varnachitram

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Review Roundup : Vaasthavam

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As per the reviews, the movies seems to be of good quality. Looks like Vaasthavam is a movie in which has good direction, story/screen play and performances – a rare occurence in Malayalam.

Sify.com says:

The Pritviraj-Padmakumar team has given us something to cheer. After Ammakilikoodu and Vargam, they have come out with Vaasthavam, a gutsy and realistic film, like its title. It is brilliantly executed film on the rampant corruption, power struggle and hypocrisy in corridors of the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram.Pritviraj as Balan Adiga has given a knockout performance and his transformation from an ordinary guy from Kasaragod to the shrewd manipulator of Kerala politics, turns out to be the scene stealer. Babu Janadharnan’s screenplay has justified the characters vaulting ambitions and naked power play to remain the king maker till the end. Though the character has shades of grey, our sympathies go out to him as Padmakumar has etched it out beautifully.

Indiaglitz comments:

Once again, it’s time to rejoice for a scriptwriter and director who has relentlessly followed their insights and neither added a scene or shot to make their film feel more commercial or artistic. Yes, in Vaasthavam, director Padmakumar together with Babu Janardhanan has weaved a story of interlocking destines and the film holds you riveted till it lasts. And after several hiccups, Prithviraj once again has come of age with Vaasthavam in which he plays a corrupt, emotionless pragmatic secretariat staff who rises to the corridors of power with his practicality. The film is worth a watch in the theatres, thanks to an engaging directorial style of Padmakumar who believes in simple and straightforward way of story telling in this heavily loaded film.

 

The film is a welcome change in the placid superstar driven Malayalam film industry. It packs in quite a lot in terms of “a message for the masses” using the non-patented formulae successfully. Top line performance by principle actors, authentic locations, moodily lit interiors, good dialogues and spurts of emotional scenes are the major highlights of this action drama. The film is a blizzard of events of life in the capital secretariat which cumulatively leave an impact of a glossy documentary on the bureaucracy driven system.

Nowrunning.com summarises:

Director M. Padmakumar and writer Babu Janardhanan have done a really good job. The subject is well-chosen and the treatment is up to the mark.

Performance by Prithviraj as Balachandran is excellent. Kavya Madhavan as Sumithra, Samvritha as Surabhi and Sindhu Menon as Vimala Thankachi do their respective roles well. However, it’s Jagathy Sreekumar who scores best as Unnithan. Murali as the minister Pattom Raveendran and Salim Kumar as Thrippan Namboothiri have also done justice to their roles.

The others in the cast are also OK, except perhaps Rajmohan Unnithan, who has to learn that acting is a lot different from delivering political speeches. Cinematography by Manoj Pillai, Art Direction by Saloo K. George and Editing by L. Bhoominathan are in sync with the theme.

Velu writes:

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. Or so it seems, as Vasthavam takes off with a whimper, with liberal doses of a tirade against all possible iniquities, that supposedly chomp up the little remnants left of what was once a civilization. The one man army that literally marches forward finds himself at the crossroads a bit later, with quite a few decisions to make. The ones that would make or mar his life.

Padmakumar’s first two attempts at filmmaking, drew mixed responses from the audience, though neither proved to be box-office hits. This time around he joins hands with script writer Babu Janardhan, and comes up with Vasthavam, with Prithviraj donning the lead role as Balachandran Adiga, a no-nonsense, non-political Brahmin from Kasaragod, who lands up in the capital city, as he has earned himself a job in the Secretariat. On the way to Trivandrum and a plush life, he has forsaken quite a lot, including his childhood sweetheart Sumitra (Kavya Madhavan). He gets betrothed instead to the docile Surabhi (Samvrutha Sunil), and beds none other than the shrewd Vimla (Sindhu Menon) as he moves ahead with sturdy strides, up the long winding ladder of poltics and power. He loses all three and almost his life in the deal, even as he realizes the earth moving away beneath his feet. Entangled in an array of events that get weary after a while, the plot loses track and ends up being just another chronicle of a warfare against corruption, sleaze, dishonesty and deceit.

Rediff.com says

Malayalam film, Vaasthavam, is about the games played in the corridors of power. Director M Padmakumar, who recently made the unusual police drama Vargam, gives us another grand vision. Vargam gave Prithviraj a landmark movie, and so expectations were quite high. Balachandran Adiga (Prithviraj) faces a lot of family responsibility. His father has lost everything due to socialist leanings and his four sisters are yet to be married. For the betterment of his family, he has to marry Surabhi (Samvrutha) to clinch a job in the State Secretariat. But his heart is with his childhood love, Sumitra (Kavya Madhavan

42 Comments

  1. Guys, U have left 2 other good reviews, Paresh C Palicha in rediff and Velu in his review, say that a lot more could have been done with the story.. Though they dont find a major fault, it seems that the movie could have been made better…

  2. Paresh Palicha’s review seems to be of a low quality. There is not much of analysis in it, just a description of the story and just a line or two about the movie. I wouldn’t call it a review.

    From the reviews, it looks like all the booing and third degree measures adopted by superstars and wannabe superstars against Prithvi are not working.

  3. Pritviraj’s character (Balachandran Adiga) is supposed to be a Kannadiga from Kasaragod (all Adiga’s have their roots in Karnatake). From the trailers and short clippings seen on TV he speaks fluent south Kerala accent in the movie.

    The same issue was seen in several Malayalam movies including National award winning Kaliyattam. To make it look authentic, scriptwriters just plug-in a few words here and there.

    In this context, I don’t think it’s a big deal for actors to speak in a Tvm or Kottayam slang. Let them try to bring out the real flavour of Malayalam from North Kerala. I don’t think any one will succeed fully.

  4. I agree with Ramesh. Among the so called superstars in malayalam, I guess Mammootty has been the most succesful in neutralising any accent, and he was succesful in many movies to use different accents.

  5. Its very refreshing to see some people finally making good reality based movies and taking up social issues. I don’t know about others but I’m tired of all the cookie-cutter chick flicks the industry have been churning out lately. If you look back you can see that Superstars don’t matter in the success of the movie its the story and content that matters. Superstars may bring huge crowds in the initial days but after that its always the content that matters.

  6. i think it’s a matter to worry that such films continue to pass as “reality”!

  7. I am glad to see Prithviraj rising in stature as an actor but how much will it take for our change-resistant public to accept him as a worthy continuer of a line of great lead actors starting from satyan. He is just 24 or 25 and beginning to show the same promise which had catapulted mohanlal to such heights 20-22 years back but he needs more encouragement from us.

    The industry is in an unhealthy state and only box-office pull ensures the survival of lead actors…Biju Menon is a case in point…i am hearing that vasthavam is loosing steam at theatres…hope the word of mouth publicity that vasthavam has been getting starts showing results…otherwise i have this gut feeling that Prithvi will be stolen by tamil filmdom which has accepted him whole-heartedly unlike his mother tongue. anyways kudos to the Padmakumar-Babu Janardhanan team that told a very real, hard-hitting story without any frills.

    go watch this movie…and i am sure all of you will say in one voice that Prithvi’s acting is as good as the best actors, malayalam films offer as of today. we dont need any more superstars…we have seen what that kind of tag has done to our very best two actors…the least i expect prithvi to do is continue to act in such good films and all i ask of the film-going public is to go to the theatres and encourage this young actor too along with their favorite superstars.

  8. What the Kerala people want, the same old and stale theatrics from the olden brigade or new power-house performance from the Young guys. It is a real pity that films like Vargam and Vasthavam find difficult to gate crash, whereas stuffs like Vava, Gulan, Kilukkam Kilukilukkam makes hay. Is the people of Kerala deserves this only? When all other Industries are surging ahead with brand new faces while keeping the Olden Goldies in the key positions we only go against it, creating a situation, where no return is possible.
    It is high time everyone should unite to support this move. The movie Vasthavam is much better than the biggest Block-busters Classmates or Rajamanikyam that is for sure. The performance wise Jagathy, Prithvi (who excels in all the roles, which is the reason why he gets lots of movies in spite of failures and every director repeats him). is nothings less than excellent. The piercing eyes during romance with Vimal Thankachi, the lover image in front of Childhood sweet heart and the dirty Govt servant etc. all are having vide variations as an actor for Prithvi which only he can excel in the current generation. Even among the super stars, only Mammootty can do this role, that is for sure.

  9. I don’t know why you guys are taking Prithviraj’s failure so personally. It is not the fault of the Malayali film audience or the superstars or AMMA, that Prithviraj’s career is failing. It is only because his performance lacks soul. You cannot support someone you cannot connect with. If you can connect with him, by all means, do so. But don’t blame others if they can’t do the same.

    Mammootty and Mohanlal may not be giving the best performances of their lives right now. But, I continue to watch Lal movies simply because of the memories I have of his old movies. I always come away disappointed after watching his new movies. But I still keep watching, hoping that next time will be better. And in between I watch my old favorites on DVD and fall in love with him each time.

    By the way, the whole thing about AMMA trying to pull Prithviraj down is way overblown. Jagathi was initially cited as one of the principal culprits of the scheme. But, look how he willingly acted in Vasthavam and earned wonderful reviews for his performance. If he had any ill-will against Prithviraj, I’m sure he would have refused the role.

    As they say here in Texas, this boy is a “goner”. And it’s nobody’s fault — not even his. We just don’t like him, that’s all.

    And that’s all I have to say about that (said Forrest Gump).

  10. Prithviraj has had his share of problems because of his attitude against the AMMA fraternity. They, along with the diretcor community [minus Vinayan] are more like a single unit and Prithvi took on them single handedly. But problem is that these people are the decision making bodies – on whether to cast an actor or not – and they have an indirect control of his future. Its not that they have issued a ‘fatwa’ or anything against him. But the fact is that a lot of people dont like him. Dileep has been accused of hiring people to throng the theatres where Prithvi’s movies are running and hoot and also to give bad word-of-mouth. I dont think how our 2 superstars would stoop to that level as they dont need to feel insecure.

    Having said all this, one thing perhaps Karthyani said struck me. Why are Prithvi’s movies not turning upto be hits [Classmates is an exception – People say that the movie is a hit because of him as he was the lead hero. But there were other factors also like Lal Jose’ direction, music etc]? The critically acclaimed Vasthavam and Vargam also did not become hits.

    Now its possible that one or two movies may not be hits because of factors mentioned above. But if repeatedly, his movies are flopping there may be a problem. Maybe he does not just fit into the expectations of a malayalam hero [looks he has] because hes a little urban and belongs to Generation X? Remember he had foreign eduction and all and hes a bit modern and just maybe thats why the audience is not able to connect with him. In Tamil the story is different, as he would easily fit into the scheme of things. Most of the stories are set in metro locations and even the ones set in rural areas come with a song shot in New zealand or Toronoto.

    I personally feel, our malayalam audience is not willing to change their mindset most of the times – we will continue to apprecite our superstars for their performances and simulataneously whisper/complain that Mohan Lal/Mammotty is acting with Meera Jasmine or Gopika. A classic example is Rasathantram. It did not have have the usual standard expected of a typical Satyan Anthikad movie. It was little more than average. But that by itself was more than enough for us to make the movie a big success, DESPITE the fact that Mohan Lal acted with a girl who was 22 or 23. Another example is Thuruppugulan which did more than average business evern though it was a typical formula potboiler. Now if we genuinely didnt like our superstars running around trees with young actresses, the movie would have been a resounding flop and we would have accepted a Vargam/Vasathavam featuring a new generation actor. But the bottomline is that our superstars hold a special place in our hearts and we are willing to offer a margin of error for them. Its not without a reason, as they have given us so much in the last 30 years. We only dont reject their movies that are really crap – Balram vs Tharadas, Prajapathi, Praja etc.

    Incidentally am sure even the worst critics of the superstars in this movie would still look eagerly forward to the next Mammotty or Mohan Lal movie 🙂

  11. Couple of corrections – I meant “We only reject their movies that are really crap ”

    “Incidentally am sure even the worst critics of the superstars in this would still ..”

    results of typing a bit too fast 🙂

  12. Oh You are from Texas, George Bush’s land. No wonder you could come up with gems like the Mundu logic.

    In Kerala, money is pooled by producers from theatre owners to make a film. These people are only willing to finance actors who will give them financial gains. Apparently no one is willing to produce films of Jayaram these days. Looking at the pipeline, there are lot of Prithviraj movies in the making which means that the people who invest money are still confident about him.

    Unlike Hindi movies which aim to target the global NRI audience, Malayalam movies are made for people in Kerala and not in Texas.

  13. Mr. Mahadevan,

    Aren’t you being a bit too defensive? I’m not FROM Texas. I currently live there. I was born and raised in God’s Own Country brother.

    What mundu logic? Obviously many of you did not understand the point I was trying to make. Let me put it in simple terms. Prithviraj is urban. Kerala audience prefers heroes with rural sensibilities. Hence, Prithviraj’s movies fail to succeed. Focusing on the word “mundu” and beating up on me is not the intelligent way to respond.

  14. If Malayalees preferred people with rural sensibilities, then Suresh Gopi would not have become a superstar. His slow motion walking, english speaking and gun carrying were all accepted by people and his movies made lot of money. Of course he won the national award for Kaliyattom which was for a rural character, but that movie did not set the box office on fire. He is known more for his rapid speaking police roles. He kept on doing the same thing again and again and it got boring and he lost steam. But then we are talking about acceptance here and people had no problem accepting him.

    If you look at the earlier Mammotty films, he was always a safari suit wearing guy with Baby Shalini as his daughter, not exactly an epitome of rural charcter. People accepted him, a lot of such movies were success and later on people started rejecting those roles. And please tell me how many rural characters late Jayan played? All these facts throw your “texas mundu logic” out of the window.

    Right now Malayalees are crazy about Shah Rukh, Hritik etc. who do not wear mundu 🙂

  15. This discussion has gone on way longer than necessary. Just think if Mr.Prithviraj were to sneak a peek here, his overblown ego will explode.

    However, I can’t resist responding to the last comment by Mahadevan, and then I promise I’ll say no more — no matter what.

    I’m glad that you brought up the example of Suresh Gopi and Jayan. Who takes Suresh Gopi seriously. He was and is only accepted by a small fraction of the audience. He has stuck to the action movie genre where he has no competition. We all know that the average Malayali guy loves to see a fight scene whether it’s on the street or on the silver screen. Suresh Gopi movies fulfill that “need”.

    I wasn’t alive when Jayan ruled the silver screen and I haven’t seen a single movie of his. But here’s an analysis of Jayan’s success that my brother gave me. He came at a time when the people of Kerala were becoming increasingly literate and hence more cynical. The long “moralistic” dialogues and stiff acting of the Satyan-Naseer era were starting to wear thin. Also, Naseer’s fight scenes were downright hilarious. I haven’t seen Naseer fighting, but I’ve seen his acting. Just trying to picture him beating up villains makes me double over with laughter. Jayan was the first person who could fight convincingly. However, according to article I read, he soon became a joke. He was apparently on the verge of extinction when he died (pun intended).

    Then came Mammootty. He brought a new style of naturalistic acting. The type of roles that you mention (safari suits, Baby Shalini, etc) also wore thin on people.

    When Mohanlal started to gain popularity during the late 80s, I personally predicted (and hoped and prayed) that Mammootty was over. To my surprise he held on. This is entirely due to his hard work and smart career moves.

    If it isn’t already obvious, I’m a huge Mohanlal fan. I can remember the time when he was doing villain roles and I would pray that someday he would become a hero. My childish wish was: “Mohanlal Mammoottye pottikkanam”. Some people compare him to Robert Deniro. To me he’s better than Robert Deniro. He can be compared to French actor Gerard Depardieu in his youth. You don’t feel that they’re acting. They’re living. Watch Mohanlal in Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal or Thuvanathumbikal or his Sathyan Anthikkad movies. He’s not even aware of the camera. He became our father, brother, husband, and lover.

    There’s a reason why Mohanlal was voted the most popular person in Kerala recently. True, Prithviraj was not a choice in the poll, but I doubt that would’ve changed the result. He beat Mammootty by almost 10 points.

    Jayan, Mammootty, and Mohanlal were all better than their predecessors. The problem that Prithviraj & Co face is that they have to compete with such world class actors. There’s no room for improvement. To paraphrase a famous Lal dialogue, we Malayalis are only used to putting our hands in the “Nei bharani. Verum bharaniyil ittal choriyum.”

  16. You mentioned that you were twenty years younger to Mohanlal, which means you were born around 1980. Then you write

    When Mohanlal started to gain popularity during the late 80s, I personally predicted (and hoped and prayed) that Mammootty was over.

    Wow! So when you were around 8 or 9 you started making predictions!

    It is so funny when you claim to speak for average Malayalis sitting in Texas. Your analysis of both Suresh Gopi and Jayan have the George Bush, Weapons of Mass Destruction Logic that it is not even worth ridiculing.

    But some of your gems are classic

    – People in Kerala were becoming more literate in Jayan’s time!! Amazing.
    – Jayan was on the verge of extinction when he died.

    I grew up during those times and thanks for making me laugh with these jokes. Thanks for letting me know about your troubled childhood. It explains a lot.

  17. The two best actors in India are Kamal Hassan and Nedumudi Venu. Mohanlal, Mammoty etc are one step below them in vesatility. So please don’t believe that there is no scope for improvement for these actors.

  18. karthyani,

    u hv not seen a single jayan film and u write very surely that u think he is better than nazir. hehehehehehe.

  19. Mohanlal’s acting in Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal or Thuvanathumbikal is below average. It was made by a good director and that is the greatness to it. Anyone could have done that role easily.

  20. karthyani, your comments here are certainly giving us a lot to laugh at. the moralistic dialogues and the stiff acting of the satyan-nazeer era” huh….do you even know the kind of prathibhakal who made movies those days…p.bhaskaran, ramu kariyat, k.s.sethumadhavan, vincent, MT Vasudevan Nair, Thoppil Bhasi, etc just to name a few…all their movies were well ahead of their times and the malayalam film industry that we are all so proud of today first became noticed then! in their times what they did was amazing. satyan continues to be a fave actor for almost all malayalis even today and like mohanlal was your heart-throb in the 80’s, your parents and grandparents adored prem nazeer in the 60’s! just from that we understand how much you understand kerala and your talk of rural sensibilities. the jayan phenomenon was at its peak when he died. he was single-handedly carrying forward the malayalam industry then. and the jayan phenomenon was not bcoz of kerala’s cynicism or rising literacy…it was the disco/hippie age which rubbed off on all indian cinema too…and he came along!!!!!!

    you talk longingly of a mohanlal of the 80’s, i am sorry to say those good old days have gone by for him and for us. you talk of the 1980’s sharkarabharaniyil dialogue from bhoomiyile raajakhanmaar with such puffed-up pride. we are people of today, should we continue to watch 1980’s movies and say everything today from new people are bad? it is urgent we move on and recognize and encourage young talents. it seems from all the rambling comments you have made up till now that you have used every possible reason to criticize prithviraj, just because you personally dont like him. pitiable, really pitiable, coming from a woman of the 21st century.
    you may be in texas now, but it is this kind of stagnant thought and gloating over the past that many malayalis proudly show-off that is ruining kerala in every field now.

    karthyani dont u realize, the guys who are replying to you are having a jolly nice time ragging you…you know so little of kerala and the great movies and talents that have come out of our land…and most of ur comments have come across as downright cynical. we people who have left comments here are true cinema lovers who realize that mohanlal and mammooty cant anymore do a lot of kinds of roles they did in the 80’s and have realized it is time to move on and encourage a promising newcomer like Prithvi and many others and hope Mohanlal and Mammooty comes out with more Thanmatras and Karuthapakshikal.

    “sharkarabharaniyilitta kai avide thanne irunne urumbariche theerthu. kaalam athine verum bharaniyaakiyathe mohanlalinteyum keralithenteyum nirbhagyam”. sorry if i used harsh words…to highlight mohanlal of the 80’s you didnt have to pull down other film personalities in malayalam cinema history!

  21. Dear Friends,
    Reading all the comments. I think many of you have commented on many things without knowing what it is?
    Eg I grown up watching Satyan, Nazir, Madhu movies. Action wise Satyan cannot even compare with the present generation as well. Remember, the great mimicry artists of Kerala accepted this, since personal mannerism was not there, then they had to settle with his songs sequences. All other actors were excelled in some roles. Mohan Lal and Mammo were unbearable during their initial time, though Lal could give some glimpses of talents. But, soon he became a great actor. Mammoo took media support and lots of luck to get plum roles, some of them clicked, but many failed. Jayan was nothing in acting, emotionless etc. etc. Sukumaran was excellent in dialogue delivery, which till now very difficult to beat.
    Then came Suresh, who still a poor actor. Someone said he is a good action star. If Vargam or Satyam had been a huge hit, people would have changed this. In the initial days Prithvi had some good support, which I have personally seen in theaters, ex Swapnakude (many used comment that 4 heroines and a hero), Vellithira (sudden change from 5th day onwards), Satyam created record collection for him in a week of 1.5 Cr. The film could not sustain because of very poor effort from Vinayan. Violence had good collection. Muthu was having good run for a week and was not a flop (Run for 75 days in Ernakulam). Now many movies are become hits since the tax part if down from 31% to 10 and 15%.
    His acting ability, considering his age is much better than many of the actors at this age. He is not having support of Big directors, and even Dileep pushed Shaji Kailash to avoid shooting Prithvi by giving date for Chess. Every one knows Thomman was taken away by Mammo and Lal (Producer), who initially annownced with Prithvi. An actor of his age would have fled this rotten scene. He is still here due to his confidence. Whatever he says is not against anybody, but of the rotten system prevailing in Kerala. Anyother state he would have like Vikram or Mahesh Babu (Telugu). Tamil recogonised him as a very good actor.
    He is one of the brightest hopes of Mallu. Majority of the Youth not accepted him, since they are jealous of his popularity among girls, the same thing happened to Rahman, when I myself was jalousie of him when I was a student. Pithvi should be taken care by senior directors. Acting ability wise he can be among the great stars at their age that is for sure. I never was a fan of anybody in my 47 years of age, though appreciated the abilities of Satyan, Mammoo, Lal, Nedumudi, Thilakan. But now I am a great great great fan of this young guy, whose failure become my sleepless nights. I was seeing films for the past 40 years. That is the reason. A great technical observer along with acting, not mearly going for story or star. When we were doing BTech in TVM in early 80s, were discussing a lots about technical and acting abilities of many actors and believe me we celebrated the death of Jayan, since all of us(we were in Hostel) against this action star, who we thought came to spoil the malluwood.
    Just see the response Prithvi is getting in the web. Amazing. After Mammoo and Lal, he is getting the maximum. He needs a bit of luck and push from Senior Directors.
    Support the new generation, Naren, Indrajith along with Prithvi.

    We have enough talents. But te attitude of Public should change. Mammoo and Lal should support this, or the next generation will not forgive them. Just watch and see, may be the END is VERY near.

  22. On accent, it all depends on background. Nobody will tell me I am from Kochi. I was with many friends I Tvm Engineering College. Very few had that Mammo accent. Adiga is an educated Brahmin; hence it is always possible to have a good. But the point is that how detailed we have to analyze this fellow clinically. It is a pity. Instead of supporting such talents we waste out time in finding his problems. Obvious problems are not there. No mimicry artists imitated him for his style or mannerism other than dialogues. He can be a great actor. How much pressure we are putting on him. Just support. Look at Tamil, Visaal, Chimbu, Bharat, Arya, Narein, Prithvi are all rising stars. What is our problem? We need 10-15 actors to act in 70-90 films an year. Now, it is quite sure why films like Dhoom and DON create records in Kerala, when Vasthavam and Karutha Pakshikal are calling days. This leads to only an answer, he END is quite NEAR.
    Rajamanikyam, only Mammo was with this accent, where as his father, friends etc were normal. This great mistake was not noticed by anyone, instead appreciating the great mistake. Shame on us and on our logic. We will never allow anyone to come up here.
    The logic of Mundu etc. are waste. He is too good in Vasthavam, with so-called Mudu, without seeing Pl do not comment. I might have seen 100 Nazir’s Movies, 50 Satyan’s, 10 Jayan’s, 50 Sukumaran’s, 50 Madhu’s, 100 + Mohan Lal’s. 100+ Mammoos, 50 + Dileeps, 20+ Prithvi. I think I have enough expertise on many things. I addition seen world’s top 20 classic movies during my stint with Surya Film society. At least 400 English movies, and many Tamil and Hindi moves. These statements are not just throwing stones blind folded.

  23. Pl read Acting wise Satyan not action wise.

  24. I am not criticizing Prithviraj because I resist change altogether. I’m resisting the kind of change I am afraid he will bring.

    My question to you guys is why Prithviraj? You have to admit that it’s because of his looks. Is that what you want? You say that he’s successful in Tamil. Well, good for them. They can keep him. We have always prided ourselves of being more sophisticated than the Tamil film audience. I would like for that to continue. I for one am proud that Prithviraj has not been instantly accepted by the Kerala audience. It goes to show that we are more demanding of our actors. They have to go through the growing pains. If Prithviraj is worth anything, he will succeed. I have faith in the people of Kerala. Instead of cursing Malayalis and Kerala AND ME, maybe you should give us some credit. One of the most literate population in the world couldn’t be totally wrong.

    I don’t mind if Prithviraj finds some measure of success. But in my opinion he should not become THE star. He is certainly not my hope for the future. I would much rather see Narein or Indrajith or Siddharth (KPAC Lalitha’s son) succeed.

  25. Jiby,

    Don’t you realize that I am having a “jolly nice time” being ragged by all these attractive (haha) guys.

  26. Mohanlal has acted in three good movies so far a) Bharatham b) Iruvar c) Kireedam. Rest all range from pathetic to below average. Most of his earlier movies had excellent script writers and directors, and he got a free ride. Nothing more. Unfortunately we are stuck with him. I hope someone new comes.

    Most literate population – yes, we cannot be wrong, we have the higest suicide rate, highest rate of domestic violence, and largest number of sex scandals. We can never be wrong. Tamilians must be laughing seeing movies like Praja, Thandavam and Photographer.

  27. Hi Karthyani, I was a silent spectator in this discussion, till the moment U mentioned that U see Malayalam filmdom’s future in the hands of KPAC Lalitha’s son Siddharth(?!?!?!?!)… Compared to Sidharth, Prithvi is much much better… Siddharth is nothing more than a wooden furniture in the movies he acted… I am just happy that U didnot mention Jishnu…

    And mark my words, Ur happiness is goanna be shortlived, Prithvi will succeed and will become the true successor to the M&Ms..

    Jibs, Have u seen the movies Kamaladhalam, Dasaratham, Adhipan, Spadikam, Devaasuram, Adhwaitham, Chithram, Vandanam etc… Mohan Lal is one of the best actors of India, dont U dare to undermine him and his acting skills by saying he has only done 3 good movies!!! Refrain from commenting, but dont give insane and inane comments, that too about Mohan Lal’s acting talents!!! I love Prithvi and I badly want him to swim against the current and succeed, but we have to accept the capabilities and talents of the two M&Ms!!!

  28. from the discussion looks like only insecure ppl are mohanlal fans and no one else. i dont see any other actors fans being so upset about one actor this much. i having doubts on who is sending people to theatrs to hoot. but is nice to see mohanlal fans getting angry and in denial.

  29. Unnikrishnan,

    I have seen all those movies you mentioned and thought they were ok sort of movies, but did not really have me awe struck. Honestly I found Mohanlal’s acting in the three movies I mentioned as really spectacular.

    Mohanlal is the same in all his movies. He does not get into the skin of the character. Yes, he can show subtle emotions very well if he is a villager or dancer or police officer. Same way of talking, that side ways walking, that same kind of smile. His mannerisms are constant all the time. I think he is a decent actor who has not been exploited fully or he is playing safe and giving the audience and his brain dead fans what they need.

    But as someone here mentioned, only Kamal Hassan and Nedumudi Venu get into character. Mohanlal is nowhere close to them. People keep on repeating again and again that he is India’s best. In my opinion he is not.

  30. Dear Unnikrishnan G. Nair,

    Are you the Unni who writes the reviews?

    I’ve only seen one movie of Siddharth’s — Nammal. I thought that he showed promise. He just needs experience. I doubt that he’ll become a star simply because he doesn’t have the looks. He might end up as a character artist like his mama. I intentionally included Siddharth’s name on the list to show how I rate Prithviraj as an actor. The “wooden” description aptly fits Jishnu. I wouldn’t dare support him.

    Let me add to your list of Lal movies:
    – Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal (best in the world – thanks to Padmarajan).
    – Thuvanathumbikal
    – Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam
    – No. 20 Madras Mail
    – Vellanakalude Naadu
    – Sughamo Devi
    – Unaroo (Manirathnam’s first movie)

    Today I visited YouTube.com and typed Prithviraj. Luckily they have the music videos from his latest movie Vasthavam. I can tell you that he hasn’t changed from the first time I saw him. He is BORING.

  31. Karthyani – Im not Unnikrishnan G Nair. Just Plain Unni.

  32. pappettan’s good cript for thoovanathumpikal was killed by mohanlal trying to do thrissur type speaking. poor mohanlal should have taken lessons from innocent. all my thrissur friends are hooting hearing it. no.20 was saved by mammotty’s guest appearance.

  33. Thanks for clearing that up Unni.

  34. Whatever his detractors are saying out of sheer jalousie every director who directed him or every actor who co-stared him heaped with praise. No doubt, why Prakash Raj decided to cast him in the role of Udayan in the Tamil version in spite of heavy canvassing from other Tamil actors. Why he gets lots of offers from Tamil (Currently 4 offers including 2 on completion).
    Just see his versatility by seeing his good movies. Even in his worst movie Krityam, he excelled. He got an amazing screen presence and stunning looks along with a gifted acting ability. He is 24, means by around 35+ he would be one of the best. His talent was recognized by Tamil film world. Rajani, Dhanush, Surya, Jeyam Ravi, Srikanth etc attended his Parijatham preview. Is this will happen in Kerala?
    Remember, they make better movies than us now, since we generate movies and stories for the aged Super Stars. Just see Gajini, Uyir, Kathal, Thambi, En-Magan, E, etc. The Kana Kandain was stolen by the steller performance of Prithvi. Every Tamil friend of mine including the CTO of Kerala (one Telecom Company CTO, who is a Tamilian) whose family all in one voice said they never seen such free acting by anyone in Tamil films. They saw Classmates as well just to see this guy.
    It is easy for s to criticize since we are the only people in the world who resist any sort of change in the system. Even our political system is cynical and corrupt, but we change between two evils, thinking that alternative is not available. The result is that no Industry was set up in Kerala in the last 40 years. In the name of Smart city we wasted 3 years, and in the meanwhile a city like Chennai already build up 4-5 similar set ups.
    This apple to all spears of life. We resist any new entrepreneurs, but want everything from the Govt, which is quite incapable. This problem has heaped everywhere, the story of S Sreesath is an eye opener, who was insulted and tried everything possible to skittle out of the Kerala Team, before selecting to the Indian tem by sheer talent (currently he is better than Pathan or Nehra and may be the second best in India), which is a dream for every Keralite. He said in an interview, his seniors tried to insult him and always telling he was a waste bowler, only to demoralize him, but one guy supported him, that is Ananda Padmanabhan. Fortunately Tendulkar spotted him during a net practice in Kochi.
    This applies to Prithvi as well. Everyone is ganged against him. Why the s called super stars did not comment of Classmates on any of his movies, when he is going on appreciating their movies. Why they are not allowing the senior directors to direct him. If they want to destroy the Industry, the next Gen will not pardon them. Our children and we end up watching potboilers of Tamil and Hindi, leaving our good Mallu movies, because we do not have anything to select from.

  35. I think most of the folks out here fail to understand what Karthyani is trying to highlight. Prithviraj is a talented actor, no doubt. However, I don’t think he can ever match the histrionic talents of a Mohan Lal, a Mammootty or a Nedumudi Venu. Prithvi lacks soul in his performances. Going by some of the press bytes floating around Prithvi comes across as rather arrogant and pompous. One can overlook it and ascribe it to the follies of youth, but an artist be it in cinema, theatre or music needs to be be humble. When an artist believes that he/she is bigger than the medium, then his/her performances lacks soul. And this seems to be the case with Prithvi.

    Finally everybody seems to be ranting against the two superstars. And surprisingly inane movies like Rakyamanickam turn out to be blockbusters. Irrespective of what some of you comment, the truth is that majority of the cinegoers in Kerala love the two M&Ms. Both are fantastic actors (though Mammootty is a limited dancer) and they have served Malayalam cinema for so long and they deserve their due.

  36. “they have served Malayalam cinema for so long and they deserve their due. “ 

    I don’t think anyone is acting for charity or to serve the Malayalam cinema. Both Stars(M &M) are millionaires as a direct result of their film career. It’s not that they sacrificed something initially and now Malayalam cinema has to give them back something. It’s quid pro quo.

  37. Manu,

    Please go and watch the initial movies of Mammotty and Mohanlal. They were really bad. Give him time. Maybe he will widen his range. So when you make statements like “I don’t think he can ever match the histrionic talents of a Mohan Lal, a Mammootty or a Nedumudi Venu”, you are competing with Karthyani in making outrageous statements. Even now both Mammotty and Mohanlal have not reached the range of Nedumudi Venu, so it is even insane to compare Prithvi against such a great actor.

    Prithvi has all the right to be arrogant. It is a freedom we Indians have. Lot of people like to worship Mohanlal, but some of us don’t. I would rate his skills based on his movies and not on his personal life.

    Mammotty and Mohanlal are good actors. For every Rajamanikyam there is a Praja/Thandavam.

  38. I donna much about Malayalam films. I’m of Indian origin but born in New Jersey. I act in court room drama films, and regularly appear on Broadway. I find most of the stuff posted here trash. I’m trying to write in a language most familiar to Indians and Keralites but if you don’t understand please forgive me. Could you find a Malayalam movie, by Joshi or the so-called action kings, where Jayan or Mohan Lal will parallel Marlon Brando’s performance in Godfather? NO. So why would we waste our time discussing such scum of the earth. If you are seriously interested in films, I’m interested in you. I’m right now in Bombay working on a project which you all will call a crossover film!! My India contact handphone is 9870441280.

  39. The question is can Marlon Brando ever match the performance of Jayan in Angadi or Mohanlal in Chotta Mumbai? The answer is NO. So no point in wasting discussing such scums. Also we Malayalis don’t like Brando. We like Brandy!

    You said you are born in New Jersey. My condolonces.

  40. Well said Jibs! That guy deserved a thozhi in his *****.

  41. Manoj Keshav says “I donna much about Malayalam films”.He was absolutely right.So my dear friend dont talk about things that you dont know.ok????

  42. “Jayan was the first person who could fight convincingly. However, according to article I read, he soon became a joke. He was apparently on the verge of extinction when he died (pun intended).

    Then came Mammootty. He brought a new style of naturalistic acting. The type of roles that you mention (safari suits, Baby Shalini, etc) also wore thin on people.

    When Mohanlal started to gain popularity during the late 80s, I personally predicted (and hoped and prayed) that Mammootty was over. To my surprise he held on. This is entirely due to his hard work and smart career moves. ”

    What K said here complete BULLSHIT.

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