Recently, I answered a question on Facebook: ‘Which movie you would prefer to watch over and over again?’ I had only one answer – Kariyilakkattu Pole. What makes this movie special? Never-ever before and never-ever again will you be able to watch a movie where Mohanlal investigates Mammootty’s murder! That is for the Mollywood superstar
Recently, I answered a question on Facebook: ‘Which movie you would prefer to watch over and over again?’ I had only one answer – Kariyilakkattu Pole.
What makes this movie special? Never-ever before and never-ever again will you be able to watch a movie where Mohanlal investigates Mammootty’s murder! That is for the Mollywood superstar fans. But for someone who looks at movies as a form of art, the real specialty of this movie is its craft – so fine and perfect that this is a good reference for many movie makers; a fine blend of class in an otherwise popular thriller.
A movie maker, famous for his works and notorious for being a womaniser, is found dead in his getaway bungalow where he was preparing a new script. The pieces of evidence from the premises (a ladies sandal and a ladies handkerchief) make the investigation team suspect the involvement of a woman in the murder. The director has associated with many women in his personal life, including his wife who is separated from him. Gossip columns are also rife with stories of his close relationship with a new heroine!
What makes this movie distinct is the subtle portrayal of both these characters – Mammotty’s talented, but morally weak movie maker and Mohanlal’s cop, who is a Deputy Superintendent who wants to do his job to perfection but is under pressure because he is investigating a celebrity murder. No loud music, no build-ups, no lengthy dialogues, yet this thriller is very gripping.
The movie gets even more exciting as we realise that there are more women who could be directly linked to the crime. One of them is a bubbly youngster who was spending a lot of time close to the director of late and the other one is an old crush, who is currently leading the life as a nun in an ashram – and these two women know each other.
The pre-interval scene where Mohanlal confronts the nun (played by Unnimary) for her involvement in the murder is really one-of-its-kind. One gets to see here Unnimary breaking all her stereotypes and giving Mohanlal some competition on-screen; a classic scene with Padmarajan touch.
The story is not complete without Sripriya, who does another pivotal role in the movie. Gripped by inferiority complex, jealousy, agony of a mother and guilt, she hatches a plan for the murder. Sripriya does her character to perfection in the movie.
With Sudhakar Mangalodayam’s story as the base, Padmarajan first titled the movie ‘Aram’ (bad omen), but later changed the name as he didn’t want the title to sound negative. I am not sure if this movie fared well at the box office, but for those who love classic movies, this is one of the best recommendations for an investigative thriller.
For those who are yet to watch it, you have two options – read the plot on Wikipedia and break the suspense or check Hotstar to enjoy this thriller to the end and find who the real killer is!
A lot is being talked about the overdose of misogyny in a flashback scene that involves Sripriya, Mammootty and Unnimary which is always portrayed in bad light as ‘something against women.’ But let us come to terms with it! We are talking about a story set 30-plus years back when men were far more egoistic and women suffered under too many restrictions. The lead character played by Mammootty is largely negative and a misogynist in his past – how else could you portray the scene? It appears quite realistic to me as I do believe that movies always hold a mirror to society. Though the dialogues could have got censored a bit, the fact remains that there are people who still enjoy that!