N for Nakhashatangal and Nadodikattu

Today we examine two movies in totally contrasting genres – one a tragic love story and the other a comic satire and mini-adventure of sorts.

NAKHASHATANGAL:
Directed by Hariharan with a script by MT Vasudevan Nair the movie starred Vineeth, Monisha, Thilakan, Saleema and others. A tale of young love. The movie is about Ramu played by Vineeth and Gauri played by Monisha (she won the National Award for acting) a record for a young debutante. Unfortunately in a cruel twist of fate she would lose her life in a car accident! Again God took away a beautiful flower from us!

Ramu and Gauri meet in Guruvayur – Ramu is with his abusive uncle Thilakan who treats him like a slave – Gauri accompanies an old lady and the two become friends.

As fate would have it – Ramu runs away from his uncle’s house and eventually lands up in the house where Gauri is working as a maid. The master of the house an acclaimed lawyer takes a liking to young Ramu and supports him and sponsors his studies.

We are introduced to Lakshmi played by Saleema – the deaf and dumb daughter of the elderly lawyer – the girl also falls in love with Ramu. The complications that arise in this tale of doomed love are beautifully brought out without any artificial scenes, vulgarity or unnecessary violence. The lawyer arranges for Ramu and Lakshmi but Ramu refuses!

The movie had lovely songs tuned by Bombay Ravi – the song ‘Manjal Prasadavum’ sung by KS Chitra won her the National Award for the best song!

NADODIKATTU
With a story by Siddique-Lal, screenplay by Sreenivasan, and direction by Sathyan Anthikad this light-hearted satire has a strong fan-base. The tale is about two young men who Dasan (Mohanlal) and Vijayan (Sreenivasan) who work as peons in a company.

One day while headed to work on their bicycle they have an altercation with a man in a car and insult the car-driver and assault him. In a wicked twist that man is the new manager of their company and they end up losing their jobs.

They then get a bank-loan through a neighbour’s recommendation – Sankaradi – and buy two cows. They begin dreaming of how these two cows will help them buy more cows and they would become extremely rich. They get a reality check as the cows hardly give five litres of milk, which does not even cover the charges of the fodder and milkman’s fees. The bank threatens them with legal action.

In a final attempt to salvage things the two decide to board a boat to Dubai. We meet Gafur played brilliantly by Mammokoya – he promises to drop the duo off the coast of Dubai and asks them to secure the costumes worn by Arabs and money for passage.

Gafur teaches the two some phrases like ‘Salaam Alaikhum’ and ‘Alaikhum as salaam’.

After a song on the overnight boat, the two eventually swim and reach the sandy beach;here in a case of mistaken identity they are thought to be smugglers and their suitcases are exchanged. They get a case full of drugs which they give to the police officers. In the interim they realize that they have been conned and are actually in Madras instead of Dubai.

A scene where they see a bus to Parrys and then say – ‘Da Dubailunu Paris (France) ley ki bus oh?’ ‘A bus from Dubai to Paris’ is brilliant in its comic simplicity.

Thilakan is Ananthan Nambiar – a rich man who also is the king of smugglers. In various comic twists Dasan finds a job at his office through Balan played by Innocent a taxi-driver who had saved Ananthan’s life many years ago.

Ananthan then mistakes Dasan and Vijayan to be CID officers and hires goons to kill them. Threat after threat is averted, these range from direct attacks by goons to transistor bombs and the big fish – assassin – Pavanayi – who meets the two at the Annanagar Tower and there is a thrilling fight. Eventually Pavanayi is killed by the two coining the brilliant line – ‘Pavanayi avan ippo shavamayi’ – ‘Pavanayi is a corpse now!’

As more comic incidents occur – Dasan becomes a vegetable seller and befriends Shobhana and her mother who live in a slum-like area. Here he helps them and thwarts corrupt politicians who want to get the slum cleared. Janardhanan in a comic politician’s role here! The movie has a lovely melody, which is one of my favourite songs – ‘Vaishakha Sandhye’.

All’s well that end’s well! In a rib-tickling – slap-stick finale Dasan and Vijayan overpower all the villains in a showdown in a locked godown. The movie ends with the two being awarded by the government and the two are special officers now.

The tale continues in two subsequent movies – ‘Pattana Pravesham’ and ‘Akkare, Akkare, Akkare.’

One of the best comic adventures in Malayalam cinema – still has viewers hooked when played on TV πŸ™‚

The movie was made with SV Shekar and Pandiyarajan in Tamil and titled ‘Kadhanayagan’.

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2 thoughts on “N for Nakhashatangal and Nadodikattu

  1. Naadodi Kattu is probably the most well known Malayalam movie ever featuring the duo of Mohanlal and Sreenivasan. So many of the movie’s dialogues still bring laughter to Malayalees the world over πŸ™‚

    1. Yes – a real gem – if rumours are to be believed – Dasan and Vijayan will be back on the big screen by the year-end πŸ™‚

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