Read further only if you are familiar with the Movies titled “Manichitrathaazh” or “Aaptamitra” or “Chandramukhi” or “Bhool bhullaiyaa”. Else do not blame me if you feel bored halfway If you think this is going to be another “Movie Review”-post, then you will be disappointed. You either have to be a “Manichitrathaazh” or “Aaptamitra” or “Chandramukhi” or “Bhool bhullaiyaa” fanatic (love-it or hate-it kind).. in order to feel at ease with the post.
After a long time.. I was finally able to watch the movie “bhool bhulaiyya”. Its not because the movie halls were full, just that., I was so much busy doing other things, I practically did not have time to go to the multiplex. I was desperately trying to make myself free for the 1st day, 1st show of this movie, but as providence would have it , I got the opportunity only few weeks back.
Donot jump into any kind of conclusion that I am Priyadarshan fan or Akshaykumar fan… not at all.. In fact I am a typical Manichitrathaazh fan. I have lost count of how many times I have watched this movie since its release. Even today if this movie is aired at Asianet – Surya (popular Malayalam TV channels), I make it a point to watch this movie, and my family is also put through the same ordeal .But if it’s Chandramukhi (Tamil remake) or Aptamitra (Kannada remake), then it doesn’t interests me
By now you would have realized that “Manichitrathazh” is the original movie and the rest all are remakes. Since I am conversant in all the 4 languages (Malayalam, Tamil, kannada, Hindi) in which the remakes has been made (and indeed turned out to be great hits), I am of the opinion that I am capable of grasping the nuances in each language by itself, and at the same time comprehending the original storyline with the remakes. So friends, If you are also conversant in all the above 4 languages AND has watched all the remakes, please feel free to join me in the discussion. I am sure it would make an interesting thread.
Before complimenting or condemning the remakes let me assure all my readers that I have nothing against remake-movies. In fact, remakes are challenges.. and require more effort to scale the standard set by the original movie, coz remakes are never viewed as a single entity, they are always seen in comparison with the original version.
I would like to present my comparison of the remakes not with the original Malayalam hit – Manichitrathaazh, instead, comparison of remakes amongst each other. I have compared each remake against its closeness towards the original storyline only. This does not mean I am looking for a frame-to-frame copy of the original Malayalam hit. But, should at least be vaguely as logical as presented in the original plot.
The movie’s plot revolves around the fable of a certain danseuse. And the characters just play their part in the plot. .. this was how the original - movie has presented the plot. Its only fair that I expect the remakes also to follow the same logic (to start with). Every character, however small or miniscule, plays a vital role in the complete picture. So, attempts to glorify the “hero” score the lowest in my priority.
This makes Chandramukhi and Aaptamitra slip a slot down due to the “hero-introduction-fights”. Vishnuvardhan is a vetran actor of the Kannada film industry. Yet, he was also not spared of the hero-introduction-fight. The sequence was completely out-of-sync with the main storyline.
With all due respects to Rajini (-fans) and Vishnuvardhan(-fans), The psychiatrist is NOT the hero of the movie. In fact, this movie is a heroine subject and there is no hero… just another male character. Character of the Psychiatrist is indeed important.. I do not deny that.. but this character’s characterization involves “around” the danseuse. Hence by itself, the character of psychiatrist is like any other character.
The character of scared-uncle-who-forgets-the-keys is well essayed by all 3 artistes (in the remakes). They all are established and competent actors who knows their jobs and tickle the public with their body language and dialogue delivery. However, Vadivelu’s character harboring doubts about Psychiatrist’s intentions towards his wife, and the dialogues presented in this context , appear to be in cheap taste, in my opinion. So chandramukhi slips one more slot down here.
Not stopping here, the Rajini-fans received a special treat by watching an exclusive terrace fight picturized on Rajani ( in addition to the introductory fight sequence). The stunts performed were superb .. just pumps your adrenaline while watching such a fight sequence. But this sequence was completely uncalled for in the storyline. Chandramukhi slips again.
Last but not the least, I could not digest the logic behind , the-psychiatrist-turns-out-to-be-the-tyranical-king (in the heroine’s eyes while she is in a state of delirium … or possessed). If I have grasped the concept of the original movie correctly, the fable goes by ,… the tyrant king fell in love with the danseuse. She in turn loved someone else. So when the lady of the house ( heroine) listens to the fable , she starts imagining that she is the danseuse, and attempts to kill her husband at several occasion. Not stopping here she goes to imagine further that the gentleman living in the same neighborhood (next door neighbor) is her paramour . This clearly puts the husband of the heroine in the shoes of the tyrant king.
If you would argue that… the scene in which the “possessed” lady speaks to the psychiatrist as if speaking to her husband.. Let me remind you…. We have seen that… normally when the “possessed” lady is disturbed by anyone in the house (.. 3 people go to keep the kalash.. etc etc).. she does not wait to speak to them. She just frightens them by breaking and throwing things at others. However, before communicating behind closed doors with the psychiatrist,.. she first listens to the clanking of wooden-slippers and walking stick. She composes herself by asking for the person’s identity ( notice the change in voice). Its only after he proclaims himself to be the “tyrant-king”, she expresses her urge for vendetta in the voice. She just takes it for granted that the person using the slippers and the walking stick is her (danseuse's) husband.
This is not the case in the climax. The “possessed” lady sees the neighbor and instantly he transformed into her paramour. So, its only logical that her husband transforms into the “tyrant king”. In the eyes of the dansensue, she does-not-see the psychiatrist. He is non-existent. So I find it rather silly when the psychiatrist transforms into the “tyrant king” whilst the husband looks on. So here Chandramukhi and Aptamitra slips again.
Speaking of climax picturisation, how can I miss the classic dance performance by the artists? Vineeth is an excellent dancer, and has the advantage of appearing in two remakes. Chandramukhi just jumped a slot ahead. I would have preferred to watch Vineeth and Soundarya in unison. Soundarya had a certain grace while performing in “well-dressed” sequences, and roaring pain and anger in “kaajal-smeared-eyes” performance. Aaptamitra slips a slot down due to the out-of-sync between dancers. Both of them appeared out-of-sync at several occasion ( inspite of the edits), and he was overpowered by the “star-status” of Soundarya in the dance sequence.
So, this leaves me with “bhool bullaiiya”. Please donot watch “bhool bhullaiya” thinking you are going to watch dubbed version of Chandramukhi or Aptamitra. However, it looks very silly when Akshay is trying to “appear” serious by constantly fiddling with his glasses. The character of the dumb girl could have be portrayed better if the intention was to mislead the viewers during the course of the movie. She could have done more than just stand-and-stare. Close head shots prove ShineyAhuja’s i-donot-belong-here kind of performance. Even while performing for the romantic number with VidyaBalan, he was looking more perturbed than romantic.
All said and done, “Bhool bhulaiyya” is indeed the best remake of the original so far. There is no special heroism involved. The performance of PareshRawal and lady-who-plays-his-wife is spot-on. VidyaBalan and Vineeth steal their show with their enthralling performance. More importantly, it was in-synch with the original story line. But , ShineyAhuja could have been given a makeover of “Elderly person”.. when he is seen as the tyrant king… appearance closely resembling the “tyrant king’s” portrait in the “haunted room”.