Story of a lost journalist

October 1, 2008

Madhupal’s Thalappavu, brilliant Malayalam movie

Filed under: Movies/TV — Cris @ 14:30
Tags: , ,

Thalappavu was beautiful. Not probably the right word. Mm touching? Heartrending? Maybe brilliant. Let me explain. Its about a story in 1970. A lot of stories. A lot of events, happenings. And its told in 2005. By an old man, Lal. Lal transfers with him, the scene, to the past, each time he finds a connection, cause after 1970 he hadn’t really lived, he just existed, running away from the realities he feared. And why? To hide, to escape.

Prithvi Raj comes in the past. And he was perfect for that role. I know he is not quite popular among the youngsters but I think he did a great job here. In fact he had fewer number of scenes, appearing only where Lal remembered him in the past, and the present. Lal, contrary to his usual tough-guy roles, plays the soft hearted policeman who had a normal life; memorable years of teenage, and then a wife and 2 kids who meant the world for him. But the events he was about to witness and experience was too much for the soft-heart he had. Prithvi Raj opens new lines of thoughts for him. Prithvi Raj offers him his hand when he falls down, just like he had to so many other people.

Lal was brilliant. Some of his old self reminded me of Thilakan’s role in Moonam Pakkam. The helplessness and weakness of old age… already a soft person, Lal calls out for a lot of mixed feelings including one of depression. He touches the audience with his niceness, with his helplessness and most of all with his tender affection for fellow beings.

I am not a Prithvi fan but I liked his scenes, it was just apt and brilliant the way he gave meaning to his gestures including a simple smile or glance.

Through Lal, Madhupal tells the story, through Prithvi he passes a strong message, through the events, he passes a sense of righteousness he hopes to evoke in the audience. He had done a neat job of interweaving the past with the present as remembered and seen by an aging old man. Only, I would have suggested to make all actors speak for themselves, especially when the cast involved the likes of Rohini who could have done marvelous with her absolutely natural dialogue-rendering. The girl who played ‘Sara’ was good, apart from the dubbing factor.

Atul Kulkarni was remarkable in his brief stint. Jagathy, Manianpillai Raju were all proof of the great choice of cast Madhupal made. I hope he continues in this new directorial role for a long time, not that there was anything he could be encouraged with. I went today frantically cause the movie was limited to one show per day, within a couple of weeks of release. It should probably stop running in a week. Sigh, that’s sad. That when horrendous movies like Annan Thampi or Verthe oru Bharya could run for so long, really deserving movies cant last a fortnight!



  1. Cris di! I did not know u watched malayalam movies! That means ur a malayalee! Enikke ariyathilarunu! Kashtam!
    He.. he…. anyways, i’m not that into malayalam movies, but my mom is, so i’ll tell her about this post.


    Comment by Adi — October 1, 2008 @ 23:20 | Reply

  2. Rohini who? Old Rahman-Rohini? Does she speak Malayalam? I thought she’s Tamil

    Comment by Nish — October 1, 2008 @ 23:44 | Reply

  3. i watched it too. THe fact that the movie has been running so long itself is attestation to the fact that its an awesome movie. I met one of the actors [ 😉 ] and he said that it was not a movie made to rake in money. It was an idea that took shape and they just _had_ to make it.

    Comment by aashiks — October 2, 2008 @ 09:52 | Reply

  4. There was some interview with Madhu Pal in a channel today. It was about Thalapave. As an Actor, Madhupal was among the last few in my list of excellency! But after watching Thalapave, it seems like he is a director more than an actor.

    Comment by Srijith — October 2, 2008 @ 19:11 | Reply

  5. @Adi, yes I am a Malayalee kiddo! :-). Yes ask your Mom to watch it, its a nice movie, not sure if it will come to Delhi though!

    @Nish, yes the same old Rohini, shes a Tamilian but she speaks good Malayalam. I have watched her in TV channels. In any case, it would have been a lot better than the annoyingly stereo-typed voice pattern of the dubbing artist!

    @Srijith, hmm he wasnt noticed enough as an actor, I never even bothered to judge him before! But he sure was born to be a director!

    @aashiks, yes as a matter of fact I told a friend the exact same line, the fact that it ran for such a short while is proof that its actually good! Well good to know its not for money, cause if it was, they would have been at a terrible loss! Which actor did you see by the way?

    Comment by Cris — October 2, 2008 @ 23:23 | Reply

  6. Hey dear,You’ve been tagged..Pls visit my blog 🙂

    Comment by Nimmy — October 4, 2008 @ 00:50 | Reply

  7. @Nimmy, woww! Thanks dear 🙂 I love tags! I shall be taking it up soon!

    Comment by Cris — October 5, 2008 @ 04:59 | Reply

  8. Thirakkada was good too. Prithvi Raj has become more mature and his dialogues n presence, more subtle and to the point, different from his usual loud, fill-screen stuff of the past.

    Comment by Anamika — October 6, 2008 @ 14:46 | Reply

  9. Heard great reviews about the movie from all over, reviews have been uniform in praise. Unfortunately I am in the US and my only chance to see this is on a pirated version which I can hope to get hold of.
    I too know quite a few Prithivraj-haters and they just say he is ‘arrogant”…I dont know if it is “arrogance” or plain jealousy 🙂 Most of the haters are the mallu youth, I know a lot of tamil youth, of the same age, who love him. Maybe it is a mallu thing 🙂 Someone needs to save him before he gets trampled by the big Ms – Mohanlal and Mammootty. He is definitely the future of malayalam cinema.
    And isnt he PrithIVraj and not PrithVIraj?

    Comment by Deepak — October 6, 2008 @ 20:14 | Reply

  10. @Anamika, I watched that. Yes hes definitely come a long way.

    @Deepak, sigh. I feel a sigh heave out everytime I hear about pirated CDs. Prithvi Raj – err I too was in that category who said he was arrogant. Well not that I think he has grown out of all that, but heck thats none of my business – hes getting better now as an actor. I didnt enjoy some of his past performances, but now he is learning. Yep he definitely has a long future and going by Mammooty-Lal standards, another 40 years as hero. 😀 And its Prithvi Raj you know like Prithvi Raj Chauhan. Unless he changed his spelling for numerological reasons!

    Comment by Cris — October 8, 2008 @ 00:24 | Reply

  11. Reading all this makes me feel like kicking myself for not watching the movie! 😦

    Prithivraj Rocks! (I’m a fan! :P)

    Why don’t you merge all your blogs into this one? And yeah, your review rock like your newspaper articles! 😛

    Comment by Hari Shanker — October 8, 2008 @ 09:08 | Reply

  12. *Correction: Your review ROCKS, not rock! 😛 (The meaning change without the ‘s’, apart from the vocab faux pas!)

    Comment by Hari Shanker — October 8, 2008 @ 09:21 | Reply

  13. @Hari, it is Prithvi Raj right? Deepak here asked me if its Pirthiv and now you spell it so too. Heheh thanks kiddo – for all those rocks! Merging blogs? Someone said its easier to follow blogs when they are split to categories or a reader would have to search for the ones he need. I thought that was wise :p

    Comment by Cris — October 8, 2008 @ 17:02 | Reply

  14. […] been a happening day. I have been part of a team to interview Madhupal (the same person who took Thalappavu). I had already managed to form quite an impression in the calls I made to fix the interview. After […]

    Pingback by Cris’s World » Meeting Madhupal — November 6, 2008 @ 21:50 | Reply


    Comment by sridevi — November 17, 2008 @ 14:38 | Reply

  16. @sridevi, 🙂

    Comment by Cris — November 19, 2008 @ 18:58 | Reply

  17. […] pm Tags: humor, nonsense, People Has been a happening day. I have been part of a team to interview Madhupal (the same person who took Thalappavu). I had already managed to form quite an impression in the […]

    Pingback by Meeting Madhupal « A journalist is lost — April 23, 2009 @ 04:02 | Reply

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