pippala leaf

November 17, 2007

Gandhi my father

Filed under: Movie — MBN @ 6:11 am

They say every being moves on it’s determined path and destiny. As actors in the play, each one has a definite script and role to play. Heroism, villainy, comedy, love, hatred, insignificance, all would act out on the stage.

The events that unfolded on the stage between 2nd October 1869 and 18th June 1948 had stirred up myriad emotions among the spellbound spectators. Then the play came to an end. The stage became empty. The actors departed. So many questions in the play were left unanswered; many things were left unsaid. The spectators were left behind moved, confused and disturbed in mind.

This mysterious phenomenon, life, has always managed to defy anybody’s understanding. Something that had never existed before had came into existence for a brief period of time. Then it disappeared forever. How can one explain that?

Why did this happen? It is futile to ask such questions about life. Each question would lead to further questions, and finally, all of them would remain unanswered. There is no “if” in the history. Things just happened the way they happened. That is the only explanation one can give. Equally futile is the attempt to blame the actions of any one actor in the play. No person is an island. No action is an isolated event. Every event, every action is interrelated and interdependent, like a river. Mahatma Gandhi said his life was all about his search for the Truth, the Reality. For him everything else was secondary. His actions, decisions were all made according to the light he had received on his journey. Harilal Gandhi had a different journey. Were they wrong, in their motivation and actions? Those roles had acted out on this stage in the way they were meant to be. Who can judge? In life where there are no absolutes, where everything is relative, judgement is futile. We all travel according our convictions. So were Bapu, Ba, Gulab and Harilal.

Gandhi my father was very touching and unforgettable experience. 


January 26, 2007

The Middle of the World

Filed under: Movie — MBN @ 9:04 pm
Odyssey of a poor Brazilian family on four broken-down bikes travelling 2000 miles towards promised land – Rio de Janeiro. It is a simple story beautifully told. Director Vicente Amorim never attempts to display any degenerated sentimentality or negative display of poverty and misery. The beauty of this movie lies in it’s honest portrayal of inner dynamics of the characters – their interaction, their spirit, their love, the values they hold despite their hardship, their vulnerability and poverty.
There are so many interesting conversation happen among the characters. One such dialogue take place when the eldest child Antonio challenge his parents and refuses to travel any farther:
Father: Let’s go. It’s a long way to Rio de Janeiro. Antonio take Rodney.

Antonio (defiantly): I’m staying here

Mother (with anger and frustration): Listen I’m your mother. I tell you what to do. You have no choice. Stay alone here? Do you think you’re your own boss. You are not.

Father: Yes he is. A son must respect his parents but parents don’t own their children

Mother (protests): But man…

Father: A mother gives life, but she doesn’t own her child.

A beautiful movie.

January 29, 2006

Thanmathra (Molecule)

Filed under: Movie — MBN @ 11:44 pm

There was nothing extraordinary about Rameshan Nair’s life. He had similar dreams and ambitions of any middle class government servant. His goals in life revolved around his family. He was blessed with a loving wife and two smart kids. He knew that his dreams had every possibility of their fulfillment. He was so sure and he was so happy. So was his family. Then it came, with kind of foot steps of a cat, silent and sneaky. Though he was little anxious, it amused him when he forgot his childhood sweetheart’s nickname, because she was his lost love. Then it struck. Struck hard with a kind of forcefulness of thunderbolt. It took away his small world, twisted it with tragic consequences. And he was ruthlessly unaware of that. He did not see his little world tumble like a pack of cards. He did not care and in a most cruel way he forgot his family, his dreams and even himself. He did not respond, his mind did not melt at his family’s plight. But then, he had no mind, because he had Alzheimer’s.

Blessy crafted this movie with precision and well defined craftsmanship. The narrative style and realism he portray in each frame brings an undeniable identification of events that had happened or have been happening in and around our family or friends or neighbour. The film brings to mind a very forceful reminder about the uncertainty and transient nature of our life and how precious is each moment of our life while we have it. Above all this movie has tremendous academic value. Social awareness of this disease is very much absent and many misjudge Alzheimer’s disease for lunacy.

Total credit goes to director Blessy. His films may result in the resurrection of parallel cinema in Malayalam. Performance of the entire cast was remarkable, especially performance of Master Arun as Rameshan Nair’s son. He is natural. The main character Rameshan Nair, played brilliantly by Mohanlal, is undoubtedly his best performance to date. Meera Vasudevan, as his wife, is also outstanding.

Thanmatra is a remarkable film that moves you and leaves in your mind a very long lasting impact. This classic film should not be missed by those who love Malayalam movies.

July 19, 2005

Paheli…..a beautiful Indian folktale

Filed under: Movie — MBN @ 4:29 am


Paheli reminds me the Malayalam film ‘Njan Gandharvan’ by the late Malayalam director Padmarajan. Both these films derived their themes from local folklore. Stories of Yakshi and Gandharvan were indispensable part of my childhood days. Kottarathil Shankunni’s classic Ithihyamala introduced me to the world of spirits, ghosts and exorcism. Like any other child I stood in awe of these extraordinary world of celestial beings and great magical powers. Their adventures fascinated me. The stories told by my mother of her real-life encounter with the ‘other world’ filled me with fear and excitement.More than fear these Indian spirits invoked in me a curiosity about them. I found them more or like human beings. For Indian mind nothing exists as an ‘absolute good’ or ‘absolute evil’. Good and evil are relative terms. Therefore Indian gods and ghosts have human like qualities. They think like any other human being. They also have limitations and their worlds have their own rules. I learned that even Indra, lord of the heaven, is not above these rules. Indra is a position with a fixed term (like President of a country). Once the term is completed the current ruler steps down and another eligible one takes the position as Indra. As in Paheli, in the Malayalam film


a celestial being falls in love with a mortal. The film depicted the predicament of the celestial being who was torn between the love for it’s beloved and the rules bound by the other world. For a while Paheli took me back to my childhood fantasies.

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