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‘Neelathamara' blooms again

The remake of the classic ‘Neelathamara' still retains the magic of yore



Nostalgia Archana Kavi and Kailash in Neelathamara.

R emakes always draw a high degree of curiosity interest. How is it different from the original? The actors are compared, the technicians, music and most of all how faithful it has been to the original. To tackle the last part of the doubts, if it is as faithful to the original as possible, then why make another film at all?

Well, one goes to see a Kathakali performance, knowing the story well, even the dialogues and the ‘padams' perhaps. Then what is it that draws audiences to such performances?

The Ambika link

Let's evaluate the overall effect of the new batch of artistes and technicians. The one link that Ambika has with the new Neelathamara, directed by Lal Jose is this: her brother Suresh Nair acts the role of Apputtan, a negative character. Ambika can definitely be proud of her kid brother who has made this cameo role memorable, with his apt mannerisms.

The woman-centric film that Suresh Kumar, of Revathy Kalamandir, dared to make, rather remake, is an experimental one in many ways. “The producers' association decided to make small budget movies and this is the first one after that decision. Neelathamara cost us under Rs. 1.5 crore. The decision to make movies with new faces was also implemented. After the first day, we are happy that the cinegoers have accepted this small movie with open arms,” says a visibly happy Suresh Kumar, who saw the film 14 times in his youth. Such was its romantic draw. “There's one person who saw it many more times than me: Suresh Gopi, who saw it 27 times,” Suresh Kumar laughs.



M.T.Vasudevan Nair, director Lal Jose and producer Suresh Kumar

Where the first ‘Neelathamara' ends, the present one opens. The remake is actually the flashback. MT has woven a topical twist to his old script which jells well. Sreedevi Unni who dons the mother's role stands out for her natural acting.

Archana Kavi has that vulnerable look and understated emotions that go well with rural girls. The male protagonist is played by Kailash. The smaller characters like the caretaker, the man under the banyan tree and the old servant leave an impression with the viewer.

Carefully cast characters

The young set of characters and the old ones are very carefully cast. When you see a dentist among the credits you wonder why, but Jaya had dentures similar to Samvrutha's fitted in to bring about the similarity.

Rima Kallingal did not seem comfortable in the role of Sharath Ammini. Every character, howsoever small, is a crucial link in the chain of events unfolded in this super-star script.

The short movie (less than two hours) has wonderful photography by Vijay Ulaganathan. Lal Jose has proved that he can handle quite a handful. Cheers to the small is beautiful credo!

P.M.

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