Monday, March 31, 2014

Nadodikkattu (1987)

Director: Sathyan Anthikad
Writers:  Sreenivasan, Siddique-Lal
Cast:       Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Thilakan, Innocent, Shobana

Two unemployed malayalees pursue the dream of going to Dubai but ends up in Madras.One of them is B-Com first class (Mohanlal) and the other one is a pre-degree holder (Sreenivasan) and it is a case of mistaken identities with an underworld don (Thilakan) thinking they are CID officers out to get him.

Nadodikkattu is probably my favorite Malayalam/Indian film of all time. Yesterday as I was trying to kill time before the Liverpool-Spurs game I ended up watching it again for the 'n'th time where 'n' is a very large number. Sathyan Anthikad is famous for making comedy/satirical films based on everyday problems in the Kerala society. He would have thought these problems would be limited to the times in which he was making those films but most of his films haven't aged one bit as almost all these problems still persists. Be it unemployment (Nadodikkattu, Gandhi Nagar Second Street), union problems (Varavelpu), polarized politics (Sandesham) and eviction problems (Sanmanasullavarkku Samadhanam). With Sathyan Anthikad, Sreenivasan and Siddique-Lal, who provided the basic story, you have the best people in comedy Malayalam film industry has ever seen behind this film. It also established the ever-bankable acting partnership of Mohanlal-Sreenivasan who always seems to be in a love-hate relationship. 

It is one of the most quotable films from Malayalam with even people who were born long after the film was made inserting them into everyday conversations. Late 80s and early 90s were the golden age for Malayalam Cinema and its greatest strength were the director-writer duos like Sathyan Anthikad-Sreenivasan, Sibi Malayil-Lohitadas, MT-Hariharan, Siddique-Lal and the one man show that was the late great Padmarajan. To supplement them we had the greatest actor India has ever seen in Mohanlal and a set of supporting actors who makes the biggest difference. It is very easy to contrast this with the level of talent plying in the industry now dominated by good technicians who don't have access to good writers and acting talent because they don't exist anymore or they are not able to get into the industry dominated by friend circles and nepotism. 

Nadodiakkttu is a near perfect film with a vast array of supporting characters in Pannikkar Ammavan (Shakaradi), Gaffoorkka (Mamukkoya), Driver Balan (Innocent), Pavanayi (Captain Raju) and Kovai Venketesan (Janardhanan) along with the main trio of Mohanlal-Sreenivasan-Tilakan. Even the characters who are just there for one scene like Bobby Kottarakkara and Seema makes their roles memorable. The film was followed up with two other films Pattanapravesham (Sathyan Anthikad) and Akkare Akkare Akkare (Priyadarshan) in which Mohanlal and Sreenivasan again donning the roles of Ramdas and Vijayan. Pattanapravesham is almost in the same level as Naodikkattu in terms of comedy but latter is the better film. The third one Akkare Akkare Akkare was not that bad but pales in comparison with the other two. I really hope the plan to have a fourth one never materializes.

Rating: 5/5