Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cheating. . . a bit!

So we near the end of the month, and I find that I only have 16 posts, instead of 28. And this is including the 2 last 2 posts. The next week, am again going to be traveling again, so I'm going to be running short of posts by the deadline. So, skewing the rules a bit, here's a review of a movie that I did sometime back on another site.  This was written some years back- before this blog came into existence.  I'm posting it as is, without making any changes to it. Cross posting IS posting, in a way. Isn't it?

I read and was touched by Movie Zombie’s review on Parzania.
It reminded me of a movie by a debutante director- Blessy, in Mollywood. The same subject, treated by a different director, which yielded another heart touching classic. 

Blessy, the director of this movie, has dedicated it to the late P. Padmarajan who was was one of the all-time greats of Mollywood and whom he used to assist . The movie is a real tribute to him. It  talks about the bond of love that can spring up and grow, between persons totally unconnected by blood/language ties. But society finds it hard to let that love flourish unhindered....

Madhavan (Mammooty) is a 16 mm film operator, who tours festival grounds screening movies. In the course of his travels, he falls across an urchin, Bhuvan (Master Yash) who decides to befriend Madhavan. Madhavan is initially irritated by the boy, especially as he cannot understand a word of what he says. But gradually he gets attached to the boy and when he goes home, takes the boy with him, as the boy is alone and friendless. He manages to gather that post the quake in Gujarat the little boy had somehow reached the shores of Kerala and landed up with street children.

Madhavan’s family consists of his wife Lakshmi (Padmapriya) and a daughter Ambili (Baby Sanusha). They too open their hearts and home to the homeless waif, especially Ambili, and soon they are like one big happy family, loving and laughing. Bhuvan saves Ambili from drowning in a flash flood and that is when Madhavan, along with us viewers, realises how much the once homeless, vagabond boy has come to mean to him.  Post this incident, the boy becomes a local hero, but that proves to be for worse than for better.

Local politicians get into the act and  question the motives behind Madhavan harboring the boy in his house and ultimately get the child put into a Juvenile Home. The entire family is distraught at the sudden turn of events. Madhavan tries to formally adopt the boy, but for this, he has to first prove that the boy’s natural parents are no more in this world. And so, Madhavan leaves for Gujarat with the child, for only Bhuvan can recognise/remember his home/parents. But Gujarat, once they get there, is nothing like the place in little Bhuvan’s dreams.  What happens next forms the end to the movie- an end that wrenches at your guts.

After reading Zombie’s review on Parzania, what struck me was that almost the same incident forms the base of the two movies- the loss of a child. But while Parzania looks at it from the point of view of the parents who have lost, and are still searching for their son (as a parent myself, my heart goes out to the parents, how terrible an ordeal every passing day must be for them! God grant that they get their son back safe and unharmed); Kazcha looks at it from the point of view of the little son who has gotten lost and is trying to find his way back to his parents, failing which, at least  get back to a family that loves him as a son.

All of the actors have slipped into their roles seamlessly. -Mammooty effortlessly portrays the gamut of emotions from tolerance to affection to the protective love of a father. He won the national award for his role in this movie. It is hard to imagine Padmapriya as a glamorous model which she is in real life- she is the epitome of a middle class Mallu housewife- a loving wife and mother. Baby Sanusha shows you how simply and unconditionally children accept  and love. The countryside scenes are typically God’s Own Country- green and lush, and with undulating backwaters and fields. The politicians are also typical politicians- they cannot see a good thing happening without having their names linked up with it, and in the process manage to muck up the whole thing and create bad out of good. The songs in this movie are a treat for the eyes and ears. The Gujju song Jugnu re where Bhuvan remembers what he can of his folks and his home, and the song Kunhe ninakku vendi which shows the love of a father for his son are especially poignant. Kerala’s monsoons are beautifully depicted in dappu dappu Janaki. Lyrics are by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboodiri and music is by Mohan Sithara. There is a foot tapping number in the backdrop of the backwaters..

But what struck me the most about this movie was the little boy Bhuvan.
Master Yash simply tugs at your heartstrings.any which way you look at it.. As a forlorn, homeless waif in the initial scenes. The way he tries to makes himself useful in little ways and sometimes ends up being more trouble than help reminds you of your own little ones at home. He worms his way into your heart with his cute little lopsided smile and chubby features. Your heart goes out to him when  seeing the happy togetherness of Madhavan’s family, he is reminded of his own mother and father, from whom he has been parted so cruelly, at so young an age. And the scene where after he rescues Ambili, everybody crowds around the girl and he feels forgotten is poignant. He knows he is part of the family, and yet he doesn’t feel enough part of the family to cry and get comforted, but then Madhavan realising this gathers him into his arms and holds him close, never to let him go, almost...
The despair and helpnessness of the household when they HAVE to let go of Bhuvan makes you feel so helpless too. And it is heartbreaking to see his bafflement at the remnants of the Gujarat of his dreams.

The movie makes you wonder about the  humanity of humans, the absolute uselessness and heartlessness of bureaucracy and at the power of love that transcends barriers of geography and language and age. And it makes you ache at the futility of certain things that have not changed in our lifetime, but maybe will in our children’s.

P. Padmarajan would be proud of his disciple Blessy Ipe Thomas’ Gurudakshina.

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