A Blog on Cinema

Review: Chandrolsavam


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Dear Ranjith,

You were an impressive film maker. You wrote that wonderful comedy called Peruvannapurathe Viseshangal, and also that classic called Devasuram. You directed Nandanam, which was so different, but a great movie as well. So when we watched Chandrolsavam, we were hoping for something different and exciting, but instead you gave us a rehash of all possible Mohanlal movies. Why?

The opening of the movie was excellent. When Indu’s (Meena) marriage is arranged with someone else, her lover Srihari (Mohanlal) does not create a ruckus, but instead stays far away, drunk. As the marriage procession moves through a paddy field, the groom is attacked by a gooda Peethambaran (Bheeman Raghu). When Srihari saves the groom from death, Peethambaran shouts in front of everyone that Srihari had paid him to murder the groom.

Indu is shocked, so is Srihari and so are we. We were curious at this point to know the back story of this incident and why Srihari would do it. We were also curious on who was the guy who actually paid Peethambaran do it, if Srihari was not the one behind it. But then you decided to ditch all efforts in creativity and show us various sequences from various Mohanlal and non-Mohanlal movies.

After serving a jail sentence of one year, Srihari leaves to Delhi, Paris etc and after 6 years, he lands back in the same village, with a new look. Remember the scene when Mohanlal first lands in Manichitrathazhu and gives a big lecture on how he got the message. Similarly when he lands in this movies he gives a similar dialogue to the caretaker of his house, novelist KR (Jagadeesh).

Soon he is joined by his friends which includes Sriraman, Augustine, Cochin Haneefa and other. They drink, play cards and make merry and you are reminded of various movies like Devasuram, and Aaram Thampuran. Very soon the villain of the movie is introduced and he is Ramanunni (Ranjith), a childhood friend of Srihari. It seems Ramanunni too had a liking for Indu and hence he had planned all this.

Now that the hero, villain and the motive were established and it was only 30 minutes into the film, we thought what the heck is Mohanlal going to do for the next two hours. So you decided to drag the film endlessly. Of course, in such films where Mohanlal returns from exile, he will be a master musician after having learned under various Khan’s (not including Shah Rukh Khan) and Ustads. Here too he is an expert in music and his teacher is none other than Dakshinamoorthy. So that was one track.

In another track, Srihari goes on a revenge mode and tracks down Peethambaran and beats him to pulp in a Narasimham mode. He uses the power and influence of his friends to get things done and we thought, this is so simple and the movie will end now and there is one more hour remaining. So you introduced Dr. Durga (Khushboo) as a mysterious friend and later reveal that Srihari has cancer like what happened in Noketthadoorathu Kannum Nattu. At this point our eyes were popping out. Oh C’mon. You could do better than that.

Meanwhile Ramanunni kills Indu’s husband and she moves with Srihari. Srihari goes and finds his father’s girl friend and asks her to come as his mother. You did not add scenes from Rajavinte Makan and Srikrishna Parunthu here and we are thankful for it. All these wastage of time happens just for the final predictable encounter with Ramanunni which happens as Ramanunni kidnaps Indu. (That was quite new and refreshing).

Please don’t think we did not understand what you were trying to do. The main point of the movie is that as Srihari gets his ex-girlfriend, father’s ex-girlfriend and friends and as he sees life coming long, he realizes that he is about to lose all of it. He does not want to lose it and there is a brilliant conversation with his guru, Dakshinamurthy about it. But for such a nice theme, the way you chose to narrate it was beyond belief. If the entire Kerala population had not watched any Mohanlal movie so far, this movie would have a refreshing feel to it, but you just served us the same avial again and again without even bothering to clean the banana leaf. In the movie, Srihari keeps on reminding others about cliched scenes and it is such an irony that such a dialogue appears in this very cliched movie.

Some scenes are brilliant. We liked your philosophical conversation about rebirth. We also liked the way Srihari handled the police officer who came to investigate the murder and also how he dealt with Sai Kumar’s character. But then there is nothing new in those. We are just trying to be polite here. This is a role Mohanlal has done in countless films before and there is absolutely nothing new for him to do. The same goes with rest of the cast as well.

Like most of your movies, the songs were absolutely divine and it is hard to pick a favorite. But except for one song which showed Mohanlal in present and his childhood romance with Indu in the background, which by the way was a very creative way to visualize, the others were not even necessary in the movie.

You are capable of much better than this. Freshness in movies comes from new dialogue, new situations and new treatment. By repeating scenes and situations from previous movies, you have let us down big time. We will be eagerly waiting for your next movie and hope you won’t disappoint us.




  1. Heard it was a copy of KalHONaHo

  2. just like Chemmeen inspired casino royale

  3. Oie. I was talking about the climax bit
    But I liked the analogy 🙂

  4. Haven’t seen the movie. But Mohanlal sure looks handsome in all the stills.

  5. I did not like Ranjit’s Ravanaprabhu either – of course, it was not a patch on its prequel. Add to it, a bloated Lal doing his moustache-twirling act yet again. Have to admit, the dad was good though – and the ‘gup’ dialogue I love!

  6. Ranjith – Ravanaprabhu was not comparable to devasuram. But two things stood out – the father MohanLal and the dialogues – the gup, tyme, gompetition, basking etc were really amusing

  7. Ranjit, I gotta second you on that… Ravanaprabhu was a very bad, I would say the worst, sequel for the best ever movie of Mohanlal in a “larger-than-life-role”.. Devaasuram should never had a sequel and a sequel like this was very poor… But I still wonder how that movie became a hit…

    Devaasuram, takes us through an episode in the life of Mangallyaserri Neelakantan, where we have ups and downs in his life… The viewer feels himself as a part of Neelakantan’s life and in the climax scene, when Neelakantan’s friends rescue Revathi and bring her in front of Mohan Lal and Lal starting to fight back Napolean…. Just the thought of that scene gives me goose-pimples… It was such a great movie and Ravanaprabhu, it just kills all excitement of Devaasuram!!

  8. @Unnikrishnan: Another of my fav’ scenes from Devasuram was when Napolean holds down a paralysed Lal with his foot – Lal grits his teeth so hard that a stitch on his forehead comes undone. You could almost feel your jaw clenching along with Lal – now that was a bloody great display of acting (plus a great, great screenplay moment)!

  9. Devasuram was good in terms of how a feudal local king turned out to be a person who learnt to to respect women and to admit his weak points etc.

    But Raavanaprabhu was just another feudal glorifying movie. Do I even need to mention Narasimham? I wonder why a person like him who came up with a woman oriented story like Mizhi Randilum got stuck with the superstarrism.

  10. Folks,
    Some out of subject stuff.
    Some interesting observations in some of the forums (forumkerala and Nowrunning etc) made me to put these points, though it may sound in similar lines with which I was trying in all columns. During the release of each movie of 2Ms, their fans used all their might to outsmart each other in the forums and declare it as bumper hit or so even before the first day. It is their right or duty whatever you call it.
    They go to theaters and make unbearable noises and public disturbances, which drive away the common man. Along with various factors, this being one of the main reasons which chased out the general public from going to theaters. It ensures some good opening, but if the movie is only for fans the fate will be like PV or Samudram, Bhargavan etc.
    The hype created among the fans prior to the release of Baba Kalyani was just amazing, and once the first show was over they came directly over to the forum and begin glorifying the movie, explaining the failures of other star’s movies. This is a trend they should keep with in limits, but going haywire in spite of the claim of being most literate state. It never happens in TN or AP, I being a resident of Chennai and well aware of the things here, where each star’s fans celebrate but not at the cost of others. Where we end up if things go like this?
    No public is turning up for movies even if you make a very good stuff, a very disturbing trend. The only way out is the decision of senior and established directors to follow the path of Lal Jose and try to bring back the general moviegoers to garner or create new fan base for the gen-next, or wait for the final destiny. Just see Yesterday’s Manorama news of ‘closing down of total a 115 Theaters in Kerala during the period of Dec 2005- Dec 2006, including the most celebrated one of yesteryears Thalassery ‘Mukund’. Good luck.

  11. Rapahel – as usual you implicate the superstars and superstar fans for closing the 115 theatres including the celebrated Thalassery Mukund

  12. Well chandrotsavam is not exactkly a bad film by renjith either.It started well but in between it lost the plot.

    A film maker of renjith’s class with good trackrecords like Black,Nandanam,devasuram etc should work out films with soul in them rather than trying to cash on Mohanlal’s image and stardom.Renjith has also lost his fluency in fantasy dialogues which he used to good effect in films like aaram thampuran and narasimham.

  13. I am a fan of the director Ranjith.I use to see all the filims which he had directed.From the filim “peruvennapurethe visheengal to Kaiyupe” I had seen all his filims.The change I had found is, there are some stories which started from “Devasuram-Ravanaprabhu” the basic style of the hero was same.But I thought those same styles would may come in the filim “chandrolsavam” but it twisted totally.The stories of the director ranjith is a good one I never say that his stories are bad.But the filim “kaiyouppe” is variety story from those previous stories which he had written.

  14. renjith wat a nostalgic writer.the film kayyoppu goes full credit to him.every film we can see a awsome touch after m.t and lohithdas.

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