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    1. #1
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      Default Retrospections OR Revisitings of golden classics!!!

      Dear Friends,

      This is a thread dedicated for you to share your experiences of watching ageless classics and how it affected you or those around you at the time... It can also be your thoughts after rewatching them and how your perspectives have changed over the time, for better or worse... DIVE IN!!!
      "Greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didnt exist..." - Soze

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      NIRNAYAM


      Cant think of a better movie to commence this thread than this classic gem and one of my personal alltime favourites... As everybody knows by now, the movie is an unofficial remake of the iconic Harrison Ford starrer 'The Fugitive' (in itself a remake of a 1963 series) which has also been remade into telugu and hindi with Nagarjuna as 'criminal'... Having watched all versions of the similar story (including the cringy Nagarjuna versions), it cannot be denied that 'Nirnayam' is one of those rare instances wherein atleast personally, the remake fared much better than the original... Here's my thoughts on why...

      While 'Fugitive' begins with the courtroom hearing after the murder of Dr. Kimble's wife, Nirnayam builds towards that only by it's interval... Nirnayam has a fabulous prologue introducing the antagonist with that eerie bgm and piques the audience interest before the opening credits start rolling... Then, we are straightaway introduced to Dr. Roy Mathews, as a drunken driver (not exactly an ideal intro for a role model), Dr. V.D Iyer and Dr. Annie... Then through various interesting circumstances, we witness the humanitarian in Dr. Roy, his equations with Iyer and Fr. Thayyil, his empathy towards the orphaned Parukutty, his blossoming love with Dr. Annie and we end up rooting for all these characters at the end of the first half... We are devastated by the death of Annie and we feel Roy's pain in that court room sequence especially in his heartbreaking monologue 'ente Annieye njan konnitilla'... By the time Roy is sentenced, we are invested in him and we are ready to go on a thrilling journey with him to prove his innocence (unlike Dr. Kimble's ordeal)... We go through an array of emotions and tension and by the end, we are elated at Dr. Roy's triumph... Yes, the story is adapted but they improved upon the source material especially by swapping all that boring pharmaceutical drug conspiracy for the much more interesting black market organ trafficking angle...

      The music and background scores by R Anandh, were a huge backbone for the movie especially the scores used for the killer, romantic tunes and the one after the court sentencing... Its a wonder why this talented composer wasnt seen much in movies afterwards... The visuals by Santosh Sivan are unsurprisingly world class and most of his frames and angles are just awe inducing and never seen before at the time... And Sharat Saxena's portrayal of the coldblooded killer used to send chills down my spine... Lots of people remember him for his 'samar khan' in kilukkam but this role will always remain a personal favourite... Ofcourse there are some scenes that havent aged well, like the stereotypical portrayal of the sleazy nurse but can be forgiven keeping in mind, its a product of another era...

      Which brings me to the one and only Lalettan... At the end of the day, he is the one that makes all the difference... While Ford's stoic portrayal passes for a watchable experience, Nagarjuna's cringe version is just unbearable... However, what neither of them could do and what Lalettan did right so effortlessly was, make that character his own... Every movement and mannerism of Dr. Roy oozes charm and confidence and at the same time looked dapper and handsome... Being one of the earliest movies i ever watched, I believe this is the portrayal that awakened the Lalettan fan in me... And unsurprisingly, this is one of those rare movies that inspired lots of impressionable young boys and girls to become a 'humane doctor like Dr. Roy'... Hell, there is even a doctors fans association for Lalettan known as 'Nirnayam medicoz' (something which no other stars have achieved if i remember correctly)... Revisiting this movie almost 20 years later while in our college hostel tv room, we were absolutely stunned and flabbergasted at the way Dr. Roy looked so familiar to us, especially with the mannerisms of our HOD's, unit chiefs and surgeons even in present day during rounds and also the scene where he chastises the lady doctor in the lift for missing a hemothorax case... Yet another proof to the timeless brilliances in his perfomances...

      This movie might not have worked wonders at the boxoffice at the time of its release(and i will never know why) but it inspired a whole new generation of doctors to be empathetic to patients... If thats not a testimony to how a great actor's perfomance influences people in a positive manner, i dont know what else is... Dr. Roy still remains the best onscreen doctor in malayalam cinema followed by Dr. Ravi Tharakan(but thats a writeup for another day...)...
      Last edited by Dr.BenAbraham; 20th March 2020 at 02:29 PM.
      "Greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didnt exist..." - Soze

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dr.BenAbraham View Post
      NIRNAYAM
      I think it did fairly well for it's genre at that time. That was an era when subjects like medical thrillers/drama etc were quite rare and new. It did not have a mass hero angle like a Rajavinte Makan or 20th Century, nor did it have the outrageous comedy like an In Harihar Nagar. A movie that achieved these balances perfectly in my opinion was Yodha. That was also a time of musicals and family dramas. This had none of those elements, yet did well, which is credit to the makers. It remains perhaps Lalu Alex's best mass character to date.

      Many years later, I did wonder why the doctor was portrayed also as an alcoholic? Is it ethical for a doctor to be so dependent on alcohol? The same question we asked after watching Arjun Reddy. And, also there was one scene where he explains why he chose to work in the private hospital rather than govt hospital, which seemed like an exercise in giving the character moral high ground, rather than doing any good to the story.

    4. #4
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      Some of them do depend on Alchol and when i discussed this with couple of my friends who are GP's they said "day in day out we listen to people about their worries, sickness some times their sheer stupidity ,sometimes things will be so bad that you start questioning the existence of a supreme power especially when they deal with kids who has chronic illness etc" so apparently alcohol for them is a way to relax and scientifically what alcohol does helps their brain etc etc, I lost the plot at this stage as my padayappa stage kicked in ��.
      In saying this My cousin who is a specialist practicing in Govt Medical College is a
      teetotaller so exceptions do exist .

      Arjun Reddy is different as he is battling an emotional issue for which he relies
      on alcohol !
      There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

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      Quote Originally Posted by sethumadhavan View Post
      I think it did fairly well for it's genre at that time. That was an era when subjects like medical thrillers/drama etc were quite rare and new. It did not have a mass hero angle like a Rajavinte Makan or 20th Century, nor did it have the outrageous comedy like an In Harihar Nagar. A movie that achieved these balances perfectly in my opinion was Yodha. That was also a time of musicals and family dramas. This had none of those elements, yet did well, which is credit to the makers. It remains perhaps Lalu Alex's best mass character to date.

      Many years later, I did wonder why the doctor was portrayed also as an alcoholic? Is it ethical for a doctor to be so dependent on alcohol? The same question we asked after watching Arjun Reddy. And, also there was one scene where he explains why he chose to work in the private hospital rather than govt hospital, which seemed like an exercise in giving the character moral high ground, rather than doing any good to the story.
      there are scores of doctors in real life who use alcohol in their leisure time... its a stress reliever in an otherwise hectic job and an increasingly thankless profession nowadays... what would be unethical is to be inebriated during on call duty... that cannot be justified in any way... and something irresponsible like that is never shown in the movie...
      pinne you are right that explanation for working in private hospital doesnt contribute much to the core story... Maybe that might have been placed to clarify any audience doubts to an extent as to 'why would a doctor with service mentality not stay in govt sector?'... i have seen lots of initially eager seniors who have become disillusioned with the way some govt hospitals work (not that private sector is any better but a lesser evil for some based on who you ask)...
      "Greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didnt exist..." - Soze

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      Spadikam

      Revisited this gem today on its 25th anniversary and man this movie has aged well like fine wine... Contrary to popular opinion, I felt the opening intro and fight scene was kinda abrupt and jarring as if we are dropped right in the middle of the narrative without much context... For me, the movie begins getting interesting when thoma's reaction is shown to the crying kid saying 'achan enne thallii'... The dynamic that Thoma has with all supporting characters including chackomashe, ponnamma/mary, his kochappan and Fr. Ottaplakan are uniquely well written and the superb performances by the respective actors are just irreplaceable, something rarely seen in movies these days... Thoma's relation with his kochappan is especially underrated imo when compared to the famous 'father son' storyline and watching this movie during my childhood, I wished I had a cool uncle like Manimala Vakkachan...

      For me, this movie was never a mass movie like a narasimham or aaram thamburan or ravanaprabhu but a well written, beautifully performed, passably directed(personally, joshy or shaji kailas would have done a better job) movie... But as everybody agrees, the character of aadu thoma was made marana mass by the lalettan swagger even while playing a rowdy character that beds a prostitute regularly (I cant remember any other huge star doing any similar shady character in a mainstream commercial cinema during those times)... Bhadran has said recently that nobody else can pull off the character of aadu thoma other than mohanlal even to this day and agree with him to an extent... But having watched ayyapanum koshiyum recently, personally i believe Prithviraj might have the spunk and charm to pull it off in his own way(he will still fall short of Lalettan's range but nobody else is even comparable)...
      "Greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didnt exist..." - Soze

    7. #7
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      Saw Kaalapani on Asianet last Saturday.. Some scattered thoughts!

      Kaalapani during the Marakkar weekend!


      This weekend was supposed to be Malayalam cinema's event of 2020, a record breaking opening was ensured, 500 screens in Kerala, an 'industry hit' that was almost
      pre-ordained according to the fans, Malayalam cinema's answer to Bahubali, the movie that would put Malayalam cinema on the world map, Marakkar Arabikkadalinte
      Simham. It might look silly to lament on a postponed release in these times when life has been put on standby mode, but this is not about Marakkar; his time will
      come sooner or later. This is about Priyadarshan's Govardhan, the prisoner in Cellular Jail who never returned. On Saturday, watching Kaalapani on Asianet from within
      the confines of my home, I reflected on how cinema and our perception of it had changed over these 24 years with some scattered recollections of how Kaalapani had
      been received back then.


      Too costly for Malayalam?
      Kaalapani was the Marakkar of 96. That was a time when the budget of a movie was perhaps not as intensely scrutinized or talked about as it is now. But, even in those
      times, the scale of Kaalapani generated a lot of curiosity amongst the general audience. There was talk that this was too big for Malayalam cinema, that Mohanlal the
      producer had erred in his judgment. Back then, everyone waited for a good two weeks before pronouncing the verdict on a movie. When Kaalapani released, the
      feeling was one of impending doom, that no matter how good this movie turned out to be, it would never bring back the money that had been put into it.Maybe I was too
      young back then, but I remember getting the feeling that many people waited for the news on Kaalapani expecting a Goliath-like debacle that could be talked about around
      dinner tables for months to come. Did that news come? Yes and no! It was not a debacle by any means, and there are still furious debates around this in fan circles.
      For a movie that reportedly raised the budget bar of Malayalam movies by nearly 250%, a profit was nearly unimaginable, a prophecy which many people wanted to see
      fulfilled to have that 'I told you so' moment. Years after Kaalapani, Priyadarshan reminisced about a remark that had come from another senior director over lunch.
      Discussing Kaalapani, the senior director had wondered about how many small movies could have been made with the money splurged on Kaalapani. On the lunch table that day
      was a plate of biriyani, and Priyadarshan, according to his recollection, had to fight back a temptation to ask how many idlis could have been bought at the cost of
      the biryani. That was the kind of pessimism that shrouded Kaalapani when it was announced, made and released. BUt, 25 years later, there isn't that kind of pessimism
      around Marakkar. Malayalam cinema has stretched it's limits multiple times in the last decade thanks to Pazhassiraja, Urumi, Drishyam,Premam, Pulimurugan and Luficer.
      Now there is a feeling that if the movie is good enough, any budget is justified.


      Priyadarshan's politics?
      1996 was a time when cinema was looked upon as just cinema, and we look back fondly at those times. Kaalapani released, and for many of my generation, that was the first
      we heard the name Veer Savarkar. I am not sure if I was too young or too naive at the time to understand if the movie exposed any political leanings of its writer
      and director. But, as the years have gone by, more and more people have dug into the politics of Kaalapani and come up with their own interpretations. These are times
      when it's almost impossible for a prominent film personality to remain apolitical in the public view. Priyadarshan has not tried to remain apolitical and has been
      quite open on social media about his preferences. Maybe it is this very open admission by Priyadarshan that has lead people to look much more closely at the
      politics of Kaalapani. Nearly 20 years after its initial release, I heard that Kaalapani was an exercise in glorifying Savarkar! Really? I had never thought about it
      that way. But, when doubts are planted in your mind, you start looking at things differently, you start looking to read between lines. Watching Kaalapani again in
      changed times and much more politically polarised climate makes you look at certain portions with suspicion. Yes, Savarkar is being shown as a hero! But, maybe he
      really was a hero in the Cellular Jail at that time. Yes, you see quite a direct jibe at the Congress which is branded as the party that was founded by wealthy and
      the priveleged to protect their interests, and the Communist is branded as an outfit that promotes violence. All this in the space of two minutes. There was
      enforced coprophagia on a Brahmin by a tyrannical jail warden who happened to be Muslim! Put it all together
      and couple it with the obvious political leaning on Priyadarshan's social media - well, Kaalapani does not look so innocent anymore! It's at times like these that one
      hopes we could go back to the 90s where cinema was seen as a story shown on the screen for 3 hours, after which we got on with our lives. No one bothered about the
      director's political inclinations, no one got offended by a few lines here or there. In 2020, Priyadarshan's real-life political leanings have already caused a
      debate about how he will present Marakkar, a hero from a community that is at loggerheads with the political outfit that the director beleives in. It was all so
      simple back then.


      What's with the accent?
      How historically accurate is it? Everytime a period movie comes out, we keep going back to this question. Back in 1996, Kaalapani was as accurate as a Malayalam
      movie had ever got with the pre-independence era. For the average viewer, there was nothing that could be faulted. Maybe the highly read or the politically
      inclined had a question or two to ask about how Savarkar was represented. But, there was one very minute detail picked up by som prominent intellectual of the time,
      you could even call it picky. Remember David Barry, the sadistic jailor who inflicted the most unimaginable cruelties on the inmates of his jail, through Mirza Khan
      of course! The problem, or so it was said, was that Barry spoke with an Irish accent in the movie. How could a British jailor have an Irish accent, the critic/
      intellectual had wondered aloud? For those of us that cannot tell the difference between the two accents, it didn't matter. But, could Priyadarshan too have been
      ignorant of the fact that British and Irish accents are different, or did he just cast the actor available? Neither Priyadarshan nor anyone associated with
      Kaalapani responded to this at that time, they obviously had other things on their mind. But, many years later someone else said casually in an interview that the
      Irish accent was not a mistake, it was there because the real David Barry was of Irish descent. The accent/slang trouble has been with Priyadarshan since then I guess.
      In 2003, the most hated thing about Kilichundan Mambazham was Mohanlal's artifical North Kerala slang, which is trolled even today, and which was the biggest bone of
      contention between fan camps when Marakkar's first teaser released.


      Did Mohanlal really lick it?
      Classrooms those days were always divided into two camps! If it was Rajni vs Kamal in TN, it was Mammootty vs Mohanlal in Kerala. And, when Kaalapani released the big
      debate was whether Mohanlal really licked Amrish Puri's shoes. Those were conflicting times for young fans of both Mohanlal and Mammootty. Neither knew whether it was
      a good thing that an actor had shown enough committment, or a sign that Bollywood villains were a step above Malayalam heroes! Silly as it may sound now, this was a
      genuine dilemma back then. To see your favorite hero bend down and lick a Hindi villain's boots did evoke mixed feelings. Those were also the days when movie news
      could be found only in Nana or one other weekly, unlike now when every shooting spot event is out on Youtube even before the movie has released. It was quite a few
      years after Kaalapani's release that we began to hear stories of how Amrish Puri burst into tears after Mohanlal did the 'boot licking' shot for real. That did puff up
      the pride of the young Mohanlal fan, knowing that the great Mogambo had been moved to tears by your idol! It was also a turning point in fanship for many I beleive.
      Mohanlal did not need to be the Aadu Thoma or Mangalasseri Neelakanthan to make his fans feel proud, showing unimaginable commitment to every frame in a movie was
      equally clapworthy! Marakkar faces the same question. Will it play to the gallery, will it stop the narrative at Marakkar's highest point, his victorious battle, or
      will it show how he eventually fell?


      What's 'tatti'?
      For those who have learnt Hindi in Kerala or in the south schools in general, the word 'tatti' was not part of the vocabulary. After all, schools do not teach 'slang'.
      So, when Amrish Puri force fed 'tatti' to Tinnu Anand (all characters spoke their native tongue in Kaalapani, unlike now when directors conveniently say that all
      characters will be speaking in Tamil irrespective of where they come from or where the story is happening), me and many, who only knew Hindi through textbooks, wondered
      what was being forced down his throat through the funnel. Some kind of non-veg broth I imagined at first because the conflict was all about Tinnu Anand's hunger strike
      over being asked to eat non-veg food. It took quite some asking around to finally find a person who knew what 'tatti' meant! And, when I found out, I hoped I hadn't
      asked.


      For a generation of audiences who's memories start from the 90s, Kaalapani was Malayalam cinema's first spectacle! Now, spectacles have become commonplace. Sometimes
      movies that aren't spectacles are hyped up to be so (the offspring of Narasimham and Aaram Thamburan comes to mind). But, Marakkar promises to reset the scales of what
      a 'spectacle' in Malayalam cinema is supposed to be, like Kaalapani did back in 96. And for that, we wait patiently!

    8. #8
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      Wow a nice thread ......

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      #cheppu A timely relevant movie

      a classic released at golden 80 's ......#mohanlal displayed a mature perfomance as a college lecturer at the age of 27.. mohanlal -lissy combo is so awesome




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      Padamudra ..... Mohanlal did two charecter's of kuttappan & maathu ... Last scene of maathu with a traditional "kavadiyattam" shows symbolize burden carried by maathu ....And the climax resembles " crusification of jesus christ ", kuttappan pains , burden symbolically shows as "lifting of wired fence" .....above mentioned Two challenging roles mohanlal did at the age of 27 with utmost ease...

      Sent from my FIG-LA1 using Tapatalk

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