Onam Special Show | Mahabali [1983]

Mahabali(1983) Malayalam FilmI know it doesn’t get cheesier than this. but just couldn’t help it :) I somehow felt that I really had to get my hands on this movie by Sasi Kumar and watch it this Onam. With the movie produced in the early 80’s, the color palette was another compelling reason, and of course another chance to see our leading men in tights ! Though Sreekumaran Thampi had directed and produced one called Thiruvonam (1975), I doubt whether it had anything to do with Kerala’s favorite myth.

Knowing him, he would have been metaphorically speaking. (Note  to self : Need to watch that too.) I think this was one of the rare movies where you saw MG Soman in a mythological role. Continue reading

King Mahabali aka Maveli on Film

Baaman Avatar (1955)
My Grandpa used to get very offended, when, I used to tell him that King Mahabali (from now on refereed to as Maveli) had to be the only ‘Socialist’ ruler in mythology, for being able to manage a kingdom where the material needs were none, and everyone had enough to keep them happy! Now, I can’t find a better and finer example than the concept, more beautifully lived out in our mythology, than the legend of Maveli. And ancient texts, scriptures, mythology have always been a favorite hunting ground for our film makers, going back all the way to Raja Harishchandra in 1913, our first movie from India ! Continue reading

Onam and Onathumbi from Old Malayalam Cinema.

Odes to the Dragonfly

Onathumbi in Malayalam Film SongsDragonfly Pix Credit : Jkadavoor

I am yet to be made aware of another regional community that attaches so much significance to the presence of  an insect, specifically,  the picture wing dragonfly, when it comes to their greatest celebration  that represents a new beginning, gaiety, mirth, hope and above all the warmth of homecoming. Our little Onathumbi has been so ingrained in our Onam celebrations, that it is but natural to find its reflections in Malayalam Cinema too. Continue reading

Onam Songs from Old Malayalam Films | My Favorites.

Onappaattukal that transcend time.

Onam Songs from Old Malyalam FilmsSongs that celebrate the festive spirit of Onam, the harvest festival of our homeland ( wait a minute, harvest festival? I can’t even recall the last time someone celebrated a decent harvest), have got themselves their own special place in the realm of Malayalam Cinema. Come to think of it, it has been quite some time, since someone decently picturized a traditional Thiruvathira recital or an Onappaattu worth its salt in recent years. Should we blame the increasing disconnect with our traditions, and as an implication, less recognition by the movie-watching public, which again means less marketability? I don’t know. Continue reading