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.