Friday, July 20, 2007

Review: Kireedam (MalayaLam)

Story telling at its precision best. Crown of Indian film making.

Kireedam is a very poignant story about a youngster, Sethumadhavan (Mohanlal), who unintentionally and unwillingly gets involved in a gang fight that keeps roping him back and finally costs him everything - from his relationships, to career to even his life. Sibi Malayil, the director, has turned a simple story into a grandiose masterpiece. This movie is nothing short of brilliant, with its strong dialogues, spectacular acting, crisp direction and editing. I'll let the rest of the review support the hype created above.

Sethumadhavan, a youngster in a village who aspires to join the police team deriving inspiration from his father Achuthan Nair (Thilakan), is part of a happy loving family comprising of Sethu, his mother, father, younger sister and brother. Achuthan, an honest cop and a doting father who is hellbent on making his son into an honest cop too, gets transferred just after Sethu writes his exams. Little does the family know what is in store for them in the village which is troubled by Keerikadan Jose (Mohan Raj). Achuthan joins the police force that has thus far turned a blind eye to Jose's plunders and crimes. One fine day, Achuthan hears of trouble by Jose at the local market, and the honest cop that he is, single handedly sets out to arrest him. Meanwhile, Sethu comes to know of this showdown, hurries to the market to save his dad from any troubles he may be getting into. Unable to bear the sight of Jose kicking his father, Sethu confronts Jose and subdues his imposing figure. From this point on, his life takes a turn to the worse. Sethu gets typecast by the society as a 'rowdy'. His futile efforts at getting back to normal life with family make him feel helpless. Even people in his own family start to suspect him of getting his hands dirty in mob fights. Hydhrose (Haneefa) and Sethu's brother-in-law are characters who add further complexities and woes to an already emotionally riddled Sethu. Finally unable to handle the precarious position that the society is driving him to, Sethu finds no other solution than killing Jose. In an exemplary climax, a fight ensues between Sethu and Jose, and in a fit of rage Sethu kills Jose.

This was the first malayalam movie I watched fully about a decade back. Instant love, is how I'd describe my instinctive reaction towards the movie. A simple story that is replete with complex emotions, is handled with nonchalance by the experienced crew that includes Mohanlal and Thilakan. I've always heard Mohanlal being compared to Kamal in his potential as an actor and it took this movie to prove to me that the comparison by no means is irrational. The actor's subtle and underplayed emotions in the movie, in contrast to Kamal's active body language and louder recitals or dialogues, was different and resembled reality as closely as Kamal's acting. As Sethu, the gleam in his eye that expresses a yearning for a normal life could not have been played to such perfection by any other actor. A few scenes were made to stick - the one scene where he goes to see his mom and dad in a hospital just before setting out to kill Jose, the scene in the school where he tells his love, played by Parvathi, to etch a new life for herself sans him and of course the stunning climax where he displays a wide range of emotions after killing Jose. Thilakan also lives up to the standards that Mohanlal sets. His character is of appalling dimension, sensitivity and charm and I'm not sure any other actor could persuade us so well on all three accounts. The other characters support the story line and every actor has done his role quite well. This movie gave Haneefa a much needed break.

The music is set to the film's tempo and theme. The song by M. G. Sreekumar, KaNNeer Poovinte, which laments about Sethu's life being a complete wreck for no fault of his, bestowed him the national award for the year. Needless to say, Mohanlal bagged the national award for the best actor for his role as Sethumadhavan.

The special interest in this movie now is because the Tamil movie Kireedam, the Ajith starrer, is based on this epic drama. I think the crew is guaranteed success if they diligently retread the MalayaLam version into Tamil. Let us wait and see how successful this remake is.


CoNfUsEd said...

I can never compare Mohanlal and Kamal. They're both masters with very different styles of acting. I can never imagine Kamal in a movie like Kireedam. I hope Ajith knows what he's doing. 'cos he has some serious acting standards to live up to.. The one thing that's going to work for him is that most of the 'mass' wouldn't have watched the original, unlike Manichitrathazhu where almost everyone had at least heard of the movie.

The best thing about Mohanlal is his subtle comedy and his unique body language. But I don't think that's something that would work for Ajith.

After reading your post, the enthusiasm to watch Ajith's Kireedam has doubled :) Great work!

oLi said...

I agree Kamal and Mohanlal have carved their own styles in acting. I think both are very versatile and can portray any kind of roles. But once one of them has portrayed a role to perfection, it is difficult to imagine the other in it - simply because you're already convinced it is perfect. Such are their talents!

Thanks for your comment and compliment :)

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