Friday, October 13, 2006

Thoovana Thumbigal( DragonFlies of the spraying rain ) - Malayalam 1987

Probably the best of Padmarajan, this is an awesome movie.A movie that has to be seen more than once and analyzed like a book.

The movie is about the character Jaya Krishnan. A stingy farmer and a clean guy in his village, he leads a dual life. He becomes a different person when he goes to the nearest city. He spends lavishly with his friends and visits the bar regularly in the city.As he had stayed and studied in the city during his college days, he has lots of friends in the city. His friends circle includes a pimp, who he address's as thangal(Babu Nampoothiri). One day thangal asks jayakrishnan's help to bring a new girl, clara(sumlatha) into his business. He asks him to write a letter like a mother superior of a church, asking clara to come to the city.This is to get the girl to the city with her father’s permission. Mean while jayakrishnan meets Radha(parvathi) a homely girl and falls in love with her.He goes and meets her and conveys his wishes to marry her.Radha refuses and insults him.

Thangal again meets Jaya Krishnan and asks for another help. Clara has come to town and he want's to know what kind of a girl clara is.Jaya krishnan who even though knows thangal for a long time and have setup many of his friends, has never touched a girl till now and firmly believes that the first girl that he touches should be his wife.But disappointed by radha's disapproval and the attraction towards the clara, he falls in love with her and spends a night with her.He is surprised to know that it was the first time for clara too.

He promises to marry clara as he is already guilty of the fact that he was the one who wrote the letter and brought her into the business. But clara runs off next morning and disappoints jaya krishnan. Radha changes her mind and starts loving jayakrishanan.Jaya krishnan is again caught in between two worlds. Between the homely radha and now prostitute clara. What happens and who he marries is the rest of the story.

You can say this as a simple love triangle or a great story depending on how much time you spend to understand the characters. On the first go this movie might seem as an average love triangle. But believe me it is not.It is one of the most beautiful characterization ever done in indian cinema.

The beauty of the movie lies in understanding and analyzing the characters. Why did clara run away?. Why is jaya krishnan going after clara, when radha has already come into his life?. Why does his facial expression change after making rishi drink or after setting him up with a girl?. Analyze and ask questions, the movie becomes bigger. Repeated viewing will make you understand the characters better and know what an awesome write padmarajan is.

Jayakrishnan is one of the beautiful characters Padmarajan has ever created.Jaya Krishnan is not a distant character. He is one of us.Many of us, do have dual lives.Two faces.One for the society and one for our self.Given india’s social setup, there are many characters like Jaya Krishnan living amongst us.Jaya Krishnan is a complete character, he balances everything in his life.He is not an out and out party guy.He is a family man, who escapes to another world now and then.He balances the good part and bad part. Padmarajan extends the dual personality of jayakrishnan to his love life too.Jaya krishnan the homely guys escapes to another world now and then through his visits to the city.On the love front also he does that by trying to meet clara again and again.But unlike his dual worlds he cannot go on with it in his love life and he is forced to take a stand.

On the other hand clara is a character that wants to be free, a character that does not want to get hurt. A deep character which does not reveal much of herself. She does not want to be caged into anything. Dark and mysterious, Clara is also a very good characterization.

Padmarjan nicely uses rain in the story.At the start when ever jaya krishnan comes in contact with clara it rains.It rains when he writes the first letter to bring her into business. It rains when he meets her the first time.It rains when he gets the message that clara is coming back to meet him.Jaya Krishnan takes these as a sign that clara was meant for him. But later it does not rain when he meets clara , as by that time clara has become a prostitute and jayakrishnan's love for her is not as strong as it was before.

There are some beautiful moments in the movie, Especially the scenes of jayakrishnan and clara.Jayakrishnan meets clara for the first time and they go out to the beach.Its night time and in that romantic hour, they both lay down in the sea shores on the waves and talk about there future.

Similarly when clara comes back after becoming a professional call girl.She meets jayakrishnan and when he asks her whether they should go to any hotel or room.She says that she does not want to go into any room.She just wants to walk around as she is sick of rooms.She says all that she sees in her profession is, walls, walls and walls.Bedroom walls,bathroom walls etc.Lets walk in the open space she says.They walk around the city all night.

The next day they take a lonely house on top of the hills.Padmarajan does not show any scenes of them staying inside the house,they spend there time outside the house under the open sky and stars.

On that hill, when they are talking, clara hears a cry.She asks jayakrishnan who is making that nosie.He says there is a mad man chained and locked inside a room.His legs has got lots of bruises because of the chain and he cries when ever the chain brushes the wounds. Clara says, she wants to be the wound in that mad man's legs. An un healing wound which has only relationship with the chain.


The film was adapted from padmarajan's novel "Udakappola".

Cast and Credit:
Mohanlal .... Jayakrishnan
Sumalatha .... Clara
Parvathi .... Radha
Asokan .... Rishi
Babu Nampoothiri .... Thangal
Srinath .... Madhavan
Sukumari .... Jayakrishnan's Mother
Jagathi Sreekumar .... Ravunni Nair
Sankaradi .... Radha's Father
M.G. Soman .... Moni Joseph

Original Music by
Johnson (background music)
Perumbavoor G. Raveendranath

Blessy who later on went to make movie like kazcha and Thanmathra was Padmarajan's assisant during this time.

Good acting by everyone.Mohanlal depicts the character jayakrishnan beautifully. The duality of the character comes out of him naturally.

As usual the movie has good music.Nice songs and theme music.

1)Onnam ragam Padi

Megam Poothu thudangi


you can listen to the songs here

This movie is available on DVD.As usual with bad subtitles.This DVD is released by sandhya films.The movie can be bought at there website here.

I got to see this movie very recently after a long time search... it was a friend who had asked me to watch it no matter what... and it was a WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE. I want to see it again, peacefully without picking up even any phone calls. And its a lovely review you have out here... Great work.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The English title of this movie was Butterflies of the Spraying Rain and not Dragon Flies. Well, it does like a wonderful experience to watch this movie once, so I think I better start searching for the DVD. Have you ever tried to write about Adoor Gopalakrishnan movies as well?
an indepth analysis of the lyrics of the song 'megham poothuthudangi' reveals lack of true geniusthe lyrics couldnt capture the mysterious beauty that is being portrayed by the uncomparable and incredible music.
still each time u listen to the music( especially 'onnam ragam paadi')u cant help falling in love wid it!!!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I agree with theresa. the lyrics of the song 'megham poothu thudangi' makes one feel disappointed . but i have really fallen in love with the music.And this is a mustwatch for every genuine lover of movies.
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