Monday, 10 October 2011

Indian Rupee

2011 by Ranjith - Malayalam movie

Ranjith definitely is considered a reliable director for Malayalam cinema. I will always sing praises of his Kaiyyoppu and Paleri Manickyam - oru paathira Kolapaathakathinte kadha. Then there are also movies like Praanchiyettan and the Saint, Nandanam and Thirakkadha. Unfortunately though, each and every Ranjith movie is built around certain aspects of Malayalam culture (except in Thirakkadha), which will turn the movie as difficult to comprehend for a foreigner or even an Indian out of Kerala. Ranjith looked very unhappy when Paleri Manickyam and Praanchiyettan, the latter especially, didnt get much accolades in the national awards. The reason is quite clear. His movies are built around genuine Malayaali life with all its subtleties, intricacies and extravaganzas, which are all expressed via dialogues, which only an average Malayaalee can understand. It is impossible to blame those outside Kerala for not giving due credit for Praanchiyettan or Paleri Manickyam. For anybody who does not know Keralan life very well, these movies would look very ordinary. Ranjith has again picked up a plot, which is quite contemporary and ordinary for a Malayaalee.

Two young men are dreaming to make it big in real estate business, as their only hope to climb the ladder to getting rich. Overnight they make some money and when they dream even bigger, they are forced to see the other side of getting rich. 

I can only say that Indian Rupee is a very good average movie. Nothing big nor small. Considering that this is made by a director who gave us movies like Pranchiyettan and Paleri or even Kaiyoppu, Indian rupee is just an ordinary fare. But it is quite simple enough and never goes really overboard that we can give it a very good pass. Nothing more or less. I wish Ranjith looks higher up than Paleri or Praanchiyettan.

Ranjith does try to look into certain aspects of contemporary Keralan life, like the malaise of arranged marriages cherried by dowry and also the urge to find easy money by todays youth. The formal is touched upon by few dialogues only, but it does receive good attention. The latter seems to be the main point behind this movie. One could argue that may be he tried to bring out the infamous ways of real estate brokers and their mal practices to fore through this attempt, rather than pointing out fingers at the greed of our youth. From all what I read, I thought Ranjith aimed for the latter. Eitherways, we have two predecessors in the recent past.

Ividam Swargamaanu, dealt nicely with the mal practices of the real estate mafia to some extent. And Maaya Kannadi (by Cheran in Tamil) portrayed wonderfully the urge of the youth for easy money. Maaya Kannadi definitely is a much better film as it had a beautiful story based on two working class youth characters, well etched out, trying hard to get rich.

Lets forget about all this and just think about Indian Rupee. It is quite simple and is devoid of many routine spicy factors, with a plot which looks very different from the ordinary. Excellent performances by Prithviraj, Thilakan, Tini Tom and Jagathy. And a simple and supportive camera work from S. Kumar (for me Kumar sir is the specialist in Malayalam to give the available light feeling).

So basically it looks refreshing, but is still not devoid of run of the mill cliches. Like the arrival of a friend from the Gulf, when the hero is in need of urgent money and few other things. Some of the characters, like that of Achutha Menon (Thilakan) and the retired doctor in Merkara (Revathy), looks quite vague and strange. And I would also say it was absolutely unnecessary to add two songs in this movie, one of them was horribly picturised too. When will we have a hero who cannot sing or is afraid to take huge decisions like agreeing to make 1 crore rupees in a few days. This is especially strange because at one point the hero is described by his own mother as somebody who doesnt have even Rs.30 in his valet. But somebody is ready to offer him 50lakhs. Anyways..

I wonder how much would this movie help to rise the career graph of Ranjith. For an artiste of his calibre, I would say, either his graph is stagnant or even it has dipped slightly. For, Indian Rupee is no where near Paleri Manickyam, which inspite of its climax glitches looked brilliant. Indian Rupees is just a simple good average movie.

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