Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Apology for Srinivasan's Katha Parayumbol

I got a couple of comments to the post on katha parayumbol, to the effect that it is a substandard film; given below is a cut and paste of my response to them, showing why i like this film:
guess u have a point.
but it's not realism that i looked for in this movie. true, anavalmothiram, vadakku nokki yanthram, Chinthavishtayaya shyamala etc pay more attention to realistic details--but look at his works in a chronological order. you'll find a change-a movement from the realistic to the symbolic. ( all prolific writers show this tendency ). chinthanvishayaya shyamala is less dependent on realistic techniques than his earlier ones. kathaparayumbol has moved more to the symbolic plane- it's like a fable which goes something like this: 'once upon a time there was a small village in the remote highlands of kerala, where lived a good and honest barber balan'. Then balan's fortunes(misfortunes?) are traced. the social context in which this man lives is represented in typical, not realistic manner. all the usual srinivasan ingredients are thrown in, in a deliberately stereotyical exaggerated manner - for the focus of the movie is on
1. the character dileneation of balan -which all of you must admit is done in an excellent manner -with extreme realism - and with no jaada.
2. the fickless of the herd which is shown through stereotyped portrayal. perhaps opting for realistic techniques for this aspect would have made this movie an all time classic but i think balan's character dileneation and the spectacular performance by srinivasan make this film a real worthwhile experience.
besides, i know a person who is so very much like balan the barber - guess that's one reason i could relate--


  1. Still I could not agree with yor comments..Sreenivasan is/was a favourite script writer for mallus because he was able to come up with such realistic scenes filled up with fun. Just think of those beautiful films nadodikatt, vadakk nokki yanthram, chinthavishtayaya shyamala etc etc. This film also became a hit just because there are no good films came out recently in malayalam film industry as such.

    The characters and the story narration really gave me a feel dat sreeni is out of stock now a days. The film had few good scenes, and ofcourse is a better film...but i cant rate it anything more than that..

    You started stating that you didnt look for realism in the movie and ended as

    besides, i know a person who is so very much like balan the barber - guess that's one reason i could relate--

    This is when we say it was realistic rite? wen we are able to map the scenes n characters to our real time experience???

    Just one more line to add on - Nadodikatt was one of my favourite. When i reached chennai, I was still experiencing some of the funny problems shown in the film. So rite now I enjoy the film even more...just think the film may be as old as me :)

  2. @ eccentric
    what i meant was the presence of two modes in the movie- the realistic and fabular. i thought both were was well handled.
    like you said, our level of enjoyment has a lot to do with us being able to relate to it. balan was so real---


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