbouring state of Kerala!!! Oops!!

The Villain
As the movie progresses we get to meet a very interesting character, the villain, none other than Thilakan. Even though he plays a negative role, he is actually kind of a comedy character. His occasional outbursts of ‘Escape, CID!!’ is enough to make anyone laugh. And who can forget Pavanayi (Captain Raju)?? The dangerous assassin who comes to kill Dasan and Vijayan, who turns out to be not so dangerous as expected:-))

Mohanlal and Srinivasan have paired up in many movies, but I believe that their performance is at its best in Nadodikkattu. The story is really good; in addition to being a light comedy movie it also touches on various issues that ordinary people face every day. Throughout the movie there are witty remarks about day-to-day affairs which make it all the more interesting. A small example: when somebody asks Dasan and Vijayan why they were late for work, the reply is ‘Ask the Government to supply rice which cooks faster!’

Some famous dialogues from Nadodikkattu
‘Ithiri thengapinnakkundayirunnathu njanangu thinnu...’ ‘Atha njan nokkiyappo kanathathu’!!
‘Eda Dasa..etha ee alavaladi?’ ‘Look man, I am not an alavaladi, I am Pavanayi’

Screenplay: Sreenivasan
Director: Sathyan Anthikadu
Cast: Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Shobana, Thilakan, Innocent, Mamukkoya
Sequels: Pattanapravesham, Akkare Akkare Akkare

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Malayalam Movie Review: Chithram (1988)

‘Ithu anayalla, Ithu thengayalla, Ithu ulakkayumalla’

I saw Chithram today and the dialogue between Sreenivasan and Sukumari did not fail to make me laugh. This movie has everything- good story, screenplay, music, comedy and suspense. However the story ends in a tragedy. Even then, everybody considers Chithram as one of the best movies in Malayalam. (I think that Keralites do not mind if a movie has a tragic ending, provided the story is good. Realistic and family oriented movies-that is the formula for success here) Mohanlal’s acting is superb and that lent a special charm to this movie. No wonder it ran successfully in Kerala for MORE THAN A YEAR!!

The story unfolds thus:Kalyani (Ranjini) is in love and wants to marry the guy. But when her father who is abroad knows about this, he disagrees and threatens her that he won’t give her a penny if she marries the guy. Kalyani however decides to go ahead, but when her boyfriend realises that she has been disinherited, dumps her.

Even when the heartbroken Kalyani is pulling herself together, her father tells her that he had been wrong and that he should not have reacted so harshly. He gives her his blessings and informs her that he will be coming to India soon to visit the newly married couple.

Kalyani fears that he won’t be able to handle the truth because of his delicate health. So with the help of her uncle Kaimal (Nedumudi Venu) she hires a man named Vishnu (Mohanlal) to play the role of her husband during her father’s visit. Vishnu agrees to this drama only because he is desperately in need of Rs.15000/-, the story behind which is revealed later on in the movie.
But problems soon arise as Kalyani and Vishnu continuously bicker and find it difficult to get along. The rest of the story is about the growing relationship between Kalyani and Vishnu and the revelation of Vishnu’s past. Sreenivasan has a great role to play as the scheming relative who wants to get the family house and title through his sly methods. He is a totally funny character in the movie!

I have seen Chithram many a time. But amazingly I never got bored. That is the power of good cinema I guess.

Credits: Directed by Priyadarshan; Music by Kannur Rajan; Story by Sreenivasan

Friday, 17 April 2009

Malayalam Movie Review: In Harihar Nagar (1990)

'Thomasukuttyyy!!! Vittodaaaa!!"

I am sure that those who have ever seen this Malayalam comedy movie will never forget this dialogue, especially since its sequel '2 Harihar Nagar' is running successfully in theatres throughout Kerala.

Mahadevan (Mukesh), Govindankutty (Siddique), Thomasukutty (Ashokan) and Appukuttan(Jagadish) became Kerala’s new comedy phenomenon when they made their appearance in ‘In Harihar Nagar’. The dialogues of the movie became famous; the characters were adored and grouped under some of the best comedy figures in the history of Malayalam movies.

The storyline goes thus:
Mahadevan, Govindankutty, Thomasukutty and Appukuttan live in a housing colony named Harihar Nagar and are great friends. They are usually found doing nothing much in particular except checking out girls in the neighbourhood and generally having lots of fun.

So when a beautiful girl, Maya (Geetha Vijayan), moves in to Harihar Nagar, they are in seventh heaven. Now all that they want is to grab her attention. Consequently, they are found to be doing all sorts of stuff like singing songs {‘Ekantha Chandrikeee...(lonely maiden..)’}, trying to get familiar with her grandfather and grandmother, having a go at playing heroes (in the hilarious library incident) and even following her all around the place. Alas, everything ends in one disaster after another.

Underlying all this fun and frolic, are some sinister and mystifying events. Maya had come to Harihar Nagar in order to know about the mysterious circumstances which led to the death of her brother, Sethumadhavan (Suresh Gopi). The story takes a turn when the four guys, desperate to befriend Maya, cooks up a story that they were close friends of Sethumadhavan. And what should follow, but more disasters...

Maybe it is the correct mix of the elements of comedy and a good storyline that makes this movie special. Or maybe it is the suspense or the interesting music. Or maybe it is the great acting by Mukesh, Siddique, Ashokan and Jagadish. Ok, perhaps it is because of all of the above.

I especially liked Jagadish’s acting in the movie. So hilarious! His dialogue “Kakka thoorinna thonunne (I think a crow pooped on me)”and “Echuse me (Excuse me)” has made such an impression that it has become his signature dialogue. He more or less became the king of comedy after this movie.

The entire movie is well put together with not one boring moment. The villain in the movie John Honai (Riza Bava) gave a great impression to the audience of Kerala and received much appreciation for his excellent acting.

So, excellent movie! Well done, the team of In Harihar Nagar! Waiting to see ‘2 Harihar Nagar’ as soon as I get hold of a ticket and I hope I won't be disappointed!

Directed by Siddique Lal; Produced by Khais-Kuriachan; Written by Siddique Lal; Music by S. Balakrishnan; Cinematography by Venu; Editing by Gaurishekar K. R.