Thoovanathumbikal – Dragonflies in the Rain

Padmarajan and Mohanlal just worked on five movies together:

Deshadanakkili Karayaarilla
Kariyila Kattupole
Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal

Today we look at – ‘Thoovanathumbikal’ – translated as ‘Dragonflies in the Rain’.

1986 was a remarkable year Mohanlal worked in an epoch-making 34 movies that year and covered roles that showed his comic-timing, his action/fighting skills, the melancholic/brooding hero, the everyday man and the shrewd thinker.

Thoovanathumbikal is primarily a tale of a three individuals – Mohanlal playing Jayakrishnan a man leading a dual life, a city-slicker and a humble village man, Clara played with poetic brilliance by Sumalatha (I rate this among the top-five performances by a woman in any movie), and Radha played by Parvathi.

Jayakrishnan (JK) leads a humble do-gooder life in his village and respected by the local people; he also has another side to him a worldly-wise man; a side of him that only emerges in the city. He pursues Radha in vain as she dismisses him as a flirt. During one of his vists to the city JK befriends Clara. Clara has chosen to become an escort/prostitute to support herself. There is a moment when she steps out in the rains a magical moment captured with love by the camera and set to an outstanding musical score.

A song from the movie.

See the lines below:

“Oru penkuttiyudeyum nashathinte thudakam ennuludi aavarthene enikkoru prarthana undaayirinnu, oru penkuttiydeyum virginity njan kaarnam illathavarthune enikku nirbandham aayirunnu, angane sambhavichal aa penkuuti aavum pinne angootu anthyam vere ente oppom undav njan oru shapatham aduthudayirunnu.”

“A girl’s destruction should not start from me, this was a prayer that I had; no girl should lose her virginity because of me, I was resolute about this, if such a thing happened; I wish to live forever with her and this was a sacred vow/oath that I had made to myself.”

Clara and JK share a bond that borders on a weird posessive-love; Clara realizes that JK’s stature and family will never allow her into his household and society will not accept their love. She tries to persuade him to leave her. This only makes JK crave more for her; simultaneously Radha also falls for JK and realizes that in his dual-identity lies a loving heart. JK is unable to pick between the two of them loving them both and eventually Clara marries someone else so that JK can lead a normal married life with Radha.

This is a tale of love, jealousy, suppressed emotions, redemption and the rain.

The rain is a separate character in the movie, each time Clara and JK meet it rains. As their inevitable parting nears the intensity of the rains recede and eventually stop altogether.

There is a brilliant scene where Mohanlal and Ashokan end up in a bar. Mohanlal would start with a lemon soda sherbet in a small roadside shop and his refusal to add enough ice will prompt him to end up in the bar and go on a drinking binge. This is not acting but literally living and breathing the character himself!

With the whole movie available online for free – don’t miss this gem!!!!

For me – well — I wish to live forever with you; but will you ever realize what you mean to me! – Sadly – You never will and all that will remain are the memories of the mist, the dewdrops and the fragrance of the forest-flowers!



  1. Yes very true … we feel the pain of the protagonists and root for them – we know this is fiction playing on screen but then we relate the characters to our own lives and friends as well.

    Hopefully one of these days I will get an autograph from Lalettan πŸ™‚ and meet him in person πŸ™‚


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