Voila.... I saw the Prithviraj's "Vargam" atlast. For some strange reasons unknown to me - I had formed a trilogy of Prithviraj as "Vargam, Vasthavam and Thalappavu". Prithviraj continues to amuse me with his sincerity towards the roles he play on screen. And... after seeing the another movie from my wish list "Paleri Manikyam: Oru Paadhira Kola Padhagathinde Kadha" - an investigative thriller, I have a feeling that Ranjith is becoming the "Messiah of Malayalam Cinema". Then I moved to my another favourite Sibi Malayil's old movie - Mayamayooram, which was a melodramatic tear jerker and finally rounded off the week with Basu Chattaerjee's comedy "Choti Si Baat". A nice way to round off the week was with a Basu Chatterjee / Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies. Out of jest I searched for other Basu Chatterjee's movies and stumbled upon his "Khatta Meetha". Within few minuted I realised that this was the "original" for Mazhalaipattalam. That sort of put me off and I have to resume it later some day.
Vargam - Ranjit's former associate Padmakumar made this impressive movie with his favourite hero - Prithviraj. On an interview Prithviraj had said that Vargam is an adaptation of Mohanlal's classic "Devasuram" and I had read reviews comparing Vargam with Devasuram. Since I hadn't seen "Devasuram" I enjoyed what I saw. Solomon Joseph (Prithviraj) is a cop with dark shades, quite ruthless and leads his life without sentiments. He crosses swords with Pappachan (Devan), befriends Ahmed (Captain Raju) and frames an innocent girl Nadia (Renuka Menon) but ultimately was beaten to vegetable by Ahmed's goons. Solomon wants to make a fresh start but Pappachan was baying for his blood to take revenge of his brother's lock up death by Solomon. This movie is carried out by only one man - Prithviraj. At the age of 24-25 Prithviraj plays the role of a cop to the hilt. Either it is the right body language or those menacing looks or even the attitude in the dialogue delivery, Prithviraj makes everybody pale in comparision with him. Renuka Menon has a small role but makes her mark, so does Vijayaraghavan as Vaavachan. The first half is quite racy with blood and gore, whereas the second half slumps a little in comparision. On the whole, "Vargam" is a perfect time pass for its running duration - 2 hrs. Once the movie is over, corrupt cop Solomon haunts you. Surprisingly when I switched off the DVD and changed the channels, I saw "Devasuram" running on DD-Malayalam, but it just ended. I think I have the DVD of Devasuram (Mohanlal, Revathy & Naepolean), which is yet to be opened.
Maayamayooram - A Sibi Malayil tear jerker which I downloaded just for the name - "SIBI MALAYIL". Who can forget the classics this man had made with Mohanlal - Kireedam, Chenkol, His Highness Abdulla, Bharatham? I expected a strong movie from this Mohanlal-Revathy starrer helmed by Sibi Malayil. Mohanlal wooes Revathy in style and we were well prepared for some calamity when the first half is just romance without any oppositions. As expected Mohanlal dies in an accident leaving Revathy shattered. But she is bewildered when she sees the twin brother of her deceased beloved and things move till their marriage. Story sounds quite intresting on paper but the screen version is something else. This is basically a Revathy's movie and it was bit odd to see Revathy in her 30's doing a 20 yr old act in the first half. But she scores in the second half where the emotional scenes are her forte. Shobana & Shanthi Krishna are other talented female artistes wasted terribly in this movie. Mayamayooram (Illusion deer) remains an apt title - promising synopsis but poor execution.
Choti Si Baat - This is the first ever movie I had seen completely online streaming from Google Videos. A simple & realistic romantic comedy, which is a rare event these days, is a delight to watch. Arun (Amol Palelkar) is besotted with Prabha Narayan (Vidya Sinha) but has no guts to reveal his feelings to her. By the time he musters up courage, there enters Nagesh (Asrani) a suave, smart and self centered friend of Prabha. Now Ashok joins the tuition with Love Guru "Col. Julius Nagendranath" (Ashok Kumar), who helps him in opening up as an extrovert personality. The beauty of this movie is its simple & plain way of story telling. Quite endearing, exuding warmth and it is almost like peeking into the lives of Arun, Prabha and Nagesh. At the same time the surprise appearances of Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra & Hemamalini gives a kind of refreshing pleasure. Performance wise Amol Palelkar is having a cake walk with the simpleton roles, Asrani as flamboyant Nagesh shines well & Ashok Kumar as Colonel Julius Nagendranath evokes enough laughter. A docile Vidya Sinha was impressive as Prabha even though she didn't make it into big league then. "Choti Si Baat" had the Basu Chatterjee's stamp of simple, icidents like in Chitchor. Oflate I am hearing the "Jaaneman Jaaneman.. tere do nayan" song from this movie everyday. Whenever I see such movies, I always get into a "sigh" mode - why life can't be as simple as then it was?". I'll surely buy a DVD of this when I come across!!!!