I saw many evergreen Malayalam movies in the television. On saturday there was "Bhargavee Nilayam" and Jayaraj's "Deshatanam" being shown at the same time in two channels. I hadn't seen Bhargavee Nilayam before. So decided to see it. It was a great movie. It is wrong to classify Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer's story "Neela Veliccham" and his own screenplay extended from the story as horror stories. In fact they are the epitome of romanticism in Malayalam literature. Neelavelichham is a very small story, as almost all Basheer's stories. Still it conveys great feelings to the reader when he reads the climax, when Basheer sees a large blue flame from the kerosine-less lantern.
I feel Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer is the greatest Malayalam writer. He is a writer who we can tell undoubtably deserved the Nobel prize. But he didn't even receive the Jnanapeedham award. He stood miles apart from the rest of Malayalam writers in everything. His life itself was like one of his stories - poverty, years of wanderings all over India, in the Himalayas, in deserts, working as newspaper man, hotel cook, cleaner and what not. Still he never lost his quality attitude towards life. When we read his stories, we feel like Basheer himself is sitting besides us and telling us the stories. He conveys great things to the reader through simple sentences and even punctuation marks, written in his inimitable style.
Vincent has made a nice movie out of the screenplay, compared to the usual standards of Malayalam cinema in the 60-70's. Madhu is excellent in Basheer's role, and the film has many beautiful songs, with Baburaj's music. The song "Ekanthathayude Aparatheeram" is one of the greatest songs in Malayalam. When Basheer walks in the seashore, singing this song, it makes us remember the entire life of Basheer, his wanderings, experiences... How he once collapsed in the Thar desert gazing at the unending array of stars in the vast sky and was woken up by some sadhus and realized the meaning of Aham Brahmasmi and Anal Haq. The song captures the essence of Basheer's life.
I heard that they are going to remake this movie. But unfortunately, MT Vasudevan Nair is going to write the screenplay this time.I hope he wont spoil the movie with his additions/inventions.
I had seen the movie "Dhwani" around 12 years back. I still remember the beautiful posters designed by PN Menon. I guess he was the last poster designer in Malayalam who made original posters. Later, Gayathri and Colonia designed posters which looked like imitations of Hollywood or Bollywood, many times. "Dhwani" has a nice story line and great songs. The O.Henry twist in the end where Jayaram (and us) know that shobhana cant talk - it is a great cinematic challenge to effectively lead the story till that climax without invoking any suspicion that the heroine can't talk. The movie is worth watching just to see how AT Abu handles this situation.
Other than these I saw "Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu" which I wont mind seeing any number of times. Sunday evening I watched Dasharatham by Siby Malayil. Worth watching for once. I also watched Shivaji's "Puthiya Paravai" and realized that the idea of Mammootty-Rahman movie "Charithram" is copied from this movie.
Got some letters from home. One was posted two weeks back, but I guess there was some postal strike or something.