Expressing love… The Malayalam film Ayalathe Adheham (1992)

I’ve enjoyed watching Ayalathe Adehham (1992) many times over for its situational humour. The film is about two families, neighbouring households, let’s say one red and one yellow for convenience… However, there is also third family, an older family in comparison to our younger red and yellow.. let’s call it blood red. They bring about the climax..

The problems begin when the wife from the red family starts to notice from her window the mush the yellow husband pours out to his wife daily for the littlest of things .. Even though, the yellow neighbour is her friend the red wife begins to envy her. All this yellow mush and her red disappointment increases every time she sees her red husband who is publicly inexpressive to the extent of being boorish.

Rajasenan, the director, goes on to discuss love between spouses, ways of expressing it and its expectations. Fed up with taunts of his wife…the red husband who dearly loves his wife decides on a yellow makeover becoming love expressive. Unfortunately, he is assumed to be mentally deranged…which shows a clean disconnect between their choice of the shade of yellow 😀 Nobody seems to understand the trouble that brews within the red husband burdened with these yellow expectations until the climax when he rips off the mask (helmet) of the yellow husband! Even he is stunned at the unexpected turn of events. All the red rage, frustration and disappointment is shown in the way this man chases and catches a thief who happens to be the yellow husband. A mask falls off.. The yellow family is shattered! So is the blood red family.

The film is a warning to all red husbands and those spouses who fail to express an affection to their spouses. What to do, people have different natures.. The red husband is an easy target to pin all the boorishness on because our society has stamped men unemotional, insensitive, forgetful masculine beings in domesticity…. (Poor them) …The climax clearly brings out a possible future life situation in this red family. It is bleak if things remain red!!! If the red wife still looks up to yellow mush and the red husband resists a change… If only the film had ended on a shade of orange.

Departing from the exaggeration depicted in the film into reality.. it need not be always a kiss or a hug, every relationship has a unique way of showing affection. I felt really sad for my aunt this one time, we were out for lunch. 5 of us. DJ, MJ & me, and my uncle and his wife. My mother was eating only fish that week, so when the menu card came, DJ who was sitting on the outer edge of the table ordered fish for MJ right away.. He ordered chicken for me with a loose gravy since I prefer it to fish.. That care and a knowhow of a food choice is also an expression of love.. But this is everyday for us.. If either MJ or I were sitting with the menu we would have also done the same without a second thought. The uncle ordered a thali* for himself..but in the midst of all this my aunt was ignored. She never said anything either when all of us ordered additions to the already ordered menu. Not that there wasn’t sufficient food on the table for all but .. The dishes were anyway going to be shared as they were not served in portion size .. Realizing this a little later, I nudged my uncle sitting next to me… In that moment, she would have wanted uncle to order for her more than anyone of us..(they are also a loving couple) this made her a teeny bit sad and it was evident… It was one of those times..(she may have kicked my uncle under the table..) I did scold DJ later for missing out the aunt.. He did not realize, either!

To give you another example, one of my friends is allergic to corn. Wherever we go out, whoever has the menu card involuntarily tells the waiter, this dish but without corn.. We are careful to order something in addition to popcorn even at the theater.. It is not a spousal relationship we share.. Still that is also love..

There is a hidden sense of a comparison in the name of the film itself because ‘Ayalathe’/അയലത്തെ means neighbour/neighbourhood.. Adheham/അദ്ദേഹം is a (respectful) way of referring to people, in this case husbands… it exudes this Hindi word ‘aap’ kind of respect..



A list of movies..

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After Happy New Year, every Hindi film seems to be better. Even Kill/Dil. Govinda moves, govinda songs.. remix.. a lot of rona dhona from Ranveer Singh..and there is Parineethi Chopra. Those silk/satin lungis they wore at home were nice… At least this time round, the audience empathized with each other… but what do we do, when we have slept during the entire day and the night is young and the brain is not ready to study… of course, go watch a film.. it happened to be kill/dil tonight.

Two three days ago.. it was a Malayalam film… Varsham! A Mammootty production and Mammootty starrer.. the character he played reminded me of two of his older films,.. Sagaram Sakshi and Sukrutham… and of course, the blue of the hoarding screamed Muthoot Finance! Different theatre, a film to cool our brains after two hectic days of work.. brains cooled, we went back to work

Interstellar… if you wanna watch it, only in the theatre… we have been discussing this film ever since it released.. before, during and after… the discussion continues.. watch it is the verdict, whether you like it or not does not depend of whether you understand the science or physics of it.. or the emotional luv of it..

Sex Tape was fun.. did not leave a mark, but very enjoyable during the time of the movie in the theatre.

Missed Iyobinte Pushthakam… let’s see will catch it some time..

Saw Paa again yesterday… and loved the title credits.. Jaya Bachchan reading out.. remembering every one involved in the making of the film.. I think that is the kind of thought that leaves a mark.. brings in that personal touch… makes the world of a difference…


Minnaram, Midhum and Megham|Mohanlal & Mammootty| Priyadarshan

It will be sacrilegious if I did not talk about Mohanlal when the other Big M is given some blog space in this a-z series 🙂

Mohanlal leads the acting in both the films, Minnaram (1994) and Midhunam (1993), by Pridyadarshan. As is with Priyadarshan, the first halves of his films are filled with humour. It is a laugh riot. But then, cleverly he inserts the twists in the second half, and such twists that remain with us for a while… Even to this day, I think many Malayalees would agree with me, if I say, the resolution in his Vandanam could have been different. If only, at that traffic signal, they would have seen each other… aahh!! In spite of the disagreement, Vandanam remains one of my all time favs. He directed some lovely films in the early 90s until Megham (1999) … even Megham.. but after Megham well, it seems like this director has lost his magic in Malayalam

Minnaram is about relationships.. is a la.. one of those Sare ke sare ga ma ko lekhar gaathe chale… 5 siblings.. but they parents are living, but fighting. Then the story turns a full U turn…

Midhunam is about the two states in the life of a man and a woman when they were lovers and after their wedding.. the changes in the two states, of the reality of the life and a dreaminess of a courtship set in the backdrop of a struggling career of the man… and a bunch of family members who have their own set of lives…

Midhunam, Minnram and Megham the three Ms from director Priyadarshan… with Mohanlal in the lead role in the first two, and Mammooty in the third.

The M for the A-Z Challenge, where I list some of my fav films.. most of them are right now from the Malayalam folder of the hard disk 🙂

Junior Mandrake (1997) | Ali Akbar | Jagdeesh, Jagathy, Janardhanan, Rajan P Dev

Junior Mandrake is a fun ride. some lovely moments… and for laughs.

The plot revolves around two families and a bust of a bald man in bronze I think… When one of the families is undergoing serious problems in business, the astrologer points to this bust as the bad omen. The bust had to be received by somebody with joy as a gift, only then bad eye would go away from a person.

The rest of the story is about how this bust changes hands between these two rival business families, the convoluted and hillarious ways in which it is gifted, accepted, repacked, gifted again, the horror of seeing it back in the same house.. the story goes on until, the real owner of the bust comes in search of it… and there is a resolution.

Junior Mandrake … may be after the popular comic magician Mandrake.. there is always a magic in the tale…

Junior Mandrake is a 1997 film directed by Ali Akbar with Jagadeesh, Jagathy, Rajan P Dev and Janardhanan in the lead roles

Innale | Padmarajan | Shobana, Jayram, Suresh Gopi, Sreevidya

Innale meaning, yesterday in Malayalam…

It is the story of a young woman who lost all her memories from her past life, after a bus accident. A bus accident far away from where she calls home, a bus accident in which she was the only survivor.

The doctors at the hospital tell her to be happy that she is alive. They say that the memory loss is a small prize to pay for her live, the big thing was that she survived.

The film is set in a hilly town somewhere in Kerala/Tamil Nadu border.. the different parts of the town is owned by a single family. They own a hospital, the club, houses.. the school..

Their peaceful life is disturbed one night when a bus met with an accident and fell into the river. Except 3 people, most of the passengers died. Out of the three, the girl survived without any physical injury, she survived with a clean slate for her memory. She could not recollect anything from her past. It seemed another life, a life she had lived but had no memories of…

So, she makes new memories.. but all the while, her search for her past continues. People who had lost a dear one come from far and wide to see her thinking it will be their dear one… she waits, falls in love, her wedding is fixed, when somebody came in search for her, somebody who came specifically looking for her..

One of the few films where I love the subtlety in actor Suresh Gopi. The many instances of situation humour brings alive the film all over again… and brings that smile on our face…

Innale.. when yesterday is no more, there is only the present and the future to look forward to…

GodFather (1991) Siddique Lal | Mukesh, Kanaka

This one is Godfather in Malayalam. I realized I had watched it many times when I saw its Hindi adaptation Hulchul for the first time. Most of the lines from the film were directly translated into Hindi, most of the scenes were the same in similar sequences…

For one I did not know it was an adaptations when a few friends took me to the theatre. I enjoyed the film a lot, the people who sat near me in the theatre were a little irritated, I think, because I would start to emote before a scene appeared, because I knew the joke, or the suspense or the action or the sequence that followed. Repetition is also a form of entertainment. Hulchul was Godfather verbatim except cor the last set of sequences.

Godfather is a Malayalam film released in 1991, written and directed by the duo Siddique and Lal, with a few all time Malayalam’s greats acting in it.

It evokes some lovely memories especially, when there is an elephant to welcome the guests in connection with a wedding or a thought of bringing an elephant to….. or about creating great ideas while  sleeping on the bed at night 😛 😛

Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu

the title translates to One Chilly Morning …think dawn is more appropriate.. sometime before the sun is about to rise… that’s that hour….

and it sets us off with goosebumps on a string of murders by a serial killer. The entire film narratives the speculations and the different people interested to commit such murders, when the answer is revealed well… we may stop and think… or we already would have known who it was.. the motive is the surprise… and the method of presenting the dead is different, brings in the part of the serial. Our murderer’s little signature styles 🙂

Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu is a 1990 film directed by Joshy and written by Padmarajan. No wonder, the film is interesting in its twists and turns and its layers.

Mammootty plays the investigating officer, and he plays them really well, such that the actual police chiefs from the state’s headquarters complain that the people believe what is presented on screen as the reality and on their part, trivialize and do not acknowledge the efforts of the police force, whatever they do. The films and books in this genre translates the audience into a mini detective wanna be… and we look out with our training from the art work 😀 😀  

As an audience, Malayalees for the last 3 decades have grown up watching Mammotty in many such excellent police roles, many of us while pursing our mini investigations have him in mind, the background music for his entry into a scene plays .. we are a film loving junta..what to do 🙂 One film I do not mind watching over and over again for many reasons.

This post is part of the April A-Z Challenge, my first time in the challenge and I thought what better that list some of the films I love to watch and randomly select to watch and re watch in an alphabetic way 🙂

Bharatham (1991) Malayalam | Sibi Malayil|Mohanlal, Urvasi, Nedumudi Venu

The title translates as …

It is difficult to translate the essence of this one, this time.

Nevertheless what I can tell you is, it is a 1991 adaptation of the Indian epic Ramayana in Malayalam, from the point of view of Ram’s younger brother Bharath.

Therefore, Bharatham, the title of the film, could translate to the life of Bharat during the absence of Ram.. Here in the film, one of the poignant scenes is when the younger brother nearly breaks down overwhelmed with the burden of the death of his elder brother and the celebration of the wedding of his younger sister, unable to relay the sad news to the family.

And then there is this little silent thumbs up from his fiance as an encouragement to continue being strong.

Watching the film is an exercise in catharsis. The brilliant performances of the actors create fluctuations within us. So I do not enjoy watching this film over and over again. However, I enjoy listening to the songs of the film over and over again in a loop for as long as it runs.

Bharatham is a 1991 film directed by Sibi Malayil with Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu, Lakshmi and Uravsi in lead roles.

The film depicts the story of two brothers as are part of a family invested in classical carnatic music. The elder brother at the beginning of the film is an established singer. However, during the course of the film he turns into an alcoholic such that in an inebriated state, he enters the stage and cannot sing. When the audience starts to boo, to save the situation and his brother from further humiliation, the younger brother begins to render a classical composition. He becomes an instant hit, however, the elder brother takes this act as a take over. The alcoholism and some friends add fuel to the already hurt ego of the elder brother, such that he is unable to appreciate his younger brother’s music or the talent or the acknowledgement he receives.

Unlike the story of the Indian epic, here in the film, the elder brother Ram dies in an accident when he is on a self-proclaimed pilgrimage to get rid of his habit of alcoholism and his petty jealous feelings towards his younger brother Gopi …

More information at IMDB 

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. My first time for the challenge, I thought I will list some films I often watch and some characters I love on screen any time ..