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Kadha Parayumbol is refreshing
Paresh C Palicha | December 21, 2007 12:14 IST
Rejoice!! It is time to be happy, friends because the writer in Sreenivasan has regained form. His latest effort, the Malayalam film, Kadha Parayumbol sees him at his best not only as the writer but also as an actor.
You may find the sarcastic and self-deprecatory remarks on his disadvantaged physical attributes (his stamp) a tad repetitive. But, it is just a small glitch if you get the bigger picture.
But we cannot say whether debutant director M Mohanan is lucky or unlucky to get the best of the writer as the writing overpowers the technical skills on display here.
The story, as expected is about a commoner, this time a barber. At a time when people like to use fancy titles such as 'Hair Stylist' or 'Beautician', here is a person not ashamed to stick with the old world terminology.
Barber Balan (Sreenivasan) is struggling to survive in his traditional profession, as he cannot find anyone who would give him a loan to upgrade his equipment without taking a bribe. Being a principled man with acerbic tongue presents its own problems for this middle-aged barber who has to bring up three-school going kids.
Staying in a sleepy village in a house that has no basic amenities makes him a subject of ridicule among his own people as well as the public in general.
All this changes after a film unit lands up at the village for a shoot. It is believed that the film's superstar, Ashok Raj (Mammootty) is an old acquaintance of Balan. This creates a sudden new found respect for the barber. Now the same people who ridicule him fawn over him so as to get closer to the superstar.
But, Balan is reluctant to go ahead and refresh his friendship with Ashok Raj fearing that the superstar may not remember their acquaintance that happened twenty five years ago. The elation and the humiliation Balan goes through because of this forms the rest of the story.
The script is filled with observations and nuggets about the phenomenon of superstardom (and the craze of chasing celebrities) and what globalisation is doing to people like Balan, who live in the lower strata of the society.
Sreenivasan hogs the limelight as Balan. He fills the character with life that is a rarity these days. Whether it is the sagging and wrinkled face of a person heading towards his fifties or imbibing the characteristics of a barber, he gives a flawless performance.
Mammootty virtually plays himself as the superstar Ashok Raj in a role that is bit lengthy to be simply termed as guest appearance.
Meena as Balan's wife is aptly cast.
The script is also dotted with characters to give the feel of a microcosmic village as well as a film unit. Prominent among them are Innocent as moneybags Epachan, Jagadish as the owner of a modern saloon just opposite Balan's shop and Suraj Venjaranmoodu as one of the members of the film unit.
Kadha Parayumbol is a refreshing experience for the viewer who is rueing the fact that Malayalam Cinema has touched nadir of mediocrity.
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