Oct 24, 2011

Movie Review: Indian Rupee

(Edited on 25 Oct to add spoiler alert at the end! :-))

"Eee puzhayum, sandhyakalum, neela mizhiyithalukalum....", I haven't stopped humming since I got out of the movie theater yesterday. Mulllanezhi's last offering is just one of the gems that you bring back from a wonderful movie experience that is Indian Rupee. I must say this: one of the blessings in being a Malayali is having our own Ganagandharvan - thinking of a life without his voice is like a little death in itself. But the gods are kind, because they have given us Vijay Yesudas.

I admit that I didn't like Indian Rupee as much as I liked "Pranchiyettan and the Saint" which was pure, rollicking fun. But it lives up to the Ranjith gold standard all right! To get to the story, Prithviraj is JP, a "ninth-pass" budding real-estate broker who has high hopes of making it big in his field. Meanwhile, his dream of marrying his doctor-girlfriend (Reema Kallingal) is shelved indefinitely and he has to dodge his sister's suitors. Things take a dramatic turn when an elderly Achutha Menon ( played to perfection by Thilakan) approach JP and his partner CH (Tini Tom in a brilliantly underplayed role) to get his property sold. The movie gathers momentum from the point of his entry. Thereafter JP, CH and Achutha Menon find themselves embroiled in their worst nightmare till JP sorts out his priorities and manages to save the situation. Jagathy's "Golden Paappi" is a gem of character from Ranjith's pen. Like Satyan Anthikadu, Ranjith also seems to prefer a group of artistes for the minor roles - I saw some familiar faces from Pranchiyettan here and there. And somebody please tell me the name of the lady who plays Prithvi's sister - she of the long hair, big eyes and extremely natural acting. I think she played Rahul's single mother in "Sneha Veedu"??? She is a real find. Mammu Koya may not look like a typical villain, but he certainly excels as the jealous shark of a real-estate broker. 

Prithviraj deserves special mention as he brings out JP's angst in full by his portrayal. The only area he fails is in comedy - he opens his eyes a fraction too much and his body language becomes a shade too over-the-top - an instance is the scene in which he dodges his mother and sister when her suitor is scheduled to come calling - the prolonged scream at the end would have been funnier if it was a tiny, smothered "ayyo" - after all, he WAS trying to get away undetected! I would say another young actor has the same problem - Asif Ali in Salt n' Pepper too gives one the feeling of trying a bit too hard to make people laugh. Both actors would do well to study in Jagathy Sreekumar's school for a little while. Really, that man makes comedy look so easy, he can make us laugh with just a twitch of an eyebrow!

The director is back with what my DH fondly calls "Ranjithinte geervanam" - long-winded monologues - very well-written of course - but they sound awkward coming from the characters themselves- especially "ninth-pass" guys! But he manages to convey the messages he brings to the board very clearly - the disillusioned Achutha Menon who is tired of all the -isms that he tried on for size without ever realizing what precious things he had in him, the certainty that what goes around comes around, the need for a new generation to create a new code of values for themselves where their elders fail them...we hear it loud and clear Ranjith, we really do!

Warning: Spoiler alert!! Please read further only if you have seen the movie / don't mind reading about the end!!!!

So now JP is a PWD contractor - are you sure it's safe? Or are we likely to see another version of "Vellanakalude Naadu"???? :-)


  1. Well done review Kala. Have you thought about writing in Malayalam?

  2. Thanks, but too scared Suku - I am much more comfy with English. I've seen too many excellent Malayalam blogs to think of even putting a foot forward in that direction!


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