Friday, January 30, 2015


The problem with being a mallu growing elsewhere than Kerala is that you will, through your childhood, mock everything remotely related to coconut and the coconut land. Then karma strikes in the form of your parents sending you to college in Kerala. Suddenly a coconut drops on your head,metaphorically ofcourse, and you get enlightenment. The culture of the place piques your interest. You discover the gold mines of Malayalam cinema. You poke yourself with a kappa stick and ask self why didn't you watch them movies before instead of relying today on Asianet and SkipAdstube. I'm not kidding. I had to search over 20 different movie streaming sites to find a decent print of Mazhavilkavadi where I can see the actress properly ( mallus know their heros even in a dark well but the actresses are always forgotten !)

 Mallus if you love your muthassi, weird named cousins, Karimeen fry and mesmerising greenery, you cannot not like Mohanlal, Mammootty, etc. SO you gotta like classics esp 1975 onwards - (because anything before that is silent movie right? 10 on 10) - the kind of cinema which have been done (like Joe's well done steak) to death by mimic artists in All India Malayali associations' events in Dufai,Gelf (ya its time you segregate these areas) and Yumerica.

Mazhavilkavadi is an evergreen hit of Sathyan Anthikad. Anthikad's movies are not just about a particular story,formula or genre. He has unknowingly a genre of his own. One where the story is a simple white sheet of paper,but he takes the viewer through a journey of life.  A journey across paddy fields, thatched huts, sunsets, steamed rice, life of native folks, problems in common households, who eat kanji and the most happening thing in their day is the postman riding his cycle excitedly towards the tea junction. You have to watch his movies to understand the hidden shades in the paper.


So Mazhavilkavadi is about a love affair which is opposed by the girls family because of the boy's lack of wealth and plenty of attitude. The village is with the boy and against the girl's father. The movie is about just that. Though Anthikad has layers which slowly unfolds as you watch.

Watch Mazhavilkavadi with unniappam and tea before Asianet or Kairali stops reruns and resorts to 'macha' movies of today.

Sathyan Anthikad the director.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Manzil 1979

A Basu Chatterjee film starring Amitabh Bachhan and Moushimi Chaterjee.
Basuda is known for light movies sans formula or masala, almost attaining a cult status of his own. Like the light showers of a glorious evening, something you may not acknowledge but still lovely. Think Basuda and you will say Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt, actors you cannot help loving. You may not be mad fans of them but you will not bypass their movies without a warm smile. Mostly a nostalgic one.

Nevertheless, Manzil in my opinion, wasn't as brilliant as Chameli (1986) ,Shaukeen (1982) and my favourite Baton Baton Mein (1979). Probably because Amitabh Bachhan wasn't used to his potential. I felt Bachhan's acting wasn't deep as the character of a jobless, despairing yet aspiring entrepreneur. The romance seemed casual. The story and the message of the movie - why entrepreneurship needs more encouragement (then and now) - are all well shown, still the movie was a tad less Basuish. My only favourite was and is the evergreen song ' Rimjim gire sawaan...'

Maybe I missed Ramprasad Dashrath Prasad Sharma.