O for ‘Onnu Muthal Poojyam Varai’

It is Vishu today – Happy Vishu to all my readers 🙂 – the festival ushers in the new year!

It is the letter ‘O’ today and though many of you dear readers would have thought this would be a post dedicated to the historical classic – ‘Oru Vadakan Veeragatha’ – I have picked something else.

1986 was a fascinating year for Mohanlal as he essayed a whole variety of roles and practically won the hearts of all Malayalees with his movies. The movie that we examine today is a fascinating tale of love lost, found and lost again! A gem of a movie called ‘Onnu Muthal Poojyam Varai’– when translated it means ‘From One to Zero’.

The movie is about Aleena (Asha Jayaram) a young widow living in a lovely little cottage with her sweet little four-year old daughter Deepamol (Geetu Mohandas). Aleena pines for love and yearns for the love of her husband played by Prathap Pothan who is dead and was a musician. We have a lovely song which shows him conducting a music piece.

Aleena works as a painter and things go along as mother and daughter find comfort in each other. There is a telephone with which Deepamol dials random numbers and speaks to people. One such day she dials a number and speaks to her Telephone Uncle with whom she instantly connects and discovers a paternal bond. For a major part of the movie we do not see Mohanlal at all and just hear his voice as he speaks to Deepamol and Aleena.

The powerful bond between all three characters grows just through the telephone, which becomes an integral part of the movie. Finally after much persuasion, Telephone Uncle promises to visit Deepamol on her birthday and both mother and daughter wait eagerly for the ‘stranger’ to visit them.

I will not reveal the climax – it will be gross injustice to reveal what happens when Telephone Uncle finally meets Aleena and Deepamol. Please watch this movie; available on YouTube; stream and watch it!

The movie won the debutante director Raghunath Paleri an award, Geethu Mohandas won the best child artiste (female) award and Shaji Karun won an award for cinematography. Shaji would go on to become a successful ‘art-film’ director in his own right. The movie had lovely songs tuned by Mohan Sithara and written by ONV Kurup.

End the post with a beautiful song from the movie:

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3 thoughts on “O for ‘Onnu Muthal Poojyam Varai’

  1. Thanks for this fantastic post on this gem of a movie ‘Onnu muthal poojyam vare’.

    Something could have been added about the actors in the review. The lead trio were simply brilliant.

    Mohanlal, virtually created sheer magic even just with his voice and tone, and made it an unforgettable character for anyone who have seen the movie.
    And Asha Jayaram playing Aleena, is so spectacular that multitude of emotions can be read spontaneously just from her eyes and expressions. It has to be amongst the greatest female perfomances ever in Indian silver screen. And to add, this mindblowing performance was from her debut film itself.
    Also Deepamol played by Geethu, is perhaps the most adorable kid played in malayalam cinema.

    Overall a film that has to be experienced!

    1. Thanks Vishnu for a wonderful comment. Yes, the actors were exemplary, Prathap Pothan even in a small role was effective. The Lalettan of that era is probably lost forever.

  2. Thanks for this fantastic post on this gem of a movie ‘Onnu muthal poojyam vare’.

    Something could have been added about the actors in the review. The lead trio were simply brilliant.

    Mohanlal, virtually created sheer magic even just with his voice and tone, and made it an unforgettable character for anyone who have seen the movie.
    And Asha Jayaram playing Aleena, is so spectacular that multitude of emotions can be read spontaneously just from her eyes and expressions. It has to be amongst the greatest female perfomances ever in Indian silver screen. And to add, this mindblowing performance was from her debut film itself.
    Also Deepamol played by Geethu, is perhaps the most adorable kid played in malayalam cinema.

    Overall a film that has to be surely experienced!

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