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Malayalam Cinema 2000: A Flashback

by A Swamy

Cont.. Page 1

Vani in SusannaIndriyam , the George Kiththu directed horror film with Vani in the lead proved to be a hit and so did India Gate , directed by T.S.Saji, in which Vani was cast in an action role. But the film worth mentioning as far as Vani is concerned was Susanna , the offbeat film directed by T.V.Chandran, which too did good business at the box office. National award winning director Harikumar of Sukritham  fame tried to make a film in a lighter vein and this film Swayamvarapanthal  too proved to be a hit.

JayramVinayan's Deivaththinte Makan , Lohitadas' Arayannangalude Veedu , Rajasenan's Naadan Pennum Naattu Pramaaniyum  and some soft porn films like Neelathadaakathile Nizhalpakshikal , Priye Ninakkai , Raakilikal  and Priyankari  were among the 'also-ran' films. Among the latest Christmas releases, the Suresh Gopi-Lal-Dileep starrer Thenkaasipattanam  and Vinayan's Mammootty-starrer Dadasahib  seem to be on the way to become hits.

On the other hand the major flops of the year were Millenium Stars , Snehapoorvam Anna , Pilots , Satyam Shivam Sundaram , Ingane Oru Nilaapakshi , Ee Mazha Then Mazha , Manassil Oru Manjuthulli , Warrant , High Range , Mazha , Kallu Kondoru Pennu , Mera Naam Joker , Rapid Action Force , Varavaayi , The Gang , Ayyapantamma Neyyappamchuttu , Madhuranombarakaattu , Summer Palace , Kannadikadavaththu  and Aanamuttathe Aangalamaar. Some super-star films like Shradhdha , Life is Beautiful , Dreamz  and Cover Story  too bombed at the box office.

Coming over to the artistic side of the cinema, there are of course a handful of films to boast of. T.V.Chandran's latest release Susanna  with Vani Viswanath in the lead could succeed in satisfying the viewers too. Vani was, for the first time, cast in a really meaningful role, which she did to perfection.

Seema biswasJayaraj's Karunam , the first in his nine-film series based on the Navarasas, won for him the Golden Peacock award in the Delhi Intentional Film Festival. Karunam , released in limited centres only, managed to emerge without incurring too many losses by the collection from the releasing centres and also by way of being premiered on ASIANET. The second in Jayaraj's nine-film series Shaantham  was released during Christmas and is currently doing its rounds in the theatres. The film, with footballer I.M.Vijayan is a brilliant statement on political violence, viewed from a human perspective. Mazha , directed by Lenin Rajendran and based on a short story by noted writer Madhavikutty, was indeed one of the best films released this year. Brilliant theme, brilliant photography, good songs, and good performance-all these made viewing the film an unforgettable experience.

JokerBut the film failed to draw enough people except in the cities where it did somewhat well. Satyan Anthicaud's Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal , though it did not turn as well as his earlier films, was better compared to the usual stuff released these days. Oru Cheru Punchiry , directed by noted filmmaker and Jnanpith award winning writer M.T.Vasudevan, was premiered on Asianet and is yet to be released commercially. Other films worth mentioning as for their artistic merit were V.K.Prasad's Punaradhivaasam , Rajeevnath's national award winning Janani , Lohitadas' Joker , Shyamaprasad's Kallukondoru Pennu  and Kamal's Madhuranombarakaattu.

Now coming to the other aspects of filmmaking. Screenplay writing is perhaps an area where only few can prove their mettle. It was Renjith, who had earlier scripted hits like Devasuram , Aaraam Thampuran  etc, who hogged the limelight with the two greatest hits of the year-Narasimham  and Valiyettan.

Renjith has also, in the process of scripting such hit films, made the decision to turn director with Ravanaprabhu , which will be made this year. Another person who made an impact as a scenarist was S.Suresh Babu, who has made his debut with Vinayan's Dadasahib . Suresh Babu has hogged the limelight by being a scenarist who, with his first script itself, got a remuneration which even established scenarists started getting only years after they started.

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