Friday, September 07, 2007

Arimpara(Wart) -Malayalam - 2003

When is indian cinema going to appreciate directors who experiment with forms, when are we ever going to come out of stories of a poor man/woman suffering in poverty?.Year after year the national awards are given to directors who deal with serious social issues and people like murali who are working hard to bring cinematic excellence by experimenting with forms are forgotten.This is a movie that was hardly recognized in india but was well received in cannes and internationally. This is one beautiful movie from an awesome director.Murali sure is a director to lookout in the future.The brightest star among all the directors in india, he seems to be one of the few indian directors who can make movies that can compete at the international level.

Based on O.V.Vijaya's story of the same name,this is the story of krishnan unni and his wart.Well at least that's what it is from the face of it.But there is more to this movie.Krishnan unnni is a landlord living happily with his wife and son.Krishnan unni comes from a family that is well respected in the village.But things have changed now, laborers are no more the bonded slaves, who used to bend over for their landlords .Krishnan unni still lives in the past glory days and refuses to change with time.The story takes a kafkaish turn when a wart in his face takes a life of its own.what happens to krishnan unni is the story.

The movie is a masterpiece in the way it is told.Murali beautifully shifts the story from one end to the other.At first it is slow, murali takes time in explaining the pastoral and simple life that krishnan unni leads.Krishnan being playful with his kid, the easy going life etc.Changes with the wart are also gradual.But as it grows there is a big tone change in the movie from the pastoral setup it almost becomes a david cronenberg type movie.

Murali at the start shows an evening in which the father and son go to the temple lit with hundreds of lamps reflecting on the pond to the gory gory wart .By juxtaposing this two different setup, he greatly disturbs the audiences.Given the low budget of the movie , the effect murali brings forth is great.I wish all those people who talk about the problem of money in making good movies watch this one.

Good Acting by everyone especially Nedunudi venu, as usual he makes you beleive the character to the core.



The wart is a Metaphors in the movie.This is my take on what murali is trying to convey.I think the wart is used to convey the burden of our old customs and traditions.Krishnan, who is well rooted in the old traditional ways, refuses to change with the times. He refuses to get it operated, but tries to cure it with old way of herbal medicine.And the lesson here is if you don't change with time, the old customs and blind faith will become a burden and if you keep on doing that, there will be a time when they will take over you, meaning all your decisions will be based on how traditionally you were doing it or what the old scriptures or astrological charts dictate you.And after a while these old traditions and customs, will be taken out as something personal to an individual or a group and would be associated with god,it would be made into something holy.Now everybody has to do it as it is divine. i think that's how most of the old customs and traditions would have come into place.

Murali in the end shows how the wart which was growing in him escapes from krishnan unni and becomes a huge elephant.There are a bunch of priests who are looking at the elephant and they comment, such a big animal, we should keep it in the temple.The wart which was personal to one person has become divine and holy to everyone now.All he had to do to cure the WART was seeks the help of science.

Murali Nair

Nedumudi on arimpara
Nedumudi Venu
Nedumudi on wiki
Murali Nair

Cannes: Who cares?
Cannes: wake up call for India
Nedumudi venu on Murali Nair

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