A few Priyadarshan Films: Vandanam

Chitram, Kilukkam, Butterflies, Midhunam, Vandanam, Minaram … to name a few.

The structure of the films are of a more or less carefree first half and a serious second, which in many films end so seriously that I have thought in case of Vandanam especially, and also Chithram, to an extent, there could be a sequel.. if you have seen the films, the miss and go the director plays with is between the time we take a breadth.. that scene at the signal in Vandanam.. !! !! !! How many times have I wished the ending were different.., but then it wouldn’t be a Malayalam film, if it were, and I wouldn’t be so lovingly ranting here too.. 😉 😉

Let’s take the case of Vandanam…

Vandanam begins when two prisoners played by Nedumudi Venu and Ganesh escape from a heavily guarded jail in between their sentence, (obviously). The film begins with a chase, police sirens.. an alert sounded for two escaped convicts who successfully make their way from a jail in a certain part of Kerala to the city of Bangalore. Since the police have to follow and bring these two back, two officers from the Kerala Police are sent to Bangalore to pursue and catch the escaped convicts with the help of the Karnataka Police.

On the way, Venu narrates his story to his companion, Ganesh who by now we know was just an accessory for Venu, a former professor, to escape so that he can take his revenge. The story the prof narrates has hints of a pent up revenge caused as a result of bruised egos of a set of “the brash rich kids of the college,” contrived to tarnish the reputation of a popular prof into a hate figure.

In this given background, one of our police men played by Mohanlal, falls in love with the prof’s daughter, Gaadha.. (that’s the character she plays) he is asked to keep a watch on… a measure taken to catch the prof in the rare case of if he tries to make contact …who in the audience can forget Gaadha Jam.. I think we who have watched the film thrive on these lines, “where ever you go I am there…” the stakeout is a parallel plot of the film…

Now, by the end of the film, it seems there were two plot, clearly.. but in a situation where they alternate more than theynrun parallel.., they switch on and off when the other one takes over, and this take over alternates till the end… in one plot, the prof is the protagonist, in the other it is his daughter… one plot has an ending, in the other, the ending is open to interpretation… the final couple of shots is wrenches my heart, any time I watch the film..!!

Priyadrashan becomes this filmmaker who breaks his viewer’s hearts at the end of most of his tales. If not the ending, the second half gradually becomes embedded in some tense equation of events of which the first half neatly becomes a part of.. It is the way henplays with it that makes us love and hate him at the same time. I so wished that he should have read the law more closely for his earlier film Chitram, which according to the box office records is the first Malayalam film to run for 365 days in a row…. and for me an anytime watch..

To the folks who have seen his Hindi films, well that man is not what I am  referring to here.. that man was created post or during Megham, now that would be late1990s towards the beginning of the millenium.. or sometime before when he started remaking Malayalam hit films into Hindi where most of them miserably did not connect with the audience until Hera Pheri!


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pins & ashes

An Aquarius Woman

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