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Lenin Rajendran’s Mazha (2000)| Lush lyricism, Pouring love.

Samyuktha Varma in Mazha-(2000)
Whom do I credit this masterpiece with? Should I thank Madhavi Kutty for her book ‘Nashtapetta Neelambari‘, on which this movie is based? For who else could have traced the internal journey of a woman’s life within the rigid framework of a society bound by convention, and brought it into narrative with this degree of perfection? Or should I thank Lenin Rajendran who gave a visual dimension to this narrative, unfolding for us on screen a character that every Indian woman with a free spirit would relate to? Bhadra, as a character, had a magical appeal to the woman in me.

Continue reading Lenin Rajendran’s Mazha (2000)| Lush lyricism, Pouring love.

Our Beautiful People | Malayalam films about, or those that featured animals

Kaadinte Makkal (1985) Malayalam film Poster
Courtesy : KK Vin

Do you remember watching the Shankar-Gowri love story-based on a screenplay by MT Vasudevan Nair unfolding on the big screen?

A poignant tale of two lovers kept in captivity, who were made to dance to the cruel tunes of their masters ? Two lovers who decided to escape from the chains and clutches of the evil villians, to everlasting freedom. Produced by Gandhimathi Balan, the movie was a runaway hit when released in 1985 and most probably every 33+ kid out here might have watched this movie. Shankar and Gowri- the hit pair, were newcomers and to the best of my knowledge, their only screen outing ever. Here is a clue if its still hazy – Shankar and Gowri were monkeys, and the movie was Kaadinte Makkal, released in 1985.

As a kid living in Thiruvananthapuram during the 80’s, the highlight was going to Sreekumar theatre to see live action movies in which animals were the stars. I remember seeing some of the Lassie movies, a few in the Benji series, The Ugly Dachshund, The Cat From Outer Space, Monkeys Go Home, The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit, That Darn Cat, Zebra in the Kitchen, Clarence the Cross-eyed Lion, The Last Giraffe, Bedtime for Bonzo and its sequel Bonzo Goes to College, Digby: The Biggest Dog in the World, Born Free, Living Free, The Shaggy Dog and its sequel The Shaggy DA, The Million Dollar Duck, The Black Stallion Part I and II, The Golden Seal etc. Dean Jones (not the cricketer) was my Hollywood hero.

Continue reading Our Beautiful People | Malayalam films about, or those that featured animals

ഇതാ ഇവിടെ വരെയും ക്ളോണ്‍ ചെയ്ത താറാവ് കൂട്ടങ്ങളും

Madhu in Itha Ivide vare

 [ SPOILERS AHEAD ! ]

വിശ്വനാഥൻ ആ നാട്ടിൽ വന്നത് പടം വരച്ചു കളിയ്ക്കാൻ ആയിരുന്നില്ല . അലസമായ നടത്തയും തീഷ്ണമായ കണ്ണുകളും ഉള്ള വിശ്വനാഥന്റെ ഉള്ളിൽ പക്ഷെ ഒരു അഗ്നിപർവതം  ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു . ആ നാട്ടിലെ താറാവ് കച്ചവടക്കാരൻ പൈലിയും ആയി ചങ്ങാത്തം കൂടിയതും അതിനു തന്നെ .

Continue reading ഇതാ ഇവിടെ വരെയും ക്ളോണ്‍ ചെയ്ത താറാവ് കൂട്ടങ്ങളും

Congratulations Suraj Venjaramoodu, for disrupting our National Film Awards 2013 sensibilities

Suraj Venjarummodu in Kerala Cafe
Suraj Venjarummodu in Kerala Cafe (2009)
Truth be told, no one saw that coming. The announcement of the 61st National Film Awards for 2013 came as a big surprise for the Malayali. The comedian known for “one and only one type of role” in all the time he has been part of Malayalam cinema bagged the Award for the Best Actor.

Continue reading Congratulations Suraj Venjaramoodu, for disrupting our National Film Awards 2013 sensibilities

The Tamil film songs of music director Raveendran

Pix Credit :  http://www.pradipsomasundaran.com/
Pix Credit : http://www.pradipsomasundaran.com/

[ Another treasure “reclaimed” from the defunct archives of DHOOL. Republishing Saravanan Natarajan’s tribute to Raveendran Master, written in the year of his passing, in 2005. Saravanan takes you through the 7 Tamil movies of Raveendran Master, amongst which are surprisingly, the Tamil versions of “Ezhu Swarangalum” and “Thenum Vayambum” !  ]

Ganga Creations’ Hemavin Kaadhalargal must have been years in the making, for while it was released in 1985, the EP sleeve of the movie mentions its year of manufacture as 1982. The film was produced by Ganga and was the second film of the acclaimed Malayalam director T.V.Chandran.

Continue reading The Tamil film songs of music director Raveendran

S Janaki, an HMV best-seller LP and Devarajan’s ire.

S Janaki  Courtesy The Hindu[ This came originally as a detailed response from Sajith Bhaskaran to a post here on S Janaki, and knowing the amount of information he manages to pack to each response, strongly warranted a “place” of its own, and hence this post. S Jankai, P Madhuri and G Devarajan have always been an intersting trio for any Malayalam music buffs who care about Malayalam Film Playback history, for the musical creativity and output between them and a certain degree of intrigue that surrounded the great music director’s choices in vocals over some of the best-loved gems from Malayalam films of yore. Over to Sajith]

This is a note on the post of yours on the songs of S Janaki. Your selection of songs traverses through the path of Malayalam film music right from the sixties to the nineties.

In fact, HMV, in the late sixties released an album of selected songs of S Janaki and a few songs in that list are also found among your favourites.

Continue reading S Janaki, an HMV best-seller LP and Devarajan’s ire.

The Old Malayalam Cinema Blog is slicker, sleeker and responsive

The new and improved version

Image Courtesy & Credit : My Recipe 4 U

After a two-month hiatus, the adda has been dusted, mopped and spruced up – in a way, the sprucing up bit was badly needed, to keep in tune with the times.

Here is how the “sprucing up” has manifested in terms of Content and Design.

Continue reading The Old Malayalam Cinema Blog is slicker, sleeker and responsive

16 Jan 2014 | Prem Nazir Samskarika Vedi’s Tribute to the Evergreen Hero

Prem Nazir - the Evergreen Hero This 16th marks the 25th year of passing of Malayalam cinema’s only Evergreen Hero, and the Kozhikode-based Prem Nazir Samskarika Vedhi, as with the previous year is organising a 3-day extended tribute to the actor.

Maybe a quarter century is an auspicious-enough number for the powers-that-be, that there has been celebrations galore announced by the state machinery to remember Prem Nazir. Minister for Culture, KC Joseph has announced that the government is still “searching” for a suitable location in Thiruvanathapuram to erect a life-size statue of the actor.

The Kerala government has also announced the ‘Prem Sruthi-2014‘, a tribute jointly organised by the Department of Culture, Kerala Film Development Corporation, Malayalam Cine Technicians Association, Association of Malayalam Movie Artists, Film Employees Federation of Kerala, Film Chamber and the Prem Nazir Foundation.

Coming back to the Prem Nazir Samskarika Vedi’s 3-day long tribute that kicks off on January 16, 2014, this year’s program include felicitating Director Sasikumar and actor Sudheesh, who completes 25 years in movies this year, who also hails from Kozhikode.

Continue reading 16 Jan 2014 | Prem Nazir Samskarika Vedi’s Tribute to the Evergreen Hero

A labor of love that will be a benchmark for future legacy digital projects in Malayalam.

Bharat GopyTo the question of where the janitor of this place had been, for the past three months, here is the answer.

The last three months have been a whirlwind of activity, which was a natural culmination of another 5 months of extensive collation and sorting of archival material, digital assets and print to create the most extensive, exhaustive and engage tribute online, for an actor we have revered ( yes, I use that word after a lot of deliberation) onscreen – Bharat Gopy.

Continue reading A labor of love that will be a benchmark for future legacy digital projects in Malayalam.