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Reminiscing an Ideal Anti-hero

Mollywood lacks good anti-heroes. Rather let me tweak that statement slightly and put it this way: we don’t have many well-scripted anti-hero characters. That leads us to the question ‘who is an anti-hero?’ An anti-hero is someone who typically lacks the qualities of a hero, but still plays the protagonist in a movie. Ironically, going

Mollywood lacks good anti-heroes. Rather let me tweak that statement slightly and put it this way: we don’t have many well-scripted anti-hero characters.

That leads us to the question ‘who is an anti-hero?’

An anti-hero is someone who typically lacks the qualities of a hero, but still plays the protagonist in a movie. Ironically, going by the definition, we have not had many heroes who were blessed with the heroic charm, because we never insisted on ‘six feet’ or ‘six pack’ criteria for our heroes. They have mostly been ‘comfortably oversized’, though there are exceptions in recent times!

My definition of an anti-hero is a character with negative shades, which plays the lead role in a movie. A nearest Bollywood example could be the ‘k…kk…kk…Kiran’ act of Shah Rukh Khan from Darr. But I would still like to call him a villain.

Dig again and it is still difficult to find a full-blown negative character in Malayalam, who had led the show. We have had multiple instances of hero turning villain towards the end of the story (like in Mumbai Police) or a character with negative shade turning a hero due to his chivalry (an undesirable climax of Azhakiya Ravanan, for example).

One closest example I could cite here is Fahad’s character Cyril in 22 Female Kottayam. But then again, that was a Rima Kallingal show with Fahad playing second fiddle.

That again leads my quest for a real anti-hero to a character by the name Jayarajan, played by Mohanlal in a 1984 I V Sasi movie, Uyarangalil. I was naturally curious to know why this character still haunts one even after three decades, and the answer I could come out with is it was only because of our master story teller, the legendary M T Vasudevan Nair.

For the uninformed, the story goes like this: Jayarajan is the hero as well as villain as there are no other central characters in this movie. It is all about Jayarajan and his villainy.

Mohanlal plays an assistant manager in a tea plantation who has all shades of negativity.

The Greedy Jayarajan – There are no surprises here. The story opens with Jayarajan making a plot to forge the accounts of the estate, taking his two subordinates (played by Nedumudi Venu and Rahman) into confidence. What follows as a consequence unfolds in a step by step manner, forming the well-crafted plot of Uyarangalil.

The Killer Jayarajan: Jayarajan’s manager unearths the forging of the accounts. In an attempt to hush up and sort out the issue, Jayarajan ends up killing his manger. That marks just the beginning of murders. Cunning enough, he plays his cards well and erases the proof of the murder.

Jayarajan, the Womaniser: Already having an affair with Padma (a nurse) doesn’t stop Jayarajan from making Devi (his supervisor’s wife, who is now a widow) fall for him. Through this, Jayarajan takes out all financial benefits that Devi receives post his supervisor’s death. When things go out of control at one stage, Jayarajan doesn’t mind taking the life of Padma either. He starts developing some kind of an addiction of sorts from getting into relationships with women and later dumping them. Later in the movie, Jayarajan also makes some perfect moves to get into the good books of another young girl, who is the estate owner’s daughter.

There is a police officer who is stalking Jayarajan, but he does all the crimes in a flawless manner, leaving the cops often without any clue.

The disturbing trait of this character is that he never feels any remorse about his deeds. With the portrayal of this bad guy called Jayarajan, I would say the movie was a few years ahead of those times!

Any idea what happens to Jayarajan finally? You would want to check out the vaults for this wonderful portrayal of an anti-hero, scripted by MT, directed by I V Sasi and flawlessly executed by Mohanlal!

A techie channel all the way from USA!
A group of techies from Kerala, who are now on different project assignments in the US, have come up with an interesting and amusing channel ‘Keedanu’. Their latest imagination of how Mollywood will look like in 2030 couldn’t be funnier! www.youtube.com/watch?v=V13HX7J7lAk
Go, find out Team Keedanu, you will not be disappointed!

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