Movie - Kadha Thudarunnu (Malayalam)
Director - Sathyan Anthikkad
Producer - Thankachan Emmanuel
Cast - Jayaram, Mamta Mohandas, Asif Ali, Innocent, KPAC Lalitha, Lakshmipriya, Anikha, Mamukkoya, Chembil Ashokan, Sreejith Ravi
Music - Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography - Venu ISC
Editing - K Rajagopal
Art Direction - Joseph Nellikkal
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues - Sathyan Anthikkad
Release Date - 7th May 2010
A Sathyan Anthikkad film is like going back home. Once in a year he comes out with a movie which has characters we all know, moments we all must have gone through, tunes we all would love to hum, and most importantly, has a heart and soul. People complain that he does not try different paths and sticks to his regular formula of simpletons and villagers and their daily routines and problems. In Kadha Thudarunnu, he has told a much more urban story of a girl who loses everything in life, but slowly regains everything through the help of some really good people. It is a small, simple story, told effectively with good performances and good moments.
Vidyalakshmi (Mamta Mohandas) and Shanavas (Asif Ali) are a lovelorn couple and get married much against the wishes of their parents. They are disowned by both their parents and they start living an independent, happy life. They are blessed with a cute baby Laya (Baby Anikha) soon after. Shanavas tries his best to make ends meet as well as make sure that his wife does not experience any difficulty while living with him. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, Vidya loses Shanavas one fine day. And she is forced to leave her house and go to the streets with her little daughter, soon enough due to financial troubles. She comes across a young man called Preman (Jayaram) during her exile. Hearing her stories, Preman decides to take her to his colony where a whole lot of lovely people stay together. Vidya and Laya become a part of the colony soon enough. What happens later forms the rest of the story.
Even though the story sounds quite simple at surface level, it takes up many issues such as inter-religious marriage, financial stability and all, which are relevant even today and depicts them in a subtle manner. Sathyan Anthikkad departs from his usual style where lots of humour is utilized to take the story forward. In this film, he has played with emotions more than humour. But there are many laugh-out-loud moments throughout the film, thanks to some smart writing and an excellent cast. The way the movie ends was quite impressive. As a writer, Sathyan Anthikkad still does not impress that much, and has gone one step lower after the very impressive Vinodayathra and Bhagyadevatha. The brilliance found in those films is missing in this one. But in spite, the movie has all the qualities which one would expect from a Sathyan Anthikkad movie. And it is a perfect option for a decent family viewing.
Kadha Thudarunnu is essentially Mamta Mohandas' movie. She carries the entire film forward with her character Vidyalakshmi. She gives yet another impressive performance after Passenger last year. The emotional turmoil that the character goes through is brought out very well. The only negative I felt was that she had put on some weight and she didnt look as great as she normally does in this movie. And I believe she has dubbed for herself and has done a good job at that. The other star of the movie is baby Anikha who is exceptional in a pivotal role in the film. She is extremely cute and is one of the main reasons why this movie will be liked by many. It is extremely difficult to make kids of this age act well and Sathyan Anthikkad and his team should be congratulated for extracting a wonderful performance from the little baby. (She was present for the show I watched and I congratulated her after the movie got over as well). Jayaram makes a very late entry in the movie, almost near the interval. He has lost a lot of weight and looks very good in the movie. He plays the loving auto driver with a heart of gold, with considerable ease as he is in a comfort zone playing a character he has played several times before. But he's very good as usual and nobody can be better than Jayaram when it comes to playing such characters, especially in Sathyan Anthikkad films. Asif Ali gives a short, but impressive performance. This is his second release after the much-appreciated Rithu and he should be really lucky that he got to work with 2 of our best directors in his first 2 films itself (He's also working with Sibi Malayil in a soon to be released movie). He plays his short part well. All the Sathyan Anthikkad regulars are present in this one as well. And as usual, they do a splendid job. From Bhagyadevatha, two more people got added to the list and they are Lakshmipriya who does an amazing job as the housemaid Mallika and Chembil Ashokan (the awesome Thanku aashaan from Bhagyadevatha) as a part-time thief. Innocent, KPAC Lalitha and Mamukkoya can never be bad, especially in Sathyan Anthikkad movies. So I dont think I have to go into detail about them.
Music by Ilaiyaraaja is soothing. The duet 'Aaro Paadunno Doore' featuring Asif and Mamta is shot very well at Sathyan Anthikkad's current favourite location Munnar. Except for Hariharan's bad pronounciations, the song is very good. The supremely talented Karthik sings a peppy number (like Aazhi Thira Thannil) called 'Kizhakkumala Kammalitta'. The best of the lot is 'Mazhamegha Chelin Pooram' which reminds one of the yesteryear blockbuster song 'Kuzhaloothum Kannanukku' from Ilaiyaraaja's Mella Thiranthathu Kathavu. Veteran cameraman Venu does a neat job with the camera but the visual beauty of Bhagyadevatha is missing as this movie has an urban setting. The other departments like editing, art, etc. have done a good job.
On the whole, Kadha Thudarunnu is a safe bet for families to go and watch this season. It is a decent, simple and sweet film which can be watched by the entire family together. It has some good music, excellent performances and lovely moments. And most importantly, it comes from brand Sathyan Anthikkad, which is the most selling brand after Mohanlal and Mammootty in Malayalam.
Rating - 3.5/5