Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu (1988), Manoj Bajpai, Dus Tola and Aspirin

Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu Title
If you have a set of raised eyebrows and your eyes have finished one glorious back flip before you even began reading this, think about yours truly who sat through the movie, just because my curiosity got the better of me. The dictionary describes whimpering as ” crying with low, plaintive, broken sounds”. Which is exactly what I did for the 20 minutes by brain allowed me to take in the drama (?).

Now that I have put the griping behind me, here is it upfront. It seems to be the debut feature of Director Ajoy, of remaking Sathyan Anthikkad‘s classic Ponumattiyudanna Tharavu (1988), and ended up throwing the classic under the bus. And it came out, dipped in red.

Sreenivasan in Ponmuttayidunna Thaaravu
Thankfully, there is due credit given to Raghunath Paleri in the movie titles. Thank God for small miracles, which also means it is an over-the-table project unlike a Priyadarshan one. Ponmuttayidunna Taravu ( The goose that lays golden eggs ) was a fabulous, simple, sweet story about  a village goldsmith who falls head over heels with his neighbor’s daughter, even making her a 10 sovereigns heavy gold necklace as a mark of his love.  The story about the unexpected developments in the love saga and how karma comes its full circle is what made the movie an endearing classic.  More than the central story line, there was the amazing set of characters that made up the sub-cast, and the firsts among equals in them had to be Oduvil Unnikrishnan‘s Pappi ( in the eternal quest to find his absconding cow) and Krishnankutty Nair‘s Gopalan, Bhaskaran‘s ( Sreenivasan as the goldsmith) father {bedridden and always ready with his acerbic yet sagely wisdom}. I personally feel that this was one of  Krishnankutty Nair’s best performances in his career.  there is an indeterminable warmth that glows through every scene that is ABSENT  in the Hindi version.

Manoj Bajpai in Dus Tola

But, for the life of me, there are some things about this “Malayalam Microwave Business” that I just cant figure out. The classics from the 80’s that have been recycled and reheated for public consumption in the past couple of years, be it Varavelpu reheated as Chal Chala Chal or for that matter Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam in a blister pack called Yeh Tera Ghar, Yeh Mera Ghar, all had its soul firmly rooted in the social fabric of the average middle-class Malayali that is something very difficult to transpose into the Bollywood canvas. I would say its next to impossible. But we are accursed to witness atleast one case of history repeating itself every year. THAT has to be our sheer bad luck.

But, there is an equally disturbing trend that seems to be jostling for prominence into the mainstream commercial Malayalam film making. Recycling our classics and its a snaking queue to the box-office . I can only wait in abject horror.

The melodious Kunnimanicheppu from Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu (1988)


Today’s The Hindu ( 29 October 2010) carries an interview with Manoj Bajpai who also mentions his role on Dus Tola. He keeps referring to the movie as a South Indian Folktale. South Indian Folktale? WTF ! Also, it sounds strange as the film producers give due credit to Raghunath Paleri for the story. I AM A TAD DISORIENTED.

You can read the full interview here.

4 thoughts on “Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu (1988), Manoj Bajpai, Dus Tola and Aspirin

  1. Relief -yes. It means I can be lazy and read subtitles instead of – gasp – improving my language abilities 🙂 But laziness does not go unpunished, as “Maya Mayuram” is next on my to-see list, and there is no easy subtitle route for me to take there. Wish me luck 😛

    1. LOL . Laziness can also bee deep contemplation 😛 I usually cringe at most subtitled Malayalam movies at the way the translation transcript reads and the density of the actual dialogue. Most of the times it comes out as flowery crap. Mayamayooram was a movie that went unnoticed largely for reasons unknown, in Kerala. Tilakan had said in an interview that it was autobiographical in most parts and there were instances where he was reliving a moment from his life and was choked up. Look forward to your perspectives…
      And thanks again for passing through :)… CM

    1. LOL..I can image what a relief it would have been for you 🙂 It is a simple sweet brilliant movie. I am sure you will enjoy it. Also, should it be a matter of being perversely happy for being the catalyst for effecting a DVD sale from our crappy marketers? 😛

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