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Malayalam
Typography
{mosimage}It is a beautiful Hinduatani raaga, that is claimed to bring down rains when sung with faith and belief. Tansein is the name that comes to our mind along with this raaga. When there is so much of compassion and sweetness in this raaga, how much of sensitivity must be there in a movie associated with this name? Coming to movie, this is a non commercial venture aimed at making good cinema by Asianet TV & Mathrubhoomi, the leading publishing house of Kerala. With no commercial pressures but added responsibility of making a good movie with the parameters given, Kamal does it effortlessly at the time making it a tight rope walk over thousand nails. A small mistake would have made this cult movie a crass third rate semi porno stuff. "Meghamalhar" is a beautiful love story of two married individuals told with a lyrical quality.

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{mosimage}Nanditha (Samyukta Varma) is one of the best budding talent in the literary world, blessed with a happy family comprising of a kid and husband working in Gulf. Same can be said for Rajeevan (Biju Menon) an advocate, with two kids and a working wife. Nanditha and Rajeevan bump into each other 2-3 times accidentally and discover that they share a common ground - strong inclination towards literature. Nanditha discovers that Rajeevan happens to be her childhood crush and faces a shock before revealing it - Rajeevan had fallen in love with her now. Disgusted by this sick thought, Nanditha stops all interactions with him. When Rajeevan comes to know about his childhood friend, to resolve the complications, he now offers to distance himself from her. Before they part their ways, they go to Kanyakumari to collect their nostalgic moments and the unexpected happens - Nanditha also falls in love with Rajeevan.

{mosimage}Admitted the story sounds crude at the paper but so much had gone into developing this plot an interesting and clean for family viewing. Scripted by Dr. Iqbal Kuttipuram with dialogues and screenplay by Kamal, the narrative format is simply realistic. If you are expecting for cheap thrills and fast paced movie, keep out of it. It is not for you. The dialogues are almost out of everyday life. The characters in this literary movie the speak way a common man speak. Rajeevan longs for a companionship that understands his penchant for literature and music, unfortunately his wife is working busy in a bank. Nanditha's husband is clueless about what she writes and other stuffs, obviously she feeling comfortable with Rajeevan who understands and discusses her creations at length. Can you feel that similiarity between "Sindhu Bhairavi" and "Meghamalhar", surprisingly both named after raagas? When compared with Sindhu Bhairavi, Meghamalhar is still more subtle and real.

As usual the movie belongs to Samyukta, one of her best performances till date in her short & significant career. She was every bit a writer and slips with ease into the role of a volcano of talent that erupts with standard literary works. Kamal had etched a the mannerisms of this role sharply that she carried off those histronics beautifully. She looked matured yet pretty in those crisp cotton saree and churidars sans make up. The cottony soft way she spoke all over the movie was wonderful. At the outset it is like that anybody could have done this role but if you watch it more than once carefully, you can catch up with the subtle acting skills. Infact subtlety is the beauty of this movie. She shared a a comfortable vibe with Biju Menon and they got married after this movie.

Biju Menon as lonely Rajeevan was a delight to watch on screen. He performed one of his best acts in this movie under the aegis of Kamal. He displayed that falling in extra marital affair very convincingly and portayed that dilemma between holding back his love and expressing it naturally. There is scene where he gets up from the bed and phones Samyukta at night. Seeing that the time was 11:30 at night, he disconnects the phone and goes to bed. His wife asks him whether he was not doing well, he takes a deep sigh and gives her a tight hug. This one simple scene has layers of complexities to convey - his fantacising towards Samyukta and at the same time hit by the reality, trying to plant himself on the soil showing that passion towards his wife - I don't know how Kamal managed to bring out everything in a single scene.

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{mosimage}Supporting cast by Poornima Mohan as working wife of Rajeevan, TV anchor Ranjini Menon as Seemandhini Krishnan and Srirajan as Advocate Boothanathan was another example of how meticulously the casting was done. They not only provide support to the leading players, but also a refreshing screen presence to the roles that would have got lost if performed shabbily.

The best part of the story is its climax, where the love dies at the moment it was realised. Nanditha and Rajeevan for the sake of saving their beloved family decides to keep away from others. I think Kamal doesn't believe in platonic relationship between opposite sexes. In his "Niram" he said that a boy and girl can never be friends alone and here as his mouthpiece Srirajan says that there could be no platonic relationship at this kind of affairs. It can be satiated by a trip to Kodaikanal or any other resort.

The realistic documentary kinda look of the movie, shot by Kamal's regular P. Sukumaran, actually complements the movie's authenticity. I later learnt that it was shot as telefilm initially but got a theatrical release due to the commercial viability of Samyukta Varma and Kamal's presence. Whatever might be the reason, I strongly feel that the film works majorly due its small canvas. Had it been lavishly mounted, somewhere the natural essence would have lost in looks. I was really wondering that even the locations were so authentic. It was actually shot over Trivandrum, Ottappalam, Sucheendram, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari, Kozhikode where ever the story travels. Not that shot in Trivandrum saying that they are in Calicut.

{mosimage}How can it be a non-musical with a musical title? The movie is gifted with 2-3 songs only according to the demands of the situation. At that time Kamal was with Vidyasagar, yet he took Ramesh Narayanan for this simple musical. The characters speak about a lot about music so there was an undercurrent of Hindustani music all over including the raagas based "aalaps" as background. "Oru Naru Pushpamaai..." sung in two versions by Chitra and Jayachandran was simply brilliant and exudes sheer magic weaving a whole of beautiful musical experience around you. Next is "Ponnushassinnum...", climax number that echoes with pains of separation. Beautiful Ghazal number "Zulf raaton ki... Rungath ujaalon jaisi..." rendered by Jitesh is split in parts. On the whole this album is a timeless classic for me.

Editing by Bina is nice that it holds your attention despite the lack of spicy sequences or twits and turns. After a few minutes you'll lose the feeling that you're watching a movie but will start experiencing that you're now with Nanditha and Rajeevan. Absence of unnecessarily thrust song sequences or thrills make this movie a delight to watch.

{mosimage}This movie is certainly a feather in everybody's cap associated with this movie. Samyukta can proudly show it to her future generation setting a high benchmark to newcomers, Kamal proving that he can not only make glossy movies but come up with movies off-beat themed, Asianet & Mathrubhoomi can proudly add to its portfolio of supporting good literature works, on the whole a nice experience for everybody in the movie. It is a part of my VCD collection in India. I missed this movie badly here that I bought a copy for viewing in Abu Dhabi.

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About myself
Maheshwaran
Author: MaheshwaranWebsite: https://www.maheshwaran.com
I am a SAP Consultant in my late 30s, residing in the happeing IT City - Bangalore. My interests vary from reading to travelling to handicrafts to photography. My latest interest is on Body building. May be this vivid interest keeps me going in my life without getting bored.

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