Wednesday, January 16, 2008

KATHA PARAYUMBOL: Balan Katha Aarodum Paranjillaa..

Learn the art of emoting from the master: Mammootty! And learn the art of story-telling from another!!

There is only one instance in my recent memory which could stand up to the performance of Mammootty in the climax of കഥ പറയുമ്പോള്‍, more precisely when he talks about his childhood to the school audience. In കറുത്ത പക്ഷികള്‍, the scene in which the character Murukan narrates the events leading to the death of his wife to Meena's character, Mammootty excels with just his face and voice. In both scenes, there are no elaborate body movements, no vigorous sentiments, no emotional build-up, but Mammootty leaves each and every one of us in tears. Even though it was only a cameo appearance, Mammootty as Ashok Raj steals the show and leaves all of us spellbound by his performance. He is so natural, so effortless and the scene stresses the fact that emoting does not require facial gyrations. These are the moments when I feel like announcing aloud that ill-kept secret: that I am a great admirer of Mammootty, the Actor! Another thing I noticed was the better lip sync shown by Mammootty in song sequences.

Who else can show you how a very simple plot can be developed and presented in such heart-warming and entertaining manner?! Sreenivasan is a master of the art, no doubt, and the film also reminds you that he is a master of subtle acting. May be because of the omni-present blankness on his face, the emotions are not well reflected. But it does not mar the overall experience even a bit and it also does not steal the credit from Mr. Sreenivasan. He has done a fantastic job as the Script writer.

Ok, the place മേലുകാവ് is the 'Somalia' or 'Uganda' of Kerala and the people are so down-to-earth. However, the star worship depicted in the story is a little on the higher side for present day Kerala society. But after watching the movie, you don't feel like asking all these silly questions! Instead, you want to know what was the reaction of the villagers to Super Star Ashok Raj's speech. What did they think of Balan the Barber?! What happened to Balan and his family?!!

There were, and still there are directors in Malayalam who can recreate the rural milieu with all its entirety; the simplicities and the complexities. Bharathan, Satyan Anthikkad, Lal Jose...for instance. Director M. Mohanan has tried well and succeeds in a way, in his attempt to reach the list. The characters mark their presence with whatever footage they have got. The comedy track which the director/ writer tried to weave-in became an irritant at times, like Kottayam Nazeer's 'ഈച്ചപ്പന്‍' usage. There were minor lapses in attention, but these can be pardoned in the case of a new comer.

The whole cast has backed the director well. They have not much to do: be sincere, and portray the characters naturally. And thats what they all have done; Meena, Innocent, Salim Kumar, Mamukoya, Nazeer, Mukesh, Jagadish, Lalitha, Augustine and all of them! The girl who played Balan's daughter Sona did quite well even though her dialogues sounded artificial. Amrutha TV വനിതാരത്നം fame Reena Machan seems under-utilised. The photography was commendable (kudos to Mr. P. Sukumar), songs not much so. The song "വ്യത്യസ്തനാമൊരു ബാര്‍ബറാം ബാലനേ..." has become a hit with the masses.

The Lumiere Film Company holds promise for Malayalam cinema, hat's off to Mukesh and Sreeni!

Radha Picture Palace in Kozhikode is a large theatre indeed, but I am convinced Malayali does not want second and third class tickets any more. The balcony was full for today's first show and the first class was also almost full. Alas, most of the front row seats remained vacant barring a few unfortunate souls who didn't get tickets for the balcony or first class. They were not mallu, perhaps!

Friend, if you are going to watch the movie, call me! I want to watch the climax again.


  1. LOL!
    Thats truly fantastic Ryan!!
    Loved going thru it!!!

    Sorry for the late response though!

  2. I wish I was in Clt.
    Cud have rung u up, and we cud have gone for the film yet again, LOL!


  3. I wasnt sure where I shud post this comment since the top posts are job related, and decided to write something here!

    U r right on the spot regarding Blessy. Kazhcha was nice, but it was a real take off from the Iranian film Bashu. And once I made that discovery, I lost interest in the man's talents to be honest!

    Do a Google search on Bashu, and u cud see it for urself!


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