Thursday, October 12, 2006

Njan Gandharvan(I, The Celestial Lover) -Malayalam 1991

Last of padmarajan's movie.This is a beautiful fantasy story, filled with magical moments. Many movies were inspired by wim Wender's "Wings of Desire", like City of angels etc.Padmarajan takes a leaf out of Wings of Desire and spins the story around our mythology and legends for this movie.Unlike the other movies where the angels are philosophical and dull, the gandharvan in this movie is a lively character. Padmarajan enriches the scenes of gandharvan with his imagination. When ever he appears there is a feast for your senses. Beautiful visuals, good background music, nice dialogues/songs and the characters talk about how there is a good smell of Palla flower when ever he appears.

First of all who is a gandharvan?. Gandharvans are celestial men, who are very good musicians.There job is supposed to keep the deva's in swarg(paradise) happy with their music .They are also big womanizer's, who often get caught. If they are found guilty they are punished to stay away from paradise and spend a certain time on earth. The gandarvans during their stay on earth, keep on doing what they are well know for, seduce women. They seduce women on earth and go back to paradise after there punishment time is over.

This movie is about one such gandharvan and bama the girl that he falls in love with. Bama is a college student. She goes on a tour to some sea town and while standing at the beach, she gets a statue. A beautiful statue that turns into a man at night.This particular gandharvan is someone who does not enjoy paradise and wants to leave everything and live like a normal man on earth. Unlike the usual gandravan who just use the women of earth, He falls in love with bama and breaks some of the rules that a gandharvan is supposed to follow. The Gods come to know about it and order the gandharvan to come back to paradise or face punishment.The gandarvan is in love with bama and he does nto want to go back. Did those lovers succeed in their love or not is the rest of the story.

The movie is lyrical.The scenes are normal and realistic.But when ever the gandharvan appears it becomes lyrical and pure imagination. The movie has a strong sexual undertone, but there are no revealing or sexual scenes in the movie. Padmarajan at the later part in the movie, wastes many scene by making the gandarvan a simple magician.

This is a story that is a pure fantasy and it is hard to convince the audience about a gandharvan coming and falling in love with a girl on earth.A slight mistake could screw up the whole story.But this is where padmarajan proves why he is a great writer/director. The screen play is done in such a way that you don’t have any time to question the setup of the movie. You are sucked into it right from the start and take the story as it is and enjoy the lyrical quality of the story.

Cast and Credit:
Nitish Bharadwaj .... Gandharvan
Suparna .... Bhama
M.G. Soman .... Gopalakrishnan Nair
Ganesh Kumar .... Pradeep
Philomina .... Bhama's Grandmother
Vinduja Menon .... Bhama's Sister
Thezni Khan .... Bhama's Friend
Sulakshana .... Bhama's Mother
I.V.Sasi .... Bhama's Father

Art Director for this movie is Rajiv Anchal. Who later became a director and directed movies like Guru.

Music is by Jhonson.Like many of padmarajan's other movies, this one also has some melodious songs and BGM.The songs are classical based and Yesudoss who is called the "Gana Gandharvan" renders them beautifully.
Listen to the songs here

You Tube Links




Padmarajan's movies have always been known for their artistic superiority and musical influence. It seems to be a different kind of a movie and surely, I will try my level best to catch it up asap.
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