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.