Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Agnidevan Directed by Venu Nagavally

This movie is one of my all time favorites. The story is gripping, intense and involves a family drama and the conflict between two brothers who share the legacy of "Ezhuthupura" or the writer's workshop, that is a family tradition and their role as the main writers and publisher of a daily newspaper come to the forefront of their rivalry with each other. While one brother (starring Devan) has a clinical, business oriented attitude to growing the newspaper industry that he heads, the younger brother (starring Mohanlal)feels very emotional and passionate about the craft of writing and reporting. He gives everything to enriching his relationships and cannot understand how to approach it with business goals because writing, in itself, marks tradition, legacy and so much more in their family of distinguished writers.

Perhaps no film has captured the conflicts facing the writing industry in Kerala, which has some of the best writers and reporters but a clear history of forcing them out of the system to pave the way for growth oriented corporate style functioning. The movie has a socialist approach, an element that threads most movies directed by Venu Nagavally. The song that I love the most "Neelavintey Neelabhasma kuri aninjavaley" composed by the late M.G.Radhakrishnan and sung by his brother, M.G.Sree Kumar is every Malayali's favorite romantic melody.

The best moments in the movie make fun of rich people and their ways. It gives shocking insights into how social respectability and keeping up with the Joneses has become more important to the society than values such as love, simplicity and family honor. The girl cousin, who is a brilliant writer and independent thinker, is beautifully portrayed by Revathy. The Lal - Revathy moments in this movie are so subtly and remarkably portrayed, revealing how we fail to become strong for ourselves when family honor is at stake.

There is so much more I could go on to write about the other amazing characters in this movie but I don't want to bore my readers with my likes and dislikes. Maybe this post can remain what it is - a tribute to my favorite director, the late Venu S Nagavally.

3 comments:

prasanth said...

Yet another film I would watch if they would release Malayalam films with subtitles!

prasanth said...

Or....at least if there was a detailed plot synopsis somewhere to help people like me who "sort of" understand malayalam...

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Thanks, Prasanth. The latest Malayalam movies come with English sub titles but I feel that the translation quality is poor and does not do justice to the beauty and clarity of Malayalam as a distinct language.

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