Two traits to judge! 

Often, our impression about a person or a place revolves around one or two traits, albeit their multifarious personality. Like this restaurant I remember for its sizzling brownie in spite of their delicious multi-cuisine menu. When I returned to them on my latest visit, I realized it wasn’t the dessert alone, but the act of pouring the chocolate sauce onto the pipping hot plate by the butler, that made a world of a difference to the experience of ordering a brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with toasted nuts strewn around in a sizzling chocolate sauce there. It took the absence of that butler for me to realize the real reason behind my love for this item on their menu. Not similarly, but still, the marbled domed structure of the Taj Mahal in the backdrop of a full moon and/or bathing in sunlight is one of the first impressions that has etched itself in the minds of Indians and foreigners alike about Agra, and India. Then there is this romantic angle of undying love of a King for his dead Queen. This could be one of the reasons why couples flock to the Taj to click themselves on a bench in front of it. On one such occasion in 1992 when Princess Diana sat alone on that same white bench in its backdrop, the rest of the world speculated if all is well inside this British royal family.  

Putting together the innumerable ways together, this monument is presented before the world as a synecdoche for India, like the Eiffel Tower has come to represent Paris, Statue of Liberty, New York, a yellow snake around the neck picture as Singapore, and an eagle perched on the hand as part of a desert safari in Dubai. Once a colleague of mine thought I was being a traitor to my southern upbringing when I chose to drink a cup of tea over a cup of filter coffee. 

Even the broadest of minds on a few occasions fall into the trap of a single image-idea representation of person and place like my colleague did then, which has become a inside joke among us since.



Pingami (succesor) is a 1994 film in Malayalam with Mohanlal & Thilakan in lead roles. 

Unlike the usual everyday life* of a character whipped up by Sathyam Anthikad, this is a thriller. Therefore, when the film begins with a familiar scene of a friendly conversation at a bus stop, a captain returning home for his annual vacation, the audience will not suspect a hidden mystery.  

However, Captain Vijay Menon (Mohanlal) like his audience will soon find out that Kumarettan (Thilakan) whom he found severely beaten up, left to die, on the road has a key role in his life unknown to him until then. 

The plot begins to gain a certain momentum when on the next day, Kumarettan’s death is reported in the newspaper as a hit and run lorry accident. When an irritated Vijay confronts the duty doctor and the editor he finds their careless attitude towards the death of this man disturbing. On further enquiry with the locals, he finds out that the deceased was a journalist, known for his fearless exposes of corrupt politicians and businessman. The hit and run was a successful attempt to take his life. Vijay determined to get to the bottom of this murder, visits Kumarettan’s home to get access to his personal writings and space. 

The story that links the two men takes on a depth when Vijay reads a diary entry about a tragedy 18 years ago. Little did he know when he took this man to the hospital out of human concern, that he had been the sole witness to the brutal murder of his father considered until then to have committed suicide.

At the beginning of the film, Vijay finds a letter posted by Kumarettan protruding out of the post box. He tries to push it in, unable to do so, he takes it out, and makes sure it drops into the box safely this time. That letter becomes a key to solving the case. How he later links Kumarettan of the road accident as the sender of the letter, to finding out the secrets behind the death of his father, and missing mother and baby sister, is how the film ties the lives of the two men together in the plot. 



Kamaladalam* (1992)

Today, as I re-watched Kamaladalam, I wondered about the immense trust Sibi Malayil & Lohitadas, the makers of the film, had in Mohanlal* to play a classical dancer. Lal had proved to be an excellent dancer in his earlier films, however, in Kamaladalam his character demanded him to behave like an expert in Bharatanatyam with his actions and performance alike. Usually, in such a case, a trained dancer is brought in as cast, like Faasil did, to pair up with Shobana’s Nagavally* in Manichitratazhu*. 

Looking back, this was a gamble Malayil & Lohitadas took with Mohanlal. But Mohanlal has done really well. During the release of the film, there were rumours that Lal used a body double for his dance scenes, which is possiblity, but I’d like to believe it is Lal and Lal only. 

*Kamaladalam is a 1992 Malayalam film written by Lohitadas and directed by Sibi Malayil. This was released in the same year the female lead actor of the film Monisha died in a gruesome car accident. 

*Mohanlal is a well known actor & superstar of Malayalam Cinema. 

*Shobana bagged her first national award for actor in a leading female  role for Nagavally/Ganga in Faasil’s Manichitratazhu in 1992. 

*Manichitratazhu is one those cult films in Malayalam which has recently been remade in Tamil, Bengali and Hindi. 

#wednesdays wordless, wordy

When they walked up to the roof and waved 😉


It isn’t a secret that I’m huge dosa addict. Here again, dosa. The chutney is coriander and shallots with coconut, a juice of lemon. 

when solo went south!

If this doesn’t work, then I’m giving up on writing this review.



Solo (like the number of letters in its name) is an anthology of 4 tales, played out by 4 different DQs, four different female leads and a spread out supporting cast of Suhasini, Nasar, Manoj K Jayan, Ranji Panickar, Ann Augstine, Dino Morea, Soubin Sahir, Sheelu Abraham ..  the list goes on.




Let me try to get this right. I’ve been trying to write a less scathing review of Solo without giving away any spoilers. Less scathing, that’s right, because the concept of 4 romantic tales about 4 couples in the guises of Shiva and an accompanying element works only in parts. Beautiful frames all through the film, and DQ has done an excellent job in bringing Shekar, Thrilok, Shiva & Rudra alive. Personally, I loved Thrilok, the vet, and his story for its pace. But the element of air which it is linked to, isn’t evident. In the story of Shekar,


Dulquar gives good performances in the backdrop of beautiful frames but weak scripts. The film drags. The stuttering Shekar and his lady love, the blind dancer was a drag



Solo is a bbilingual anthology released in Tamil and Malayalam, directed by Bejoy Nambiar with Dulquar Salman in the lead. In fact we get 4 Dulquar Salamans, with 4 different heroines, in 4 different tales of love. 4 is a prominent number in the film, it decides the length of the tale, either 4 years ahead of the present time or 4 years in the past. 



It could be that my understanding of Shiva and the 4 elements are a little less. Therefore, I couldnot fully grasp the links between the elements and the different avatars of Shiva in DQ.



Verdict: If the stories were as compellingly excellent as the cinematographers’s frames and the music score, this experiment from Bejoy Nambiar’s camp could have become viral and gone on to be one of those memorable films in Malayalam. For the rest .. 

#solo water, air, at interval …

“In future, don’t call me for a film with Dulquer in it,” said MJ. The last time she said this was when as a family we went to watch Kunjachacko Boban’s Chandamama

We had gone to watch CIA a month or so ago, I was bored by the interval, but she said, respect the makers until it ends… not that she liked the film either. We had chosen DQ over Tovino that day, but found out the nezt day itself that Godha was a much better film than a comrade going to America via Mexico …

Intermission over. 

In Solo, Thrilok is beautifully done. Shekar, needs a lot of patience., literally. 

Rajaputhran : An old Suresh Gopi film

1996. Rajaputhran is a Suresh Gopi family business drama. When Anand comes back to take over the family business after his father’s sudden death, he is ousted from his own company by his father’s close aides. He begins to investigate to find out his most trusted is the real culprit. Add a bit of politics, an underworld don, a communal riot, the film makes for an easy watch. 

Suresh Gopi in stylist suits, Vikram as his side kick, Shobana as his rich girlfriend, Thilakan as the adviser, Murali as the foster brother… 

#Roshomon from Solo.

I’m hooked to the song. Wow. The next sensation after #Jimmikikammal could be.