Movies... and more Movies..
Watched Sathyan Anthikkad's movie Oraal Mathram yesterday on Soorya TV. I think it was a big flop in the box office. But it was not a bad movie after all. The story had logical inconsistencies like the fancy dress of the rich businessman etc., but still it was forgivable. Mammootty, Thilakan, Sreenivasan, Lalu Alex, Sruthi, Praveena - all were good and there were few interesting scenes with Sudeesh. In some way the movie was an unconventional commercial movie - like Lalu Alex's inspector was not a cruel person, and no full fledged love affair emerged between Mammootty and Sruthi, the heroine.
I have seen most of Sathyan Anthikkad's movies. Except for Appunni, which is based on VKN's story, none of his movies can really be called as great artistic achievements. He doesn't do much exaggeration of events; but his characters are mostly caricatures, and are often played by the same group of characters - like Oduvil Unnikrishnan, KPAC Lalitha, Thilakan, Sreenivasan, Shankarati, Mamukkoya and so on. Still, his movies are always good refreshing entertainers, and it is a pleasure to watch them even repeatedly. I have often thought why I like his movies. Probably it is because of the simplicity of his films and also the sincerity he shows in making them. Besides, I like all his cartoon characters, and it is a nice feeling to be with them.
Probably no other film maker might have made such a pleasing icon of Kerala Village Life. Light green rice fields, narrow untarred pathways in between the yellow bamboo trees, temple ponds with their steps covered with moss, The Chayakkada owned by Shankarati, thatched with plaited coconut leaves, a glass Alamara filled with Parippuvada and Pazhambori, an old wooden bench and desk in front of the shop where people sit, eat and gossip, when the Velichhappatu comes and shouts to add more excitement to the party. I cant really say whether I would be happy to stay in such a village for long time in real life, because I have never stayed in a village myself. But the screen image of a Kerala Village created by Sathyan Anthikkad is very much tempting to me.
Kannada actress Sruthi was the leading lady in Oral Mathram. She is regarded as the "sob queen" of Kannada, as most of the time she spends crying in movies. I had watched a Kannada movie Kodagina Kaveri many years back, in Triveni theater at Majestic. I went for it just for having a feel of Kannada movies. I didn't understand any dialogue from it, but I could get the overall story. I remember many of the people from the female audience crying and weeping loudly every time Sruthi came on the screen, with tears on her face, of course.
I have seen only a few Kannada movies, I can count in my fingers. TS Nagabharana's Nagamandala, Girish Kasaravalli's Thai Sahiba and Thabarana Kathe were all great movies. Girish Karnad's Hindi movie Cheluvi, I think was based on a Kannada folk tale, about a woman transforming to a tree. It was a poetic movie, and is one of my favorites.