Of Crime and Punishment from the Prism of Drishyam and Drishyam-2

When Jeethu Joseph made “Drishyam” no one would have expected it to turn it into such a big blockbuster that would go on to be remade in multiple languages. The accusation of lifting the core idea from “The Devotion of Suspect X” will always remain and despite interviews claiming otherwise; the nagging suspicion will always remain for people who read the novel. A few years later when “Kolaigaaran” was made in Tamil; the director acknowledged the influence of the novel in the credits. If you have not seen “Drishyam-2” please do not read any further.  

In “Drishyam” we were introduced to the family-man George Kutty played by Mohanlal, his wife Rani and their two school-going daughters; one a teenager Anju and the other a small girl Anumol . George Kutty is a local cable-operator and a self-made man who worked very hard to become a prosperous man and buy land in the region and work as a farmer. At a school educational trip, Varun the son of a police officer shoots a video of Anju bathing on his mobile phone and threatens to upload it on the Internet unless she grants him sexual favours. Rani and Anju confront Varun and when Varun threatens to molest Rani, Anju hits Varun on the head with a log. Varun dies. From here on the story gathers pace as George Kutty takes various measures to safeguard his family and disposes Varun’s body. Varun’s mother Geetha Prabhakar an IG of police sets things in motion and spearheads an investigation. How George Kutty and his family handle all the investigative pressure and evade the various tactics employed by the police-force to find the truth forms the basis of the first movie.

Drishyam – Trailer

In “Drishyam-2” the story moves forward by six years. George Kutty is now a rich man owning a cinema theatre. He is also keen on producing a movie and is in talks with a respected screen-writer. We are introduced to several new characters a bickering couple who are George and Rani’s neighbours – Saritha and Sabu. Anju is traumatized and has epileptic fits and she is also afraid of the mere mention of the police. She is undergoing treatment to overcome her trauma and is supported by her parents. Meanwhile Anumol is studying in a boarding school in another city.

Drishyam-2 Trailer

All through this we observe that the police are still keeping tabs on George Kutty and family. A new IG – Thomas Bastin – played by Murali Gopy is now spearheading the investigation.

The movie moves at a slow pace for the first 45 minutes or so and we are constantly dreading that something bad is going to happen to George’s family. Around the interval-time we are made aware of certain secrets that shock us and reveal the identities of some people. We also are introduced to a convict who has been released from jail who has an interesting secret to reveal. In the first part, the audience knows that the body has been buried in the police station that was under construction. Based on the convict’s statement the station floor is dug up and a skeleton is found.

George is now arrested. Is George finally punished for his crime and is he sentenced to death? Are Rani and Anju implicated in the case as well? To find these answers, you have to watch the movie. Well – am sure that most of you would have seen the movie and George walks away scot-free again.

Some questions to ponder:

  • Is emotional penance sufficient punishment for a crime? (Thanks to Narayanan Sheshadri sir for this thought).
  • Would you continue to remain in a place that has traumatised you and your family to such a great extent? Would you not move to another place?
  • Where does an individual’s right to privacy begin and end? Is the State free to monitor anyone that it chooses to place under surveillance?
  • What is the interpretation of the body, its soul, and their connection? If certain rites and rituals are not performed will the soul never find peace?
  • How far will you go to protect the ones you love?
  • For someone who is under surveillance using bugs; would not the police track his movement?
  • Yet again a movie which portrays the police falling flat on its face and the judiciary making a statement warning the police to be extra vigilant. It is demoralizing and for a case that’s personally handled by an IG and his select team – it is a shabby investigation that is completely derailed by “one switch”.

Irrespective of all these thoughts that may seem negative or be like shortcomings; the movie is shouldered brilliantly by Mohanlal who just emotes with his eyes and silence. Some sequences that are meant to be comic relief between husband and wife seem forced and artificial. Murali Gopy has tremendous screen presence and have always enjoyed his acting. Hoping to see more of him as an actor and not a writer or director. A great win for Amazon Prime. Enjoy the movie 😊.

2020 – The Rise of the OTT Platforms

The Chinese Virus led to the national lockdown and cinema halls were also a shut down with other establishments. For folks used to the big screen, the sheer joy of cheering their favourite stars on screen with other members of the audience, and eating the over-priced pop-corn, nachos, and other goodies came to a grinding halt.

OTT platforms cashed in on this scenario as producers had no option but to release their movies on these platforms and try to make up for the losses incurred. Unfortunately most of the movies that were celebrated and touted as big-ticket movies flopped if we can still use the term for an OTT release. “Gulabo Sitabo”, “Penguin”, “Ponmagal Vandhal”, “Coolie No.1”, “Nishabdham”, “Sufiyum Sujathaiyum”. All these movies tanked badly. It took “Soorarai Potru” helmed by Sudha Kongara and starring Suriya and Aparna that broke the ugly chain and was appreciated by everyone. “Mookuthi Amman” with RJ Balaji, Nayanthara, and Urvashi on Disney Hotstar had a good run too. It showed how godmen con the gullible public and mixed humour and awareness in good measure. Urvashi was the stand-out performer again and her scenes evoked a lot of laughter. She also had a good role in the Suriya-starrer.

“Paava Kadhaigal” and “Putham Pudhu Kaalai” brought the anthology concept to Tamil cinema and Kalidas Jayaram was the common factor in both the anthologies. His role as a transgender person who sacrifices his love for the sake of his sister brought out the emotions really well. Vetrimaran took a real incident that occurred in rural Tamil Nadu and fleshed it out on screen with pain and violence as Prakash Raj and Sai Pallavi acted out the roles with aplomb and brilliance.

“Taish” directed by Bejoy Nambiar and released on Zee5 had an interesting story-line and unfortunately it was “Ludo” with a multi-character and multi-plot story that received more acclaim. Netflix’s marketing bandwagon trumped Zee5 left, right, and center in this regard.

“Mirzapur 2” on Amazon Prime was again received well; unfortunately I have not seen either season, somehow just could not connect or fathom the mindless violence.

Much earlier in the year it was “Afsos” on Amazon Prime that caught my attention with its interesting premise. The elixir of life, a failed author looking to commit suicide, an ashram in the hills where multiple sadhus are killed, a mysterious assassin lady, and a bunch of other motley characters made this a memorable watch. Gulshan Devaiah and Jamie Alter were fun and it was Heeba Shah as the assassin who stole the show. This is my favourite watch of the year for the way it was written, scripted, directed, and performed. If you have not seen it yet, do watch.

“LockUp” was the surprise winner for me in terms of Tamil cinema. With Vaibhav, Venkat Prabhu, Eeshwari Rao, and others; the movie examines the murder of a senior cop, the death of a maidswoman and how the threads get connected. The movie proved that Vaibhav can act given a good role. Venkat Prabhu sometimes one feels got a raw deal in Kollywood and tasting success as a director led him to carve another path.

“Ka Pae Ranasingham” won rave reviews, unfortunately I have not seen the movie.

“Chintu ka Birthday” was a heartwarming tale that sought to find love and peace from a child’s view in a world filled with violence. Vinay Pathak, Seema Pahwa, Thillothama Shome, and the young kid playing Chintu deserve accolades.

“Forensic” and “Anjaam Paathira” were viewed in the theatre before the lockdown and both movies were fairly engaging.

Over the course of this year I decided to cut down on expenses, this led me to not renew my Amazon Prime or Zee 5 subscriptions. Disney Hotstar basic subscription will end later next year and I may or may not renew the subscription.

For me the OTT of the year purely on the basis of content has to be Sony LIV. Their interface is poor and the Android app is an absolute joke. But sheer depth of content makes it the winner.

“Scam 1992” – Pratik Gandhi a struggling Gujarati stage actor became the darling of Bollywood. Do remember he has acted in some Gujarati movies before. With “Scam 1992” – director Hansal Mehta created a brilliant saga of Harshad Mehta with an all-round ensemble cast that hit the sweet spot. The music – what do I say – it has become a popular ringtone.

“Risk hai toh Ishq hai” is my dialogue of the year 🙂

The groovy and addictive theme song / title track.

“Welcome Home” – This is a scary, violent movie that is based on a true story and has riveting performances by all the actors. Kashmira Irani, Shashi Bhushan, Boloram Das are the lead actors in this movie. The violence can be very traumatic and viewer discretion is advised.

“A Simple Murder” mixed humour and crime to present a black comedy that is not unlike the popular movies of the Guy Ritchie club. An ensemble cast that again works well and Priya Anand gets a meaty role which she completely owns as she makes the men in her life go mad about her. Again bungling contract killers play a major role in the story and one really feels for the poor hero Zeeshan who suffers. Will this get renewed for another season perhaps with a different set of characters and plot-line is something to be seen.

Which shows did you enjoy this year? Share your thoughts. Happy viewing. Stay safe, stay happy. God bless.

Of Fathers: Absent & Present and the Rage of Distraught Boys who Grow into No-Nonsense Men

This self-imposed sabbatical and vacation has freed up a lot of time. The Corona scare is keeping us locked inside and travel outside is restricted to buying provisions, essentials, and medicines if needed. On top of this the main road in the vicinity is under construction with a fresh layer of concrete being applied to the rundown road. The dust and grime do not make it pleasant to travel outside. The weather is still somewhat bearable and the intense heat spell is yet to start. My nephew is a huge wrestling fan and an automobile enthusiast. So he tunes into wrestling programs and browses automobile reviews on the large screen TV. This Fire Stick is a remarkable invention and literally brings the world to your finger-tips and casts it on the big screen. Even with about 5 to 10 MBPS speed the device and the TV work fine here. So in the afternoons after lunch, my nephew streams content on his phone or laptop or watches some Japanese animated series which he loves – Dragonball – I believe. This is the time when I watch movies on Prime or Netflix or Zee5.

A couple of days ago I watched two movies back to back. Vaanam Kotattum and Ayappanum Koshiyum. Please understand this is not a review. This is just a post on how the absence of a father/father-figure or the presence of an extremely opinionated and angry father/father-figure can impact the psyche of a young boy. As frequent readers of my blog and my few friends know, it took me a long time to understand my father and spend ample time with him and that too ended in an extremely bitter separation. In a country like India, for a woman to raise her children in the absence of her husband is a big challenge. Prying neighbours, society, so-called friends are more often than not a terrible pain in the rear.

In Vaanam Kotattum, Sarath Kumar is jailed for hacking two men to death. Those men had attacked his elder brother. The elder brother survives, the two men that SK hacks die. Radhika shifts to Chennai from Theni and struggles to rear her young boy and girl. The boy inherits his father’s anger and violence and is also street smart. As a song plays with the mandatory child to adult progression happens on screen; there’s one sequence that’s striking. The young boy, now a teen in high school, threatens to immolate himself if his mother does not give Rs 50. His mother gives in – does it set a tone for us to understand that he will go to any length to attain what he wants?  There are multiple scenarios wherein we are shown a glimpse of the character’s propensity for violence. When a banana trader refuses to make a full settlement and cheats his uncle, Selva follows the trader, punches his nose and gets the money due to his uncle. This incident later forms the basis for his business idea of starting a banana trading shop in Koyambedu fruits and vegetables market. An earlier incident when he works as a cab-driver and saves Madonna Sebastian and her lover from drowning show his softer side. He refuses to accept any money for saving their lives from Madonna’s father. Later as he becomes a known banana trader he stands guarantee in the bank for a Rs 2 crores loan as Madonna’s father goes into hiding to evade loan sharks. Once Sarath Kumar is released from jail and he joins the family several changes occur. He is instrumental in securing a load of bananas from Bengaluru at short notice when the original supplier backtracks. The rain – a recurring motif pours as Selva and his sister drive around the city looking for their father. The movie quickens pace in the last quarter as one of the sons of the slain men aim to strike back and avenge the death of his father and uncle by killing SK. Nandha plays a double role here. Yet again the absence of a father turns one kid into a meek and submissive man while the other kid turns into a psychologically disturbed adult who craves vengeance all through his life. The movie works well despite Mani Ratnam’s contributions to the story the debutante director manages to weave a convincing tale and show his directorial caliber.

The second movie was Ayappanum Koshiyum. Prithviraj has grown in stature since the early days of Nandanam. We saw what he was capable of in Padmakumar’s Vargam. Mumbai Police was an incredible turning point and he has not looked back. Venturing into production and focusing on strong stories and working across genres he commands respect as well as a strong BO opening.  Biju Menon – what do I write about him. Years ago in a television serial, I recollect that played on DD Malayalam, he played Chandu a character involved in the theft of an idol from a temple. If anyone recollects the name of the serial do mention it in the comments. Biju Menon has always been a dependable actor, no ego or frills and fancies, be it action, comedy, or drama, he will go about his task with ease. Ordinary revived his and Kunchako Boban’s careers.

In AK – Prithvi is Koshiy – a retired havildar with a strong political connection through his father and heir to a fortune of sorts. We have Ranjith playing Koshiy’s father – in snatches we learn Koshiy flunked the pre-degree exam and joined the army to avoid shame and ridicule. All through his childhood his father has pestered him questioning his abilities. Koshiy definitely has an alcohol problem. He is married and has two little daughters. Are they happily married? We assume things are OK like any family. His mother is bed-ridden. Ranjith was a political influencer in the past, now he is past his glory days. Koshiy is arrested for possession of alcohol in a protected area in Attapadi by Ayappan the police officer. Ayappan is a police officer who follows the law book and portrayed as a man with a golden heart. As the movie progresses we learn many interesting facts. He marries an Adivasi woman who is accused of being a Maoist sympathizer and gives her a stable life and is blessed with a young child. The movie is a clash of fragile masculine egos that sees how low will one person go to provoke another person and fight it out rather than having a heart-to-heart discussion. Koshi shoots a video of Ayappan opening a sealed bottle of alcohol which he serves to him based on repeated requests. The poor constable girl Jessie also becomes an unintended victim as the video is shared on TV channels and Ayappan loses his job. After this it is a game of one up-man ship as both the leads seek to destroy the lives of each other.

We learn another interesting facet about Ayappan’s life that is tied back to the opening sequence where a young man in traditional dance attire kills another individual. Ayappan an orphan had come from Tamil Nadu as an assassin for hire. He is saved by a local teacher who helps reform the young man and helps him join the police force. The uniform imparts dignity to his life and Ayappan becomes an honest cop and man. This is how the presence of a father-figure helps young men find their own true purpose in life.

Koshiy’s father arranges goons to bash up Ayappan and Koshiy is not aware of this. Koshiy also tries to resolve the issues but in the interim Ayappan visits Koshiy’s house and Koshiy’s father overreacts as does Koshiy’s wife who faints. The story builds up to a pulsating adrenaline-driven no-holds-barred fight. The two men bash each other up and are eventually separated by the cops in plain clothes. There’s a sequence where finally Koshiy challenges his father and confronts him with a heart to heart talk. Finally Koshiy’s father is sentenced to prison for planning to murder Ayappan. How things resolve? Who wins the fight between Mr. A and Mr. K.? You have to watch the movie to find the answers.

The whole purpose of this long blog post was the importance of an emotional chord and support that is needed for young children to grow up into responsible and loving adults. Are you a parent? How much time do you spend with your young ones? Do you treat your spouse with respect and dignity? How many people are leading a life of discord disguised as a life of convenience for the sake of the children, society, and status facades? Children learn by observing what their immediate family members do and say. No family or relationship is perfect. We do not live in Utopia. But it is important for parents to realize how they impact the emotional and psychological growth of their children by their words and deeds. Stop thrusting your unfulfilled dreams on your children. Spread love not hate.

Thank you for reading!

Cheers,

M

Theeran Adhigaram Ondru – Theeran Chapter One – A Riveting Cop-Tale

A gritty cop-tale without the trappings of commercial excesses is a rarity and the movies that come to my mind include:

Ardh Satya

Droh Kaal remade in Tamizh as Kurudhi Punal with Kamal and Arjun

Crime File in Malayalam based on the real case of the murder of a nun in a monastery

Kaakha Kaakha and Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu by Gautham Menon did a fair job but still had the song and dance routine in them. I am not going to speak about the Singham series as Hari and Suriya tested hearing capabilities with all the loud shouting though they were full paisa vasool hits.

Wednesday and Special 26 are other movies that come to my mind.

Last year, a debutante won the hearts and minds of viewers with Dhruvangal-16 that brought the good, old-school police-procedural to Tamil cinema.

As always, I deviate from the core topic, Karthi’s ‘Theeran Adhigaram Ondru’ made me sit up with its excellent trailer that spoke about a true-crime inspiration.

The actual case detail is listed here:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/operation-bawariaon-silver-screen-now/article20493784.ece

The movie has to cater to the needs of bringing in all categories of audiences and thus includes a cutesy romantic track between Karthi and Rakul. Then the movie hits the right gears. The story is about daring dacoities and murders perpetuated in farmhouses away from main cities across Tamil Nadu, especially in Thiruvallur District. As Karthi tries to uncover the case, some startling facts emerge that takes the investigative team across India.

Kudos to the director for doing his research and presenting a quick animated sequence about the Bawaria community.

Ten minutes before the interval starts the movie in its true sense and it is one thrilling ride till the end credits roll as Karthi, Bose Venkat and the remaining officers in the investigative team track down Oma and his gang of dacoits.

There is a sequence where the cops chase a dacoit on a bus. The dacoit jumps from one bus to another and is caught as he holds onto a rope and the cops hold him as the buses run on high speeds across the desert. There is a final shootout as well in a remote village that has been really well done.

Ghibran’s background score seems to be a bit too loud as in quite a few sequences the dialogue was not audible. It could be the theatre’s poor sound effects, so perhaps I could be wrong.

Do watch this movie, action-sequences itself are worth the price of admission and Abhimanyu Singh as the leader of the dacoits – Oma is menacing. Special congrats to the stunt coordinators as well.

Go watch it 🙂

Mukti Bhavan – In Search of Salvation

Mukti Bhavan and Masaan – now make companion pieces of sorts – Varanasi and the River Ganga playing a major role in both movies.

Mukti Bhavan titled Hotel Salvation for international releases is a powerful, poignant and bitter-sweet tale of the patriarch of a middle-class family and his relationship with his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in his quest for salvation.

In Varanasi/Benares/Kashi – remains a hotel called Mukti Bhavan where those who seek their final journey find an abode. Our lead character Daya played by Lalit Behl is a 77-year old man who has lived a life, well-spent, he sees a dream that foretells his death and he decides to leave for Varanasi to spend his last days. His son Rajiv played brilliantly by Adil Hussain seems to work in some kind of bank or investment firm and is seen chasing sales targets. Rajiv’s wife Lata played by Gitanjali Kulkarni and daughter Sunitha played by the elegant Palomi Ghosh also add to the perfect portrayal of the slightly upper middle-class family structure. They own a car as well as a Bajaj scooter.

Rajiv manages to secure a fortnight’s leave and accompanies Daya to Varanasi and they check-in to Mukti Bhavan. The caretaker Mishra ji is  played by Anil K. Rastogi who has some brilliant lines – “Death is a process.” “The souls here reside within the body. Once the body dies what purpose does the soul serve here.”

At one juncture, Daya falls sick and everyone feels he will die. An elderly lady at Mukti Bhavan played by Navinidra Behl adds grace and charm to the tale, she quips – ‘I have been waiting all my life here to die.” Daya apologises to his son for scuttling his son’s talents and dreams of being a poet. Some real good father-son scenes and I am sure a lot of us guys will relate to these scenes. Daya survives, Latha and Sunitha also make a surprise visit. The 15 day period comes to an end and the caretaker says – ‘Register in a new name and continue to wait for salvation.’

Daya finds a friend and companion in Vimala, then Vimala dies and Daya narrates a moving obituary that he has written for her. Daya advises Rajiv to return to his regular life.

Do watch this movie to figure out what happens to Daya.

At times, amidst all the drivel and leave your ‘mind at home’ cinema that all the woods bombard us with – small little gems like these arrive and make us fall in love with cinema and real characters. By the time the movie ended, I was quite emotional, been some time since I cried after watching a movie; Mukti Bhavan makes me think a lot. My obsession with death, salvation and redemption continue. There are no answers, neither are there any new questions. Celebrate death, embrace it, that which needs to happen will happen.

Full marks to director – Subhashish Bhutiani for an assured, confident and meaningful debut.

 

The Keeper of Lost Causes – Movie Review

Title–The Keeper of Lost Causes

Language–Danish

Original Title-Kvinden i buret

Genre – Crime Thriller / Police Procedural

Directed by–Mikkel Nørgaard

Written by–Jussi Adler-Olsen

Screenplay by–Nikolaj Arcel

Starring– Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares, Sonja Richter, Søren Pilmark.

Release-2013

 

“The Keeper of Lost Causes” is the first movie in the Danish film trilogy titled ‘Department Q’. Based on the best-selling books by Jussi Adler-Olsen the movie is a throwback to a proper investigative police-procedural instead of the slam-bang-chase-two-sex scenes formula that Hollywood seems to have perfected. A routine investigation goes horribly wrong with two police officers shot dead and our protagonist injured badly and returning to duty after recuperation. The top-cop speaks to our returning cop stating that he will no longer be a part of Homicide squad and is being assigned to a new department – Department Q, which will dig through old cases that have not been closed and sort them out appropriately.

Left without an option – Carl Morck joins Department Q, which has Assad a Muslim cop who is jovial and focused and enjoys his work. The camaraderie between the two is brought out well as the movie progresses. Carl digs out a five-year old case of a young lady politician, Merete who had gone missing when on a ferry trip with her mentally challenged brother Uffe.

Carl and Assad painstakingly rebuild the case looking for answers, the movie builds its tension gradually and uncovers dark secrets and presents a villain that’s menacing and truly diabolical. Was Merete killed? Did she commit suicide as stated in the case=report? What is Uffe hiding? To find out all the answers, watch the movie.

Excellent adaptation of the book and full credit to the director for a job well done!

Mom – Thoughts on the Sridevi Starrer

The ‘Nirbhaya’ gang-rape case shook the collective conscience of the country. Across the country, candle-light vigils and protests were held and we all prayed that the victim would by some miracle of medicine and prayers survive; but it was not to be. Since the horrific and painful incident, we regularly receive news-reports of abuse, rape, murder and the vilest of them all – child-rape by perverted paedophiles. Every single time, the blood boils, the castrated rage finds outrage-outlet on one’s social networking profile and then everything is forgotten. Some friends whom I know are taking concrete measures by conducting safety-awareness and self-defence workshops, which are empowering women and young girls.

Get in touch with Janani – for more information!

I will get back to the movie, this is not exactly a review, so it will not follow the usual – starcast and technical crew details. Sridevi plays a Biology teacher with two daughters, one a teenager and the other about eight or nine years old. The elder daughter is gang-raped and dumped in a drain, the perpetrators include her classmates, a watchman and a goon. The girl attends a Valentine’s Day party at a farmhouse organised by her classmates and Sridevi grants permission with a bit of fear in her mind and all her fears come true as her daughter undergoes the unmentionable. Credit to the director to not slip into sleaze and show any uncomfortable scenes. The girl survives, is discovered, admitted to the hospital and a case filed. What follows is a true depiction of the blasted legal system that this country is left with as a remnant of our Colonial Hangover and how the suspects/accused escape with ease.

The rest of the movie details how the anguished mother avenges the traumatic rape of her daughter with a bit of help from Nawazuddin Sidiqqui who plays a detective. The climax happens in the mountains and Akshaye Khanna as the investigative cop has a good role too. Kudos to the actor playing the distraught dad as well. The girl who portrays the victim has also done a good job and I look forward to her acting in longer and meaningful roles.

A sad reminder of the times that we live in – vigilante justice remains the only solution!

 

S for Shankarabharanam

K.Vishwanath the brilliant mind behind gems of Southern Cinema has been recently conferred the Dada Saheb Phalke Award and it is a great honour to revisit his classic work – Shankarabharanam – The Jewel of Shankara.

The movie narrates the tale of a remarkable Carnatic music vidwaan Shankara Shastrigal played by Somayajulu; his platonic relationship with a prostitute’s daughter Thulasi and a sequence of events that lead to the shastrigal becoming young Thulasi’s guardian. There is a track of the shastrigal’s own daughter and her wedding as well. This movie saw SPB flowering into a brilliant singer with awesome renditions of songs. It will not be incorrect to say that this movie definitely marked a turning point in SPB’s playback singing career as well. The movie’s resounding success and awards led to the movie being dubbed into other languages as well.

Listen to this soul-stirring gem:

Trailer of the digitally restored Tamizh version of the movie:

 

 

R for Ratha Kaneer

This was a phenomenal movie that showcased the brilliance of MR Radha – the acting genius. One wonders if he had not embroiled himself in the MR shooting case if his legacy would be different. This movie Ratha Kaneer – Tears of Blood – released in 1954 and was directed by Krishnan-Panju. The movie introduces us to a rich man Mohan and looks at his life in flashback mode as the story starts with a speech by SS Rajendran talking about Mohan after unveiling his statue.

The movie is based on a play written by Thiruvarur Thanagrasu and MR Radha won critical acclaim playing the lead Mohan wherever the play was staged. The play’s success turned it into an even greater film.

From Wikipedia — “The story revolves around Mohanasundaram, a returned-from-abroad, westernized, rich man who shows arrogance and contempt towards anything part of Indian culture and anyone below his social standards. According to Selvaraj Velayutham, Ratha Kanneer was built on a framework of purity and impurity. The title of the film meaning “Tears of Blood” refers to the tears of the wife who is pure.”

There is a scene wherein he turns a leper and beggar and rues at his life that still brings tears to the viewer’s eyes. A true classic of Tamizh cinema that teaches us how to lead an ideal and virtuous life and the perils of committing sins!

Watch the movie!

 

Q for Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak

The movie that launched Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla into Bollywood superstardom. Juhi Chawla is now a leading businesswoman with interests in television and sports. Aamir continues to act with some fantastic movies in the past decade.

QSQT was a super-duper hit on release with all the songs turning chartbusters. The story of star-crossed lovers from warring families, the movie starts with deaths and ends with deaths of lovers.

Some songs that continue to enthrall:

 

P for Parinayam

Released in 1994, ‘Parinayam’ (Wedding) was written by MT Vasudevan Nair and directed by Hariharan. The movie starred Mohini in a powerhouse role (I still feel Southern Cinema did not give her the accolades and roles she deserved). Other characters include Manoj K Jayan, Vineeth, Thilakan, Nedumudi Venu. With songs tuned by Bombay Ravi and lyrics by Yusuf Ali Kechery the songs stirred the soul.

Listen to the gem below:

The movie explores the problems faced by a young Namboothiri widow and is based on Smarthavicharam (ritualistic trial for adultery) of Kuryeddath Thathri, that created a shock among Kerala in early twentieth century that led to the reformation of Namboothiri community. <Extracted from Wikipedia>

The movie is full of fantastic performances and shows how drama can take a viewer to another plane of contentment altogether. The movie truly adds the F in Feminism and I would recommend all women to watch it please.