Monday, October 15, 2007

Manichitrathazhu - Raped Apart in Bhool Bhulaiyaa

There was Mohanlal , then there was Rajnikant and now there is Akshay Kumar in Malayalam , Tamil and Hindi respectively.

It is very interesting to see the progression of ghosts in Manichitrathazhu AKA Chandramukhi AKA Bhool Bhulaiyaa .In Malayalam the ghost was a Tamil , In Tamil the Ghost was a telugu and in Hindi the ghost turned a Bengali. Errrr.... but the standard has decreased .

1) Which Bengali Ghost will call ghalis like Kuthe Kameene Mr:Priyadrashan ? .We used these ghalis in Delhi University every hour . I mean , you could have used something which had a Bong Ghali Standard . When it comes to teaching the values of Communism , Rice ,Fish Curry , Intellectual Cinema , Football and group fights in CPI (M) to other parts of India bongs and mallus should go hand in hand.

2)What happened to all the children in the world ? When Shobhana went to open that room in Manichitrathazhu I as a 14 year old and as all 14 year old children did in those days was really afraid and clutched the hands of my mother . Now the child must have been 10 and she was sitting near me in the multiplex . She was giggling all the time when Vidya Balan opened that door in Bhool Bhulaiyaa. Is it a problem with the door or a problem with children who were in the theatre.

3)Vineeth Dances so well , Jaipur Palace still looks magnificent and the ghat scenes are cool.

But it is a thumbs down for Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Priyan again disappoints .

Manichithrathazhu is a movie that so many in this generation would have grown up with courtsey the telecast and retelecast by umpteen Malayalam channels . Each scene and each frame is embedded in the mind of my generation and the first memory that comes to mind when you think about Manichithrathazhu is the character played by Shobhana - 'Nagavalli' - for which she got national award.

After seeing the Hindi version of the film when I was driving back I couldnt frame anything like that . Innocent has been replaced by Paresh Rawal , Vinaya by Amisha Patel and there are umpteen hints in the movie that Vidya is playing the character played by Shobhana unlike the original Malayalam version.Whatever.. the movie has not gelled well.

In an interview with for a question on the difference between the Malayalam film industry and Hindi Film Industry (not Bollywood) Priyadarshan says

"Nothing at all, because there is no difference. If at all there is any
difference, it is the audience and its different tastes."

The assumption that there is no difference between audience may be the inspiration for him for the Great adaptations from one Indian language to another like Lesa Lesa (Tamil) From Summer in Bethlehem (Malayalam) , Virasat From ThevarMagan(Tamil
) , Herapheri From Ramji rao Speaking (Malayalam) , Sath Rang Ke Sapne From Thenmavinkompathu (Malayalam) , Hungama From Poochakkoru Mookuthi (Malayalam) , Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar From Sanmanssullavarkku Samadhanam (Malayalam) , Chup Ke Ch up Ke (coming) From Punjabi House (Malayalam) , Kyon Ki From Thalavattom (Malayalam) and teh list goes on and on .

Have always admired Priyan for his craft , the ability to create situational comedies and to extract maximum potential from his actors . Priyan films were an absolute craze back in schooldays simply because those movies were pure entertainers which gave a lot of relief from those plodding days.One of the first movies that I saw was Chithram and still remember admiring the story and the comedy .

Priyan was a director who could read the minds of an average malayali viewer and most of his films were huge hits in the Malayalam industry.The differentiator of Priyadarshan movies was that he was able to inculcate "situational comedies" in good story threads (Thalavattom , Kilukkam , Chitram , Thenmavinkompathu ) that could touch the emotional chord of a middle class Malayali.He had a great team who worked with him who complimented his direction skills and made sure that his movies were well made.One excellent example of his team would be Thenmavinkompathu which was really well made and won national awards .

However when he started migrating to other languages it seems that he has lost the grace of the "magic priyan band" that he had in Malayalam .Once in Kerala saw the movie Vettom which is a blatant copy of the Hindi movie Pyar Tho Hona hi Tha and was below the usual Priyan standards. Similarly many of his recent Malayalam movies like Kakkakuyil , Kilichundanmampazham etc.. were sub standard and below his potential .

When watching Hindi movies by Priyan you can't stop guessing the scene and the Malayalam movie from which it had been lifted .

In Hungama there is a scene of one actor going to a lodge asking for rooms
which has the same dialogues as the scene from Poockakkoru Mookkuthi when Pappu goes to the lodge asking for a room.

In Malamaal Weeklythere is a scene of Rajpal yadav riding a bicycle which is exactly same as what Malayalam actor Jagdish does in the Malayalam movie Vandanam.

In the same film there is a scene of the grampanchayat meeting about a
pregnant woman which is same as a scene in Malayalam movie Thenmavinkompathu

Since all these films were made my Priyadarshan , nobody will compain and it is not sensible to compare one actor with another if they play the same role .However sometimes even a brilliant director like Priyadarshan fails to appreciate the nuances in the tastes of audiences and that is where he fails .As they say " Echukettiyal Muzhechirikkum " .Comedies which may click in one language may not be appreciated at all in another language and the "imagination" of Priyan in Malayalam may become a cliche in other languages and when he tailors successful comedy scenes things dont gel well. Mohanlal and Salmankhan played the hero in Malayalam and Hindi for Thalavattom and Kyon Ki respectively . However the audience treatment was different in both these cases and these subtle difference in tastes require refinements in stories which sometimes makes me wonder whether Priyan should take some lessons from one of the old sayings in Malayalam 'When you have enough butter, please don't hunt for ghee.'


Nikhil Narayanan said...

agreed totally!

Paresh Palicha said...

I was waiting for this post.:)

mathew said...

I would like to see the see how far they have gone in destroying the original!;-P

Nariyal Chutney said...

@Nikhil: No way , You could have differed :).

@Paresh: Hi Hi , You can make extra sure by watching the movie . Your name sounds so familiar , I dont know.

@Mathew:At least you ahve to wait till you come back from Germany .Any way They(He our priyan) have destroyed the original completely frame by frame.

Anonymous said...

Went there for Akshay Kumar. Came back satisfied, though the original rocks..
Also there's Aptamitra in Kannada.. :)

Ajith said...

Got to see this.. Only because of my admiration for the original movie :)

Adorable Pancreas said...

I get mad every time I see the trailer on TV.

Yeah, I had to sleep with my parents for a week after I saw the movie. About Chandramukhi, I think they should have just stabbed us with a rusty sword while they were at it.

Is it true people laugh even when Akshay Kumar acts serious? I mean, the first half is supposed to be funny, but not the second.

Even now, when I think of Shobhana, one of the first movies that come to mind is Manichithrathazhu. Priyadarshan should be lynched. Just what is he doing to my favourite movies?

Attribution said...

Poor remake.
OMG You had the patience to sit and watch the whole movie ???

Nariyal Chutney said...

@virus: Akashay gives a steely performance as he always does . But sometimes I wondered whether he had already watched the original Malayalam movie as well :).

@ajith : Yupz , You bet . Think it is playing in Forum :)

@ap:Firsthalf is supposed to be funny and Akshay is not there :).Second half is supposed to be horror an Akshay is there doing all teh funny things :). Priyadarshan should be lynched only after he completed remaking all movies from Tamil as well as malayalam.

@Attribution: Yupz , I am a very patient guy when it comes to Priyan movies . Somebody should be patient enough to see teh entire movie :)

Prats said...

Agreed to an extent, but as a first timer (haven't seen the Tamil and Malyalam version) The movie was worth a watch.

My take on the same-

sujesh said...

i liked your comment very much but you could have put it better.. first thing Apthamitra was a good attempt.. and soundariya did a good job, but till date shobana is best and will be the best.. i guess when you remake a film atleast you have an opportunity to show the movie to the actors whom you cast atleast they can see and learn so as to maintain the standards atleast bhool bhuliya is a dissappointment in every way none of the characters are potrayed as they shuould be, vidya balan was just close to fair but akshay kumar is a big disappointment, shiney ahuja is a complete 'oh no'.. but taste differ may be hindi audience may take it but for the once who have seen the original will find it to be a great disappointment.. same goes with priyans other recent remade movies like kyunki, chup ke chup ke.. i think he shud start making good new films rather than trying remaking... anyways i liked reading your comment.. fair job!

Jac said...

That was quite an intresting read. I also felt this when I saw one of his remakes.
Very well disected NC.

Was away and couldn't visit you early. Thanks for your visit.

Bonchi Buji said...

before the movie came, i really wantd to see it..then one of my frnd(not a mallu) saw and gave me a Great review..thank God i didn't see it..atleast i saved the 150bucks..

Amooma said...

hey!! my frnd saw BB and liked akshay in it. but vidya was a disappointment according to her.
agree entirely with everything u said.
as paresh said, this post abt remake king priyan!! was a necessity.

Lale Beauty said...

I saw Bhool Bhulaiyaa first. Then, I saw Chandramukhi, then the Telugu sequal Nagavalli and finally Manichitrathazhu.

BB left no impact on me. I honestly can't remember much from the film. Chandramukhi left a impact. But it was more funny than scary. Nagavalli was a joke.

Then I saw Manichitrathazhu. This film is a masterpiece. Even though I technically knew the story and the scenes, it was as if I was watching it for the first time. The actors selected for the roles are perfect. Manichitrathazhu is perfect. It has the right amount of everything.

I almost feel obsessed with the film. I saw it twice and the songs and scenes do not leave my mind.

There are so many hidden meanings in this film. The more times you watch it, the more you discover.

I don't understand Malayalam, and with subtitles, I think I have missed a lot of the local lingo and meanings. But it's still the best film I have seen and I have seen many.