With the onset of a good number of path breaking cinema in mainstream Mollywood, it is the place to be for new and aspiring talent. The same applies to a self-proclaimed movie buff that I am who initially did not indulge into Malayalam cinema, owing to language barrier but slowly learning to overcome it with the increasing trend of subtitling for regional movies.
This piece is merely focused on a movie that triggered so many emotions and thoughts once I finished watching it and simply coerced me to write about it. Munnariyippu was a movie highly rated by one and all, but left me disappointed and angry to an extent that I even swore to never watch a movie by looking at its ratings. But, as I laid down trying to get some sleep and get over it, a couple of things kept coming back into my mind over and over again & suddenly there was this eureka moment that brought out its brilliance. Let me elaborate (spoilers ahead):
The Smile – A smile is always related to happiness, mischief or, sometimes, dramatics but then there are very few which are disturbing – Remember the smile of Hitchcock‘s Psycho? The smile that Mammootty mimics during the climax triggers confusion at the beginning and eventually turns into a fearful,haunting one that would give you sleepless nightmarish nights.To bring this out from an artist who has gone too ‘mainstream’ in the recent past and making it work,are the risks that the film-maker took and it has paid off handsomely!
The Title – The word play allows us to interpret this title in different ways: Deadline would suit the plot and screenplay however if we are go by the subtexts that this movie employs, the best description would be WARNING! And warning is what it is.
The Subtext – Imagine the level of reading-in-between the lines or sub texting in simple terms that would have happened during the script discussion. To bring some perspective into the sub texting that is embedded, a character from Primal Fearthat gives you no decipherable clue to point out that he/she may be the culprit could be cited. However, in Munnariyippu, even though it is not that simple to understand, if the audience chooses to put their grey cells to use, there is always a subtly buried clue that can be dug out. The protagonist, CK Raghavan who denies killing the ladies he is imprisoned for, avoids an elder couple at the beach; does he have anything to hide or is he guilty? There a lot of factors that instigates him to go for a kill. A few of them are
- His definition of freedom: It is quite fascinating; anything that intrudes his space, hinders his freedom. So if someone comes to know of the reality or accuse him of killing, he either avoids them or kills them altogether.
- His dwelling: The first house he is stationed at appears like a small-scale jail.He has no visitors or rather allowed none, minds his own business and has food delivered at doorstep regularly.
- He is an escapist: This is visible when he listens attentively to and passes comments on the broken-fantasized story of the boy employed in tea-shop who delivers his food.Couple of indulgent Meta-momen