Phool aur Patthar (1966) and Puthiya Velicham (1979)

Puthiya Velicham (1979), produced by Subramaniam Kumar and directed by Sreekumaran Thampi was a remake of the Dharmendra starrer Phool aur Patthar (1966), the movie that ‘made’ Dharmendra the action star of Bollywood.

Puthiya Velicham (1979)

Jayan in Puthiya Velicham (1979)

Puthiya Velicham (1979) told the story of this career criminal Venu (Jayan), the love of his life, a club dancer called Lily ( Jaya Bharathi), and the entry of a widowed, beautiful woman (Srividya) whom Venu gets acquainted with, in one of his midnight robberies. He stumbles upon her, ailing, bedridden  and sinking, in a mansion he breaks into, and takes care of her, and in a peculiar turn of events, ends up taking her and offering her refuge in his bachelor quarters. Lily, desperate to leave the crime-ridden life,  wants Venu to leave it all and walk away. But Venu is planning for that final one, the biggest heist of his career, the one that would never even make him want to do another ‘job’, but things take an interesting turn with the new ‘arrival’ at his house.

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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.

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Day of the Jackal (1973), Sibi Malayil, Frederick Forsyth, SN Swamy, and August 1?

I recall when August 1? was released, SN Swamy, as a script writer was on a roll. You could say, every single scriptwriter in Malayalam in 1988 aspired to be SN Swamy. From Irupatham Noottandu in 1987, he followed it up with 3 back-to-back box-office scorchers, the tacky Moonnam Mura (1988), the first in the CBI franchise, Oru CBI Diary Kurippu (1988), and then August 1? (1988). I still believe that August 1? was the most confusing movie title for any movie ever graced our Malayalam screens till date. The director wanted the message that had to be conveyed across with the title was August Ennu, ( When, in August? -as the alleged political assassination was expected in the first fortnight of August), but for the average movie fan who looked at the posters, it was too confusing to have his tired intellect be elevated to such lofty and tricky subliminal messages, he settled on August 1 ! 😀  . It was hilarious.

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