Movie Review: Mazha

I suddenly developed an urge to watch movies which were centered around rains. We in Bombay were really deprived of rains for nearly half a month in June and I literally started praying that it should rain. Thankfully, it did. Since rains are always dampeners, as they just don't allow one to do anything else, I plunked myself on the couch to watch a Malayalam movie--after a lot of channel surfing (that included the Hindi ones too) and finally I chose the best movie--Mazha. The title of this movie, "Mazha" means rain in Malayalam. The film is based on a novel, "Nashtapetta Neelambari" by the controversial Malayalam writer Kamala Das or Madhavikutty. The name for the novel was taken from the ragam, "Neelambari" which is the favourite ragam of the female protagonist of the novel.

The movie begins with teenager Subhadra (Samyuktha Varma) getting infatuated with her music teacher Ramanujam Sastrigal (Biju Menon). Her creative talents for poetry start to flourish, under his influence. The parents enter the scene and whisk her off and he is obliged to a marry a village belle. Next, we see Subhadra becoming a doctor, like her father and getting married to Chandrashekhara Menon (Lal), who is a well-off computer engineer. Chandrashekhar happens to see her diary one day and the relationship goes for a toss. Of course, there are no names in the diary. So, he goes off to doubt every male in her life including her father. He becomes a victim of the DEVDAS syndrome and dies of a related illness. Subhadra sets out in search of her old flame to Madurai where she discovers that Ramanujam has lost lots of things. His wife has now become a basket case by now, and the final shock is when she finds out that he has lost his beautiful voice to cancer too.

Lenin Rajendran films have always fallen under the parallel cinema mould. Mazha is a welcome departure from the crap movies like Sagar-alias-Jacky etc. He is successful in bringing out the best in the three stars. Samyuktha's performance too is a treat to the eye of a connoisseur. She lives the character that she is entrusted with. Lal is also good in his role as Chandrashekhar and really comes out with dark side. Biju Menon as the restrained lover also gives a great performance. Thilakan and Urmila Unni deliver a good performance. The music of this film is melodious, the lyrics are just fabulous--very much like ghazals. "Mazha" is for the moviegoer who appreciates good and intelligent films and for people who are constantly on the lookout for substance.


anudev said…
What do u think, fiction/film, which is better or is the film used its powerful medium to depict 'nashtappetta neeelambari'
Akshay said…
@ Anudev: I always prefer a book over a film, because there is more scope for imagination. In the case of Nashtapetta Neelambari, I guess the book was well-written because I found the screenplay faltering in a few places.

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