Appu Shaji (appughar) wrote in kerala,
Appu Shaji

Malayalam movies

This post might look almost obligatory for any movie-going/following malayaliees, in-fact it is. I am especially proud of quality of malayalam movies during 80's and mid 90's. But towards end of the millennium something happened. The quality of movies started becoming bad. Last decade it moved from bad to worse. However, the irrationality of the situation, (even purely from a commercially perspective) is logic defying and beyond comprehension to me.

I just finished watching "Katha Parayumbol". I really liked the movie. There is no unwanted flamboyance in the movie. It is a simple, but an effectively told tale, in a non-complicated and charming manner. It has all the reminiscence and charm of the movies in the 80's. Well scripted characters, witty dialogue and freshness in story. In short, the movie works. I heard that it was a big success back in Kerala.

Now if you do simple recap of successful and memorable main-stream movies of the past 8 years, remove the movies of Sreenivasan and co out of it, very few movies will actual remain in the list. What really bothers me is why the heck are the movie makers adamant on modeling malayalam cinema like products from bollywood or Tamil industry ? Isn't it obvious that the sensibility of the people are different. Give people a film with a simple story, but with care taken to character building, it is sure shot recipe to success. Now, to put things in contrast, how many instance do we quote a dialogue or scene from a movie made in 21st century. Very little, I suspect. But I atleast use dialogues from movies made pre-21st century in my day to day conversations quite regularly. Be it about the Paul Barber in USA or the kilometers from Miami Beach to Washington DC or Pawanai- the serial killer or mera nam Ram Singh hai/ho/hui; these are still afresh in our collective imagination.

Cause of the decay has been debated endlessly; blame game carried out long enough than necessary. But my argument is simple; the bulk of the movies which follow a bollywoodish or tamil-ish tempo have either fell flat on their heels or barely scrapped through in the box office. But on the other hand if you take the movies Sreenivasan scripted; his last three outing being Udayanu Tharam , Arabi Kadha and Kadha Paryumbol : all of them has got the attention and imagination of people. To put forward the argument from a different perspective, how many of malayali film adaptation in other languages are consider in par or better (if any) to it's original. The problem most of the viewer have is with the mismatch in sensibility, most often intentionally added by director who is targeting a different audience. Now if people are smart enough to understand that they have to change the treatment while adapting a malayali movie, why are they myopic to the reverse!! The statistics is out there in wide open, exposing itself crisp and clear, and there is bunch of jokers who is illiterate to see it, what a pity!
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