A Blog on Cinema

6.5 reasons why Randamoozham might flop


1 Mohanlal: Somewhere along the way he lost the craft of acting. This role, which needs subtlety and controlled acting which was partly seen recently in Pranayam may be lost on this once great actor. He now sleep walks in most of his roles. The Mohanlal of Kireedam  and Bharatham is no more.

2 Budget may be too big to recover. Adding Kamal Haasan may help a bit. But MT’s version of alternative history of Mahabaratha may be a bit hard to digest for non Malayalees.

3 Hariharan had his peak with Vadakkan Veeragatha. After that Pazhassiraja failed in script, direction and music. Now to pull off a bigger effort than Pazhassi might be out of his scope. It might be a better idea to get a bunch of directors instead of one.

4 The book, though only a few hundred pages, covers a vast time scale. It will be impossible to cover such a movie in 3 hours. 

5 The book is very subtle in narrative. According to MT, he tried to fill in the gaps left by Vyasa. Some of the gaps, like Kunti intentionally letting her 5 sons marry Draupadi is very subtly told by MT. There are many such scenes which require talented actors.

6 Lack of good women actors. Both Shobana and KPAC are too old for their respective roles and there are not many others who can fill in that shoes.

6.5 Fans of: Mohanlal, book & MT


  1. My thoughts on each reason:

    1. I agree partly. The issue I have is less on the active front. Mohanlal is definitely looking aged now and I have my doubts on whether he will be able to do a convincing Bheem act. Bheem has to look reasonably young and well built. On the acting front however, I think he will possibly wake up from his slumber ( let us hope! ). My preference for Bheem is not Mohanlal. Someone like Vikram?

    2. The solution is there in the comment itself – Make it pan-Indian; thats the only way to go. But then since most non-malayalees dont have the background of the novel, the content in movie will have to be handled with surgical precision to avoid being rejected en masse.

    3. Agree. Hariharan is somewhat old school now. I cant place a finger on who could be a best fit for this – perhaps someone like Ranjith???

    4. Many books of similar complexity and length have been converted into movies. I guess its a question of what to pick and show in the 3 hour(?) window available

    5.Agree. casting has to be done very very carefully.

    6.Vidya Balan? Kavya Madhavan? Shwetha Menon? there are possibilities but yes still not 100% there. But one never knows, any of the above are capable of stepping up!

    6.5 😀

    • I think it willbe a big failure for for Hariharan. Can he make this movie
      like ” the ten commandments” which made long back ago when there is
      no modern technology. can he find good cast in
      Malayalam/ Indian filim industries ?

      Keep the Novel As it is . Do not make a “trash movie” on it

  2. 1. Mohanlal is just a skilled actor now as he always was. From the past few years look at Sneehaveedu and Bhramaram. Don’t confuse the quality of the movie with the quality of the acting. Mohanlal also has a great charima/star presence, as evidenced in Christian Brothers.

    2. There is only so much amount of money that can be recovered from the Kerala market so you are right about that. Malayalam movies definitely don’t (and won’t) have much reach beyond Kerala.

    3. Pazhassi Raja was a very good movie and one of the best Indian movies released that year. It was probably the best “freedom fighter” movie made in India (better than Mangal Pandey, Bhagat Singh, Kaalapani, Veerapandiyan Kattabomman etc.)

    Also, the commenter who suggested Ranjith. Ranjith is absolutely terrible from a visual/shot composition standpoint- a strict no-no in a period movie.

    4. A lot of lengthy books have been adapted into great movies clocking in at 3 hours or less.

    5. There are plenty of good actors in Malayalam. Plus, they need not use professionals/people in the industry. From a box office perspective, no one looks at who the supporting case is.

    6. Shewta Menon, Nithya Menon, Samvrutha Sunil, Meera Jasmine, Vidya Balan (who’s ethnically Malayalee I think), Priyamani, Parvathy Menon (the one who was in the Tamil movie “Poo”), Bhavana, Kavya Madhavan, Amala Paul (was in the Tamil movie “Mynaa” but is ethnically Malayalee)..and if you want to go for older roles Seema, Nadia Moidu, Shobana, etc…..there are plenty of actresses to choose from…again, no need to use someone established

    • Better than ‘Veerapandiyan Kattabomman’? VK was made in the 60s and still holds to date. No comparison man. PR was bad. Period.

  3. I agree with all the points made by Filmbuff except for #3. Pazhassi Raja had it’s problems. Hariharan could have made it better. From a technical stand point, Ketan Mehta’s Mangal Pandey was a better film. They even had better British actors. If you looks at Malayalam cinema at its best, we always had good actors, screenwriters, and music directors. But we always lacked good filmmakers. Bharathan is the only one who I could think of who had such a visual style. Priyadarshan, although a copycat, he is a good filmmaker as well.

  4. these all things are utter foolishness.who told mohanlal is sleep walking in new movies.. first u go and watch thanmathra,paradesi,pranayam..he has to get good roles..then only kireedam and other things will come.. mohanlal is the only actor who can do this role as m.t said. mr.zeke.. first u read the book randamoozham..then make comments.. who told bheema is young well built with strong muscles..he is thadiyan and mandhan in m.t’s novel..he is aged man and the father og khadolkacha..

  5. just think .. abhimanyu son of arjuna died in chakravyuha at the age of 20.. then what will be arjuna’s age.. bheema is his elder brother..what will be his can u tell that bheema is young.. the climax scene bheema telling himself that mandhan ennum manthan that novel m.t portrited bheema as thdiyan and mandhan..only moohanla can do that role .. all things will watch soon

  6. National Award committee in 2009-10 must have been fools to give a NA to Pazhassi Raja’s BGm, failed in music as it was. And the satellite channels must have been fools too frequently airing the songs, even now. Beautifull otchestrated high-class melodies like oda thandil and Kunnathe, a song that should have fetched MalayaligaLin swandham Chitra chechi national award for her lovely rendition of a complex but sweet melody, are crap. What do want as music?

  7. The only minus point of Pazhasiraja was engaging Illayaraja as composer…. Ravi bombay was the better option & the bgm should have created by Johnson..

  8. past his prime might be mohanlal, but how could someone like him lose his craft of acting?? now that’s the most absurd thing i have read in this blog. True, hes not getting the characters which wud suit his age, also true is his wrong selection of movies, but the fact that he did mesmerize one and all in thanmathra and pranayam shouldn’t be overlooked. Has any1 seen Chayamukhi?? Well, i had the good fortune to watch it live. Well theatre plays are different from movies and everyone wouldn’t find it amusing alike. I got engrossed so deeply in the drama, and lemme assure you without any second thoughts, Mohanlal is the only actor around who could make Bheema real. That said, if its ever to be diacritical, Randamoozham should rope in fresh faces, never negotiate on budget – the drama would be appealing only if its visually rich. The book is too sophisticated to be reeled, the screenplay is to be abridged and adapted well by M.T. I concur with idea of having multiple directors, its gonna work big time. Magnum Opus on the cards?? lets pray so. Factors why it would flop would definitely have followers, lets have a parallel vision of making this something great that malayalees would be proud of, something on line which says a Global malayalam movie in the making!! 🙂

  9. Sebastian MX,

    Bombay Ravi’s songs all have the same template so he would not have worked. Also, Johnson’s background scores are (generally) a joke…just the usual shrieking violins…Illayaraja is easily one of the best composers in India in that department. Of course AR Rahman is best for period movies but obviously he would be hard to get b/c of how much he charges and b/c he spends a lot of time perfecting the score.

  10. The Reader,

    Multiple directors isn’t a bad idea (or one main director and prominent directors as assistant directors like in Manichitrathazhu).

  11. Filimisation of a novel like’Randamoozham’ is always be a challanging one not only for the Directors, Producers but for the Actors also but I don’t think that impossible. We, Keralates, already proved it by making Chemeen, Asurawith etc.
    If we are making this one based on the script by the great M.T Vasudevan Nair the most challeging job is for the Director only. My choice for the Director seat is, obviosly not Mr.Hariharan,Mr.Laljose or Mr.Anwar Rasheed or a combination of both of them. Becuse these two guys have a ability to transform very ordinary script to wonder ful screen experience with their gifted style of picturisation and lavish visual sense. Both of them are young and hardworking guys.

    Starring : I will go for Mr.Indrajith as Bheeman, Prithvi Raj as Duryodhanan and Mr.Naren as Karnan

  12. I won’t waste a good novel on Mohanlal.

  13. Please stop such prejudicing, and speculations. You may kinldy keep quiet. Both MT and Hariharan were great film makers, no doubt about that. I think their decisions were correct. Mohanlal has 30 years of experience in acting and this is the best time for him to act as Bheeman. Please wait and see.

  14. Ist time i listening this,before starting the shooting of a movie people started to find the reason for finding out the bad future of that movie…really amazing..if some one want to make news thay can do all these things,..only time wastage nothing above this….i appreciate all total crew members making randamoozham silver screen..just leave other talks wait and watch the movie…if you want to just tiem pass..continue the discussion..

  15. @jaideep;i agree dat mohanlal is nt a slpwalk.but dnt say only he can do d role..evn mammootty can do it..and hariharan n mt nvr said only lal can do it..dont spit unknwngly

  16. @filmbuff
    What did u find wrong wth Ravi Bombay’s songs & Johnson’s bgm..? Ravi was a legend of bollywd in 60s & 70s.. He composed only for 16 movies in malayalam.. Nevertheless there r about 60 superhit songs in his credit.. I wonder hw u could neglect the quality & elegance of his enchanting music. Though he was a north Indian, he could understand our culture and folk and made songs for malayalees.. Since his background score is not perfect, I prefered Johnson.. You hav proven ur below average sense by underrating Johnson who is the best bgm composer indian cinema ever had.. Thats why the legends like M.T, Padmarajan, Bharathan, Lohitadas & Sreenivasan chose his bgm for most of their movies… He is only musician to win the national award for bgm twice.. He had a great ability 2 create the mood of a situation using a single instrument (eg: the horror bgm in Manichithrathazhu) where Illayaraja usually require a bunch of instruments. Even Raja tried to imitate his style of bgm in some tamil films like Karuvelam pookkal…. U just listen to the below average bgms from Snehaveedu, bhagyadevatha, rasathanthram, Innthe Chithavishayam, and katha thudarunnu. U’ll feel ashamed of supporting Illayaraja.. But his bgm for the film Yathra should be appreciated, while a great movie like Season was spoiled by his crass bgm.
    You said Johnson’s bgm is a joke.. Dear friend, saying this nonsense u became a joker!.. He rarely used violin.. But did it brilliantly 4 movies like ‘nokketha doorathu kannum nattu’… All the popular bgms frm priyadarshan movies like Vandanam, Chitram, thalavattam are his compositions… He is the best ever… If u r hesitated plz listen 2 the bgm frm Thoovanathumpikal, Ponthanmada, Thazhvaram (feel the beauty of its crudenes), Namukk parkkan.., thakara, Vadakkunokkiyantram, koodevide, njan gandarvan, thaniyavarthanam, oru cheru punjiri, amaram, sadayam, utharam, ormakal undayirikkanam, etc… U’ll feel urself ashamed of underrating such a great composer..

  17. @Sebastian M X,

    Very well said! Johnson Master was one of the best musicians in India.


    Please know what you say before throw out inane comments.

  18. Mohanlal is an actor of great calibre, please dont judge his acting abilities. But i personally feel we should try the new generation out for such a movie. And by sticking to Mohanlal and Mammooty we are not allowing Malayalam cinema to evolve…casting from all relative film industries will give the movie a national appeal and will justify the budget…great novels dont transform into great movies without great filmakers….i think we have enough of them….hopefully should be great movie

  19. I am perhaps the biggest Mohanlal fan alive and its precisely because I am one, I say that I agree that Mohanlal of old is no longer around. I don’t recognize the person I see on screen these days. But for the facial resemblance, there is nothing in the man to suggest that he was the greatest actor the country had ever seen until nearly two decades ago.
    And Vikram for the role? U r kidding right.
    Shwetha Menon, Kavya Madhavan?? Seriously! the guy said we need actors.
    The sad truth is that this generation of movie goers do not understand what acting is all about. They can’t recognize good acting if it were standing right in front of their nose. Its no fault of their own, the damn thing doesn’t exist in malayalam movies anymore.
    What bemuses me the most, is how people readily accept those outdated actors who were thrashed and ignored in their time. For instance, nobody gave twohoots about Shwetha Menon 20 years ago when she did some decent, albeit unremarkable roles compared to the nonsense that happens now. And not just her, many others for that matter. That is, because, there was so much better talent back then. These expired products sell now because people just make do with what they have.
    You want to see better movies. Don’t encourage these b-grade so called actors and raise them to a pedestal where they belong. Malayalam movies are like the West Indian cricket team. They were invincible once upon a time. And now they are a shame and an embarrasment.

  20. The acting skills of Mohanlal will never be a debatable subject as he has proved himself. The question of Mohanlal fitting into the role of Bhima will partly depend of how the director puts forward his views. I strongly believe Mohanlal can pull this off in an excellent manner. The suggestion of multiple directors is the best option for making sure justice is done to the MT masterpiece. Hariharan has proved himself as one of the best directors for Period-oriented classics; however, he should be bold enough to fight his egos and make sure he take the support of directors like Ranjith, Maniratnam, and maybe a couple of hollywood brains. The subject deals with an Indian epic and so no compromise can be afforded and it should stay a classic benchmark in Indian Cinema for times to come. The music department should be handled by A.R. Rahman as he is one person who can elevate period films to a different level. The cast should include pan India actors. Actors like Manoj Bajpai, Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin shah, and Nana Patekar would make the project stand out as these are actors who are capable of delivering surprises.

  21. I stand by my comments on Johnson.

    Also, I’m not a fan of having actors who can’t speak Malayalam acting in a Malayalam movie. They don’t do that crap in any country other than India (having actors who can’t speak the language have someone else dub for them). I really don’t understand the reason for doing so. I think the producers/directors are just too lazy to seek out new talent. The best place to look is the stage. After all, some of the best Malayalam actors (Nedumudi Venu, Thilakan, etc.) come from the stage. Also, in some of the better Tamil movies nowadays the actors are not established names but locals and/or theater actors (ex: Mynaa, Poo, etc.)

  22. Sebastian MX and Rahul,

    You guys must not have seen Pithamagan, Naayagan, Udhiri Pookal, 16 Vayathinile, Mullum Malaram, Kutty (2001), Mouna Raagam, Geethanjali, Hey Raam, Thalapathi, Guru (malayalam), Ente Sooryaputhriku, etc. Illayaraaja is a master of scores (the music that plays in the background of movies). While AR Rahman is def the best he simply costs too much for Malayalam movie producers to hire.

  23. Vidyasagar should handle the music…he knows to use where and how.He stands second after rahman if we are looking for genre variety

  24. I never understood the collective conscience of “fans” of a star.Those fanatics,whose only job is to praise mohanlal,irrespective of the movie he acts in.They all praise mohanlal whether the movie is pranayam or a no-brainer like christian brothers.These fans have a major role in spoiling this great actor’s body of work towards the later stage of his career.Mohanlal,earlier was an incredibly alluring actor who portrayed beautifully written characters with amazing ease and subtlety.The halo of a superstar indeed made him do some crap movies.There is not even a single movie released over the last few years that could match any of the gems he delivered in 90’s.With iruvar,he had shown that, a character such as Anandan can be done without the complete preparation and research that a method actor would usually do. Such performaces were expected from him all the time,but that didn’t come out much later.He had somehow transformed into a macho hero,dancing to the tune of the “fans”.But the strange thing here,fans themselves don’t have an “opinion”.They would applaud whatever their favourite star do on screen.Whether it’s randamoozham or christian brothers.

  25. you fools . mohan lal is the one and only natural actor in the country today. lal sir can only play the role of bheema. because a great actor can play a great character

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