Brilliant award winning Malayalam movie “Bharatham” (1991) starring Mohanlal, Nedumadi Venu, Urvashi among others. Directed by Sibi Malayil its a major tour de force in Malayalam cinema. Its a musical drama film with lot of pathos infused into the story.
Gopi (Mohanlal) is a carnatic musician taken tutelage from his elder brother Raman (Nedumadi Venu). Elder brother gets involved into drinks and spoils a few performances where his younger brother shines. Younger brother takes over the musical lineage resulting in jealousy and family recriminations.
The script by Lohithdas is quite strong. Elder brother does not get invited to the famous Coimbatore music festival where Mohanlal shines again and elder bro comes on stage and hands over the family heirloom to him and disappears.
Meanwhile they have a speech impaired sister whose marriage is fixed and that needs to take place vis a vis the tragedy with the elder brother to be discovered. Mohanlal has given a magnificent performance befitting the national award for best actor bestowed on him. He is mesmerizingly brilliant, a kind of understated elegance in his acting. I think he is probably the most all around actor in Indian cinema today, having played so many kind of roles with élan and class.
Lakshmi as the wife of the elder brother has also essayed a brilliant role, Nice to see her in action after her brief stint in Hindi cinema. Other actors are all okay to good. Beauty of the movie is the music by Raveendran and Johnson and the singing by KJ Yesudas. It is quite simply breathtaking to say the least. He has shattered the roof and more with his rendition of classical music. Quite simply brilliant. IMDB 9/10
Award winning Malayalam movie “Kireedam” (1989) starring Mohanlal, Thilakan, Sankarady among others.
Sethu (Mohanlal) is an unemployed son of his father (Thilakan) who is a police constable an upright one for that matter. Father catches a no gooder son of a MLA who has parked in the wrong lane and has to pay the price for honesty by being transferred to a notorious criminal district.
Son writes the police exam and passes all levels with flying colours. There in the new district, Father catches a notorious criminal out to harass common people and trashes him in full public view. Upon seeing this, the criminal’s friend joins in action and starts beating the father. This Mohanlal could not bear to see and he in turn trashes both the criminals black and blue.
And that starts a chain of events which takes us to the rest of the movie. Plenty of drama and action in the movie. Thankfully, the Director has kept the script tight.
Mohanlal has acted quite brilliantly in an under stated elegant sort of way without any histrionics. But the real star of the movie is Thilakan, the father who is absolutely magnificent with all his emotions as a father and as an inspector beautifully displayed. IMDB 8/10
A kind of psycho thriller historical fiction, horror Malayalam movie “Manichithrathazu” (1993) starring Mohanlal, Shobana, Suresh Gopi among others.
Suresh Gopi (Nakulan) and Shobana (Ganga/ Nagavalli) are a couple and they come to their ancestral house in Kerala. That house is supposedly haunted by some previous lady who had a bad childhood and who was refused in hand by the landlord of that place who was smitten by her.
Fast forward to the present day, the spirit has supposedly entered into the hearts of somebody in Shobana/ Suresh Gopi household and strange things start happening from time to time. Enters Mohanlal who is a psychiatrist but also a ghost buster and has a world wide name and fame.
The script and dialogues are good and so is the direction, cinematography and music by M.G. Radhakrishnan is excellent. Shobana has played out of her skin – a brilliant bravura performance that rightly earned her the best actress national award.
Brilliant award winning Malayalam movie “Vanaprastham” directed by Shaji Karun and starring Mohanlal, Suhasini Maniratnam among others.
Kunhikuttan (Mohanlal) is a Kathakali artiste of repute but he is a lower caste bastard child rejected by his father. He studies Kathakali, a dance form in Kerala and becomes an accomplished artiste.
He is invited to perform at the various functions including the royal family of Trivandrum. There the Diwan’s niece Subhadra (Suhasini Maniratnam) is awed by his performance and starts following him. She is also a composer of plays, understands the art form including the mime and does research on the subject.
She writes a play called Subhadraharnam which is like her masterpiece and wants Kunhikuttan to perform Arjuna in that play. In the meanwhile both of them fall in love and beget one son. But she refuses to allow Kunhikuttan to grow up with his son because all along she believes she has loved Arjuna the character, not Kunhikuttan the man behind it.
Kunhikuttan has a bad marriage but he pulls along only for his daughter whom he loves very much. Double rejection by his father and by Subhadra leaves him much distressed and anguished. He then decides to perform one last time as Arjuna in the play written by Subhadra for which the character of Subhadra will be played by his own daughter, who learns kathakali by then.
The entire community including his family members is aghast as to how he has selected his daughter to play that role. Mohanlal has acted out of his skin for this movie for which he won the Best Actor award at the national level. The film also got the best feature film award at the Nationals.
Music by Zakir Hussain is breathtaking, while cinematography, photography, camera work, sound, direction are all of very high standards.