I enjoyed watching Oru Muthassi Gadha, a Malayalam film released over Onam last year.
When translated the title means A/one Grandmother’s Mace. It is a Jude Antony Joseph film, a director who has made a reputation with his maiden film, Om Shaanti Oshana (check Hotstar to watch the film). I like him for his quirkiness, like the way he came up with the cigarette smoking is injurious to health mandatory ad for his first film casting Nivin Pauly and Aju Varghese. In this film, he has made his characters speak out the names of the behind the scene crew of the film during the title credits, bits of information which many of us usually don’t bother to read as it scrolls in and out. Jaya Bachchan had done something similar for Pa. Farah Khan films usually show all its cast and crew in person.
This film’s title suggests the story is about a Mutassi. Mutassi is one of the words used to refer to a grandmother in Malayalam. (I call my two women Ammachi and Ammamma.) Gada is a club or a mace, the same weapon seen in pictures of Bhima and Hanuman. And I think that use of the word gada makes this film’s story different from the regular tales around a nuclear family with a grandmother in an urban space. Have you seen a grandmother with a club before? Flintstones did 😛
This Mutassi is what we call in Malayalam a “mooshaatta” grandmother. (In the film she is nicknamed as Rowdy Mutassi) Now, mooshaatta can mean grumpy, to give you an example, Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant is also a mooshaatta intially before he changes over into happy one. If a little girl was the reason of his transformation, here, it is a woman. This other woman is the mother of our mooshaatta grandmother’s daughter-in-law. They are grandmothers to the same set of kids, Alice and Allen. But in the beginning of the film, the kids love our other woman grandmother, and hate our mooshatta, for obvious reasons.
The film’s plot goes into certain details and reasons as to our grandmother’s uncouth behaviour in public and at home. The film also tries to talk about how generations need to bridge the gap between them. If both sides could meet half way then life becomes less grumpy, and more happy.
During some moments of the film, I did feel the producer had taken money from Whatsapp and Facebook as a means of promoting their services and products. Because if you don’t know what whatsapp or Facebook is, you can get a visual guide to how to install, use and create an account and use it through the film 😛
Predictable ending, by the end of the film our mooshatta mutassi is tech savy, gadget friendly and has got herself sorted. You can read about the plot and detailed storyline online. the film has borrowed from Morgan Freeman’s and Jack Nicholason’s The Bucketlist. And it is through the items on the bucketlist that our mooshataa becomes a non mooshatta grandmother.
ps: I wouldn’t have watched the film this soon if not for a conversation I had with Aneesh at the comment section on films in general.