Haven’t posted in some time, and thus there is a list of both newer films (Payanam and Aadukalam seem like worthwhile attempts) as well as older ones (a bunch of Revathy, K. Viswanath, and Kamal Haasan films mostly) that I’ve been planning to write about. Before that though, there are two Malayalam Mohanlal-Revathy starrers that I viewed some time ago, and it’s about time I wrote something on them.
As neither of these films came with subtitles, having to rely on my own understanding of Malayalam meant that dialogue sometimes went past my head due to missing a phrase or word. For that reason I have deemed it best not to seem too authoritative in my review, as such a tone is best left for those with hundred-percent comprehension. On the other hand, I do feel as though I should make brief comments on each as I did enjoy both.
Agni Devan is a character drama revolving around leadership of a family newspaper by two strongly opinionated brothers. Their conflict reflects idealogical and attitude differences in how it should be run, with one brother coming from a business angle and the other from a more, let’s say, passioned approach. Revathy is the third pillar of the film, playing a female cousin, a characteristically bold role for her, who gets caught up in these troubles as well. Apart from a few somewhat crude moments of physical scuffle, the movie should be a treat for anyone with a liking for dialogue-centric dramas with strong characterizations. The interactions between Mohanlal and Revathy’s characters are excellent. If only all such relationships in films could be done with such grace and depth. And of course, there is the lovely sense of nativity, a cohesive identity of setting and locality, that pervades much of the Malayalam films of this period.
And I should probably mention this charming piece of music, Nilavinte Neelabhasma. It’s hard not to fall in love with the simple elegance of the composition. The picturization is likewise simple and charming.
Mayamayooram, our second filmwhich starts off with a sugary-sweet courtship in Bangalore, awash with English dialogues/clothing, seems rather different at first. Only past the interval does it shift tone considerably as the primary conflict emerges. Basically, the story is about Mohanlal and Revathy’s characters, who fall in love but are cut off when Mohanlal’s character comes to an untimely demise. However, upon reaching his home back in Kerala, she discovers his twin brother and is initially deluded into believing he has not died at all. The brother has his sights on someone else, and these threads gradually resolve themselves into the climax. The extreme difference in tone, setting, and general atmosphere of the first half and second half of the film is particularly noticeable. Mohanlal and Revathy, once again, give very good performances which call for quite a shift in roles at the interval.
Of the two, I would probably say I liked Agni Devan a little more as the characters stood out a little more firmly in my mind. Regardless, they are both good films, more than worthy of a recommendation.