(Written by guest contributor Unni)
The human mind is a strange thing – it can do all sorts of wonders. For a scientist, it is the mind that is the laboratory on which his revolutionary inventions germinate. It is the mind that controls the feelings of a person. It is what tells him what is right and what is not.
Suddenly anything connected with the mind and memory seems to be the fad of movie directors all over India, of late.
The late director Padmarajan, produced a classic “Innale” – the story of a young girl(Shobana) who loses her memory in a bus accident. She falls in love with the son (a young Jayaram) of the owner of the clinic where she was recovering. The climax of the movie was tragic (typical Padmarajan) when the girl does not recognise her actual husband and opts for her lover. (Suresh Gopi in a cameo).
Blessy took a leaf from his mentor’s book and made “Thanmathra” – which focussed on the dreaded disease resulting in memory loss – Alzheimer’s. Shajun Karyal gave company to Blessy and came up with “Vadakkumnathan” – the protagonist being a victim of bi-polar disorder. Shaji Kailas also joined the party with “Chintamani Kolacase” – Suresh Gopi in a Dracula-like costume portrayed the mentally imbalanced lawyer, Lal Krishna Veeradiyar.
Another movie which is being made is “Bharathan” – penned by Madhu Muttom (of Manichitrathazhu fame) – talks about an eccentric scientist (played by BIju Menon) affected by some mind disease.
While our malayalam directors were running after mind doctors, their tamil counterparts were not sitting idle. Murugadoss made “Gajini”, with Surya playing the hero affected by short term memory loss. Earlier P Vasu had (brutally) remade Manichitrathaazhu as “Chandramukhi” with Rajnikanth donning the psychiarist role. Shankar took this to another level with “Anniyan” – Vikram doing a triple role as “Ambi Ramanujam”, “Remo” and “Anniyan”
The common factor of all these movies are they were all HITS of various proportions. It may be because the audience is fascinated with the subject of mind, memory loss, selective amnesia etc. Also another common factor could be that the lead roles were handled by veterans and they put their best efforts into the success of their characters.
All said and done, it takes a lot of courage from directors to do films on these kind of subjects. To quote Dr.Sunny Joseph of Manichitrathazhu – They may even have to “defy all conventional concepts of psychitary” !!