Trash can: ‘Madambi’, a movie from the past
Who said the long 100 days vacation for us is a global waste, good for none, it is obviously beneficial for the malayalam film industry at least, else I would not have ventured with my friends to see this latest Mohan Lal release on the very first day. Although its a bit early to come at any conclusions, I don’t think that this new director will not bring any respite to an industry that is currently reeling under lack of good scripts and acute civil strife. The title ‘Madambi’ roughly means ‘a feudal lord’. Thus the base story line is almost obvious. The legendary malayalam actor, who has so easily donned larger than life roles in many flopped movies cant be expected to be no one other than the ‘madambi’ in the movie.
The first thing that strikes you are the names of the characters. The younger brother of the hero, who is in his twenties in the movie sports an age old name with a caste name as a tail. The name ‘Ramakrishna Pillai’ is one that you would attach to an aging Head Master than a twenty year old dude. Conspicuous caste remarks are also made throughout the movie in dialogues and in the names of the major characters which was the norm in our state a few decades back. The plot is happening in a village, far removed from any town to have any bank in the vicinity. The current situation in Kerala makes it almost impossible. Any village in Kerala cannot be far from a town or a small commercial centre by not more than 20 kms. Its impossible not to have a branch of the State Bank or at least a Co-operative bank over there. But ok, lets forget that fact and think that this village is so far removed that the state bank people couldn’t find it in the map. Then how could it be possible that the first bank to be opened there is a multi national one. Oh my God, now things are becoming tricky. This is the problem of taking your brain also along to the movies. In such movies the only thing that gives you value for money are the beautiful members of the opposite sex gracing the silver screen. But Kavya Madhavan, who has proved before that shorter clothes is not the gateway to a longer career in the film industry, proves that again rather brutally in the movie. The 23 or something old actress, clad in thoroughly de glamorized saree throughout the movie and eventually develops a crush on the 48 year old hero looks and behaves at least 10 years older. Then there is finally the larger than life cast of the hero who appears in almost all the scenes in the movie. The generous and rigid hero saves the day for the poor people and punches the bad guys into oblivion every time a situation arises. And finally the director goes as far as playing a drama in court room to clear the hero of certain mistaken character traits that the hero was forced to take up when his father died(in a black and white flash back). And the most generous magistrate forgives him for doing that, even though the same could have been far easily solved by going up and revealing the facts(99% of the hero’s wealth is in his brother’s name, that might be teh point when the director wanted the audience to cry thinking of the magnanimous nature of the ‘big brother’).
It was only when I reached my home, with my joints aching because of sitting in that filthy theatre with damaged chairs that my mom told me that the director of the movie is a renowned T.V serial director. I replied back that I should not have expected anything more from a man who makes money making B-Grade mega serials exploiting the job lessness of the middle class house wives.