Salesh Dipak Fernando


Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol

Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol – My first Malayalam movie of the year. A movie which constantly surprises you with it’s inherent simplicity. It’s an ode to Mohanlal the actor. I hate actors who constantly go torture their body by transforming in a hundred different ways in a flimsy narrative. Mohanlal is a welcome diversion and a constant reminder that you can surprise the audience by being yourself and playing your age. No wonder they call him the complete actor. To me MT was all about the space that you give to different people at various stages of your life which leads to love, happiness and self discovery.


  You enter into wedlock. Love overflows as your partner turns out to be a perfect match. Years fly by and you have a perfect family. But time changes everything around you. Monotony sets in as you get used to the mediocrity of your everyday existence. It isn’t a home anymore. It’s just a house filled with blank spaces and empty faces. What if fate gives you a chance to re-discover the lost love through your ex-girlfriend. A college re-union. The spark returns as you yearn to re-live those happy memories. It’s her again. The one that gave you your first glimpse of love. A walk along the college corridor with her re-ignites the lost flame. You realize that it’s time to let go and move on. A walk filled with meaningful pauses. A walk which gives you a sense of fulfillment. It’s a closure. In hindsight it’s just the beginning of your love story.


 Your mind wanders after a brief glimpse of the past. You search for love everywhere but it’s much closer to you than you think. If a love story is meant to be destiny does play cupid. An unheard melody resonates within. Is it her? How could it be? It’s a voice which I have heard many times before. Why does it sound so different? The first ray of hope. The first step towards transforming the house into a home again. It isn’t easy to fall in love with your partner again. But you can’t help it. Hopelessly in love you walk towards her hoping to hold her hand forever.


 Love overflows yet again. But there’s a risk the kids are watching. You have a daughter who is going through her turbulent teenage years. The hormones work overtime. What if your own love story leads to your daughter’s downfall. You keep an eye on her fearing the worst. You want to let go. You want to trust your daughter. But you are anxious. You follow her when she meets her crush. But the outcome surprises you. It’s a closure again for her teenage love story. She closes it out by saying she wants a love story which mirrors your own. What more can you ask as a father. The baton of love passes hands seamlessly. You are happy and content as you hold your princess closer to you. A walk filled with assurance trust and belief. The walk of a proud father.




I just sat through the pathetic Kasaba and it raised a lot of questions within as a die-hard Mammootty fan.  The subtexts within Kasaba are so cringe worthy that I found it nauseating. I agree not every film has to have a message. But if the intent was to give Mammootty a stylish makeover why not do it with a good script.  And when an actor of Mommootty’s stature endorses such degrading themes it leaves a lot to be desired

Why does an actor of his calibre resort to mediocre films every now and then. It is definitely not the lack of scripts for Malayalam cinema regularly proves itself by churning out one good film after another. I agree the depth of the good old days is missing but still it’s top notch when compared to other South Indian Industries. Is it the lack of charisma perhaps ?  No absolutely not. The screen presence is still very much intact.

I relished Pathemari which showed us a glimpse of the Mammootty we had lost. He was the one who first embraced the new wave of Malayalam Cinema with Pranchiyetan and the Saint but after that he submerged himself in a sea of substandard films which were made just for the sake of Satellite rights and commercial gains.  What was the need to kill an extraordinary actor ? Since when did he become just one among the pack. 

There was a time when Mammootty and Mohanlal were unstoppable. But Mohanlal has cleverly blended with the times constantly re-inventing himself in excellent films the recent Oppam is a fine example. Mammootty on the other hand seems to have stalled himself. No this isn’t a comparison statement just the anguish of a hardcore fan who clings on to the hope that re-invention is just around the corner. I hope so. I desperately hope so. 

With the charisma still intact there’s a lot more Mammootty has to offer to Malayalam Cinema and I believe it’s never too late to re-kindle the old flame which made him a fine actor.


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