A Blog on Cinema

Ramzan 2007 Preview: Paradesi



The reigning stars of Malayalam cinema believe in matching each other step by step. For Onam we had a movie aimed at gallery from Mohanlal and an art house production from Mammootty. This Ramzan it’s Mohanlal’s turn to get one his art house productions released where as Mammooty is playing to the gallery with Nasrani. The director of Paradesi, P.T.Kunjumhammed had initially approached Murali and then Mammootty for the title role, but both of them turned down the offer for various reasons. P.T.Kunjumohammed was lucky third time when he approached Mohanlal, who accepted it as well as got his driver to produce it.

Paradesi is P.T.Kunju Mohammed’s 3rd venture after Magrib and Garshom, both critically acclaimed movies. In his latest movie, the director touches upon the subject of people who are alien in their own home country.

Valiyakathu Moosa is one of hundreds of Malayalees who left to work in Karachi during the days of the British Raj, who after independence returned to India in the 1960s and settled in Malappuram. They do not have a passport or even an address in the land they were born in, due to their plight in Pakistan during the time of separation and independence. Many look upon them as Pakistani spies, and many a times had to face law to prove their identity. Moosa has a wife and children here who are Indian citizens, but Moosa himself is not considered a citizen of the country, due to some technical objections from the bureaucracy.This third film written and directed by P.T. Kunju Mohammed, will have Mohanlal playing a totally different and very challenging role in many getups as Valiyakathu Moosa. Lakshmi Gopalswamy plays the role of wife of Moosa. Kavya Madhavan comes up in the role of a journalist investigating into life and livelihood of this sidelined section of society. The story unfolds through her attempts to find a way out of the problems that envisaged people like Moosa. The film also moves through many stages forth and back as flashbacks to present the story of Moosa. This is reflected in the costumes, settings and even in the songs of the film.[Paradesi]

This is a very bold subject and an issue which has not been tackled in Indian cinema before. Even though such people live in our midst, most Malayalees are not even aware of their problems and so P.T.Kunju Mohammed has to be congratulated for the subject and Mohanlal for taking up the challenge of portraying the three stages of Moosa’s life ( at 35, 60 and 80). After seeing him in movies like Ali Bhai, we are sure this movie will finally bring out the actor in Mohanlal for according to the movie stills he has transformed himself into the character of Valiyakathu Moosa.

The leading ladies of this movie are Lakshmi Gopalaswami and Shweta Menon. The music department is handled by Ramesh Narayanan and Shahbaz Aman. As to how this movie would fare in box-office, it’s a foregone conclusion. As to why Mohanlal chose to do this movie, is also a no brainer.

See Also: In search of a place called home
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  1. Please elaborate – I miss the sublime sometimes. What is the reason Mohanlal chose to do this movie?

  2. Rachel, my guess: to win the national award.

  3. One should appreciate if lal does a good thing on the screen. He is doing 3 stages of one’s life. He is a natural and no second question on that. He should continue to act in such movies and quit Alibhai and all meesapiriyan roles.

  4. Mammootty has ‘Pazhassi Raja’
    and Mohanlal has ‘Paradeshi’
    both National-award material…

    but who will win?
    Lal or Mammootty

    or another North-Indian actor?

  5. Mammootty in Ore Kaal is a strong contender, way ahead of lal’s fancy dress in Paradesi

  6. Pazhassi Raja won’t be released this year, so they are not competitors.

  7. really vk, I didn’t know that.

    Well ‘Oru Kadal’ is a great film and Mammootty’s performance was awesome.

    But I think Lal did a better job as Moosa.
    Lal had more opportunity here, he played the character in three different stages of the character’s life.

    Besides, when it comes to emotional expressions Lal does it much better.

  8. Many years back the finalists for the national award were Nedumudi Venu for Minnaminuginte Nurunguvettam and Kamal Hassan for Nayakan, but it was won by Kamal Hassan because according to the jury, he portrayed a life time of a character, while Nedumudi Venu just depicted an old aged person.

    You can argue about the merits and de-merits of this decision, but it is important to note that such factors play an important factor in deciding awards.

    Then still it cannot explain why Amithabh or Saif Ali won the award.

  9. Saif should have never won the award…it makes absolutely no sense.

    How the heck did he get it?

    He didn’t deserve it.

  10. Well,Arun, I meant, there is more focus on the make-up and masquerading than real performance for lal in ‘Paradesi’. Nedumudi didmuch more nuanced performance as an old man in ‘Thaniye’

  11. Pingback: varnachitram » Blog Archive » Review roundup: Pardesi

  12. Actually all of our comments are still restricted to mammootty and Mohanlal. if both orekadal and paradeshi come together in final hoe they deside the winner? two are extremly deffernt acting and fine too..

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