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Revisiting A Classic: Thoovanathumbikal

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Thoovanathumbikal (1987) is a film written and directed by P. Padmarajan based on his own novel Udakappola. The film revolves around Jayakrishnan who lives a contrasting dual life (one with his friends in the town, and the other with his mother and sister at their village), falls in love with two women; Radha a distant relative of his and Clara an escort in town. Mohanlal, Sumalatha and Parvathi, the characters that they play, Jayakrishnan, Clara and Radha, bring out a fantastic chemistry between them, especially in the romantic moments when they are getting to know each other. One of cinema’s finest actors, Mohanlal is perfect, absolutely perfect as Jayakrishnan. The film is beautiful in every regards; the photography, the sets, the music and the performances, especially the performances.

Jayakrishnan ‘It was raining when I first met her. It was raining when I wrote my first letter to her’

The film deals with the most intense human emotions of love. The movie is filled with so much romance and the story actually revolves around Clara even though it is Jayakrishnan who is on screen in almost all the scenes. The beauty is to see the script moving holding the hands of Clara.

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Jayakrishnan ‘Clara, I want to marry you’

A strong wave hits Clara.

Soon the song starts, ‘Megham poothu thudangi, Moham peythu thudangi’

This scene is one of the purest and most honest scenes in the film. Not for what is on the outside, but what it means, what it wants us to see. The song shows their dreams of life which started few hours back. You feel as if you have a bond with the main characters having known them for a long time and thus share the highs and the lows emotionally throughout the plot.

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Jayakrishnan ‘Clara, is a girl who came from somewhere and vanished to somewhere’

It was raining, the atmosphere looked very beautiful and then comes the first letter from Clara to Jayakrishnan. Rain is a recurring theme and is portrayed almost as a character in the film. It does not rain at the final meeting between Clara and Jayakrishnan. The incredible score by Johnson (songs by Perumbavoor G. Raveendranath), pushes its emotional effectiveness up a notch.

Padmarajan, one of the greatest script-writers and directors from Kerala but I feel, it is a little unwarranted on the non-Malayalam viewer to pick up his movies, it is difficult to identify with the lifestyle of the characters. Once you get to feel it, you will get addicted to him. The film was ranked 8 by IBN Live in its list of greatest Indian films of all time. It is far above from the usual. Experience this movie, don’t simply watch it, from the charm of all the characters.

Cinephile. Learning the art of Filmmaking. Film-Director.

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