“Madambi” and “Parunthu” should go together, for the sheer hype and controversy around these movies, the two superstars playing moneylenders, almost the same cast, and the fact that both the movies deliver nothing new.  I’d watched “Madambi” and “Parunthu” almost back to back a week back, but then both the movies dont live upto even one tenth of the hype around them. “Paruthu” is a painful failure putting an end to Mammooty’s dream run of superhits, as one friend put it “yevan Parunthalla ketta, yevananu kaakka” 🙂

parunthu.jpg

Hype: “Madambi” Vs “Parunthu” has been doing rounds for months now, almost every film magazine had features and cover stories on a weekly basis, truth be told it wasn’t mere hype. “Parunthu” topped the list! “Parunthu” was Pathmakumar’s first Mammooty movie. The director of  unforgettable “Vargam” and “Vasthavam” was getting Mammooty to play an anti-hero, a dark character. Personally I liked “Smart City”, B Unnikrishnan’s flop starring Suresh Gopi. And “Madambi” was tipped to be his comeback movie into the “superhero” bandawagaon.

madambi1.jpg

foto courtesy: Keralapals

Controversy:

Outright childish stuff to a Police Case registered against Mohanlal Fanooligans in Kochi. We are entertained!

Yeah its almost cold now, but the crowd erupts when Mohanlal’s character says “Panathinu meethe Parinthu parukkumo illayo ennu enikku ariyathilla. Athellam Parinthinte sowkariyam pole. Pakshe ente ee thalaikku meethe oru Parinthum parakkila. Paranaal.. chiraku arinju kalayum njaan.”

And posters across the Malabar belt saying “Parinthu Madambiye kotthi thinnum….!”

And “Madambi” released at 3:01 AM overtaking Roudram’s record of 3:02 AM. Parunthu released at 12:01 AM overtaking Madambi’s record of 3:01 AM. and many Lal fans wondering “have we lost?”

And a police case registered in Kochi against so called Mohanlal fans who disrupted screening of Parunthu

And T A Razak, script writer of Parunthu claiming his script wouldn’t stoop low like Madambi did 🙂 [as if he had a script]

btw end of two weeks, the verdict is clear – Madambi is a clear winner! controversial or otherwise.

Story: There is no story as such, so I’ll keep it short.

Madambi: Mohanlal plays “Puthenveetil Gopalakrishna Pillai” in Madambi – a self made money lender who lends money at bank interest rate. Kavya plays a character who wants to set up a private bank in the same town. The story set somewhere near Pathanamthitta, is about some feudal rivalry which the movie never explains. The personal element revolves around Puthenveetil Gopalakrishna Pillai’s strained relationship with his mother and younger brother. Jagathy, Innocent and Suraj plays the other main characters.

Parunthu: Mammooty plays “Parunthu Purushothaman” in Parunthu – a self made money lender who lends money and collects it himself. Lakshmi Rai plays a character who doesn’t really matter. The story is set somewhere in Northern Kerala, not that it really matters.  The personal element revolves around Parunthu Purushothaman’s strained relationship with his mother. Jagathy, Hanifa, Jayasurya and Suraj plays the other main characters.

Good:

Madambi

1. The craft is good which makes it a highly watchable movie. Especially the dialogues which remain true to the local lingua of the Aaranmula area. Maybe its after decades that we are hearing words like “Kochattan” in movies. The cinematography(is exceptional!), music and the action is good.

2. Mohanlal gives a grounded and controlled performance. The dialogues don’t ramble for minutes and the overall getup gives Puthenveetil Gopalakrishna Pillai a warm but threatening demeanour like Neelan in Devasuram. B Unnikrishan deserves credit for this one. Though Mohanlal has about 5 kilos of Trans fat on his face, it goes with the character 🙂

3. Suraj Venjaranmoodu is going places. “Aradi moolam, pokkam nakshatram” is part of the local lingua now. He has the crowd in splits throughout the first half.

Parunthu

1. Its really short. Pathmakumar deserves credit and THANKS! for this.

2. Happy Ending. All of us were happy it ended.

Bad:

Madambi

1. The script is pretty loose. It offers nothing new except for the settings and the awesome camera work. The story is predictable, stale. Something like Devasuram + Balettan = Madambi.

2. The climax is pukable, despicable and outright “rejectable”. Bad bad climax.

Parunthu

1. Mammooty wasted! I had to watch Big B twice to get over this colossal waste of a great superstar. There is no evil, no darkness, nothing about Mammooty to remember. Even comparing Parunthu Purushu to the cold style of Bilal in Big B is sacrilegious. Even Roudram for that matter!

2. There is no story, no style. Some scenes here and there, some pathetic action sequences and 3rd rate melodrama which doesn’t fit anywhere. And Mammooty should STOP dancing!

3. Dialogues – as childish as it could get. Hanifa and Jayasuriya talk like 2 nd standard kids. Mammooty doesn’t even have a single remarkable dialogue.

4. The script – T A Razak should stop writing scripts if this is what he can do to one of Malayalam’s most promising directors and the undisputable No 2 actor 🙂

Verdict: Madambi wins handsdown. Call it a block buster despite a loose story line and a depiction which incites Deja Vu. I dont think they have spent much dough on Parunthu, so it will surely break even. But other than that if you want to choose between any of the new releases, go for Madambi (provided you have watched Jaane Tu, Dark Knight and Hancock).

Given the fact that there are no major line ups for Onam and Ramzan falls on Oct 1, Madambi might as well do a 100 days in Trivandrum and Kochi. Parunthu might leave A class centres before Annan Thampi (which is still running to 50% occupancy). The much hyped star war is settled for now, till Ramzan releases hits theatres its Mohanlal.

P.S:  Kamaluddin Mohammed, director of the latest non-Superstar flick Minnaminnikoottam alleged that its the superstars’ fans who are destroying Malayalam cinema. It seems there is a covert attempt to make his movie a flop, which it eventually is. I see a greater disconnect here. Kamal’s movie flopping is pretty much like some people dying – there is nothing left to die. There is an even bigger disconnect when the movie’s poster says “Maanikunjum Rosemaryum Kalakki” and the matinee crowd coming out saying “Maanikunjum Rosemaryum Ulathi”. This indeed is the problem with all major directors in Malayalam – DISCONNECT. And Kamal’s disconnect started the day he made “Niram”

P.P.S: Saving grace – Jaane Tu! Go watch it, if you haven’t