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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why Thoovaanathumbikal is not a masterpiece?



The internet is literally flooded with admirers of the 1987 malayalam movie, Thoovaanathumbikal. Just a look at the Orkut community for P.Padmarajan will show the kind of admiration this movie has got. And far more, my two close friends were mouthing always about this movie. So, finally, I decided to get a DVD from one of them and watched it last sunday.

To be frank, I didn't like the movie. Or maybe, I liked the story, but I didn't like the way it was shot. Apart from the storyline and fantastic music (both songs and the background), everything else sucks.

Mohanlal just delivers an average performance. But, the way he tries to squeeze Thrissur accent made it horrible. And the joke is that half way through the movie, he seems to have lost the Thrissur accent.

What some people might say is that this is a trick by the director to show the change of his character without directly referring about it. But, even if that is true, that really eats into the performance of the character.

Sumalatha and Parvathi are both charming as usual. And Parvathi portrays a really powerful girl, much ahead of his age. This is a characteristics of many Papettan movies where he is able to present a strong and sharp woman. (Remember Thakara, Desadanakilli Karayarilla, Rathinirvedhan, Shalini Ente Kootukaari, Nombarithipoovu etc..?).

Ashokan puts a good performance. His portrayal of the slow transition from the "sorry" state to a more "strong" state is impressive. Jagathy Sreekumar's role, which looks like a loose comedy relief fails to hit the point. (Remember Kavala in Moonam Pakkam?)

Other actors have given a below the mark. Babu Nampoothiri gives his worst performance ever as Thangal. The acting of the friend's of Jayakrishnan is also bad. Maybe Pappetan casted someone who is new to the field to get the different style.

Music is fantabulous. Both the songs and the background. No comments about it. So, as a round up, Thoovaanathumbikal, like all Padmarajan movies, has a great story and a wonderful script. But the way the director tried to depict that on celluliod was a failure.

Many small nuances like the usage of rain in the movie is a repetition of his own work. (Think of the climax scene in Rathinirvedam. By the way, it was directed by Bharathan, but surely Padmarajan would have been a part of the crew). Anyway, this can be interpreted by the name of the film, Butterflies (or moths) in the drizzle.

Padmarajan is a great script-writer and a good director. He is one of India's greatest film-maker. His death is one of the biggest lose to our film world. (Maybe another is Bharathan). But, I will say that Thoovaanathumbikal is not his best or masterpiece.

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