Munnariyippu

I have often been termed as movie buff. Though I might not come across as one at first sight, I love watching movies – big time. After marrying S, this love for movies has grown multiple bounds. For one, I never watched English movies and thanks to S, I was introduced to a new world of cinema.

Even with our combined love for catching movies on big screen, we hardly ventured out of our comfort languages – Tamil, Telugu English and occasionally Hindi. It took quite some cajoling from the sister to make me take her copy of “Bangalore Days” – a Malayalam movie that she claimed was very good. Though I got the movie from her reluctantly, I was not interested in watching it. Again, it took some persuasion from the husband to make me watch it. Did I love it? Yes I absolutely did. It was breeze understanding the language and I didn’t even have to look at the English subtitles. If you have not watched it, I suggest you to watch it immediately – there is no ray of negativity in this movie and it would warm up your heart. My post today is not on this beautiful movie though.

The hero was this post should be this movie – Munnariyippu ( Warning). Couple of days back, when both S and I were quite relaxed, we decided to watch another Malayalam movie having nothing else to watch or rather covering everything else. S chose to play this movie that was supposed to be a thriller. I was definitely not in for a thriller – not right before I fell asleep. Throughout the movie, there was nothing thrilling. A bit of suspense being maintained, it was definitely not nail-biting thrilling. At one point, I was wondering why a drama was being called a thriller. And then came the climax bit, that changed my entire perception of the movie. I felt chills running down my spine in those few moments and took some time to absorb the magnanimity of this movie.

*Spoilers ahead*

Anjali Arackal, a freelancer journalist makes an interesting discovery of a prisoner while trying her hand ghost-writing one of the retiring police officer’s autobiography. This prisoner, C K Raghavan who had been convicted of double homicide – including his wife and his employer’s daughter continues to live in the jail even after serving his sentence of 14 years. The interesting part about C K Raghavan is that he keeps declining committing these two murders. His friendly smile, innocent face, docile personality and obedient character draws Anjali towards him and she soon finds out about a journal he has been maintaining. Already intrigued by him, she starts reading this journal and finds an opportunity to print it as a magazine, for his thoughts are quite different, fresh in perspective. With the huge success of this small book published, she would land the big contract of publishing his life story – if infact C K Raghavan did/ did not commit the two murders.

C K Raghavan keeps denying to those two murders, but never shares anything about himself. Anjali persuades C K Raghavan to get released from the jail and provides him a roof and food, as he has no one else to go to. She also provides him the bulk of white papers and pens, to get him started on writing. First for a few days, he spends wondering about these changes around him, for he comes out of jail after a good 20 years. Day after day, Anjali comes back to see the white papers blank. With the deadline of the book contract looming over her head on one side and the competitors trying to find C K Raghavan to publish his story, she has a very hard time. On top of it, her mother wants her to get married. The story goes forward very slowly at a stage where Anjali understands that C K Raghavan does not see this book publishing in the same light as her. Having nothing else to do, she further cuts him down of all human contact and leaves him in a secluded house where Raghavan does seem comfortable. On the day of the book contract deadline, she visits Raghavan hopelessly, and angrily tells him how everything is now gone and that she can take him to anyplace he wants. That’s the turning point of the story.  Simply put, a man that C K Raghavan is, trusts Anjali with his live earnings from the jail but not with his thoughts.

This is a movie that made me think a lot. With the kind of twist in the climax, one would see the movie in a completely different shade. With every small discovery you make connecting the different dots through the plot, you would realize what a brilliant attempt this movie is.

Talking about the characters, Mammootty sir as C K Raghavan – he hardly has a few dialogues. He is shown as a friendly, timid, calm, soft person with a smile on his face. There are few scenes where he just stares at you blankly. For an actor as big as him and being called Megastar – it surprised me he choose this script where its not just about the hero. He just doesn’t have to emote at all, but on thinking deep this needs brilliant acting skills – to show blankness not looking like a fool and am sure none of the big actors of other film industries would be willing to take up this kind of a role. Aparna Gopinath plays as the freelance journalist. She literally carries through the movie. One can relate to her struggles as a freelancer, getting a book published for the first time, being in sudden limelight, catching a big book contract, trusting a prisoner to help her and towards the end you feel like screaming at Raghavan to give her his life story already. She acted so well in the last scene and so did Mamooty aka C K Raghavan. C K Raghavan’s smile haunted me through the night – that’s the kind of impact this movie had on me.

Do watch this movie for the sheer brilliance of the script – there are English subtitles available.

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8 thoughts on “Munnariyippu

  1. wow!

    You have piqued my interest in watching this one now. Apparently, I too have Bangalore Days and havent watched it till now. Must do the two soon 🙂

    • Do watch Bangalore Days right away Visha – its beautiful. They are remaking it in Tamil but I am glad I caught this original version 🙂 if you get a chance to watch Munnariyippu, let me know what you feel about the movie ok?!

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