Banner: Aashirwad Cinemas
Cast: Mohanlal, Meera Jasmine, Suganya, Asokhan, Vijayaraghavan, Mohini, Muthumani, Kripa, Mamukoya, Baby Nivedhitha
Direction: Sathyan Anthikkad
Production: Antony Perumbavoor
Music: Ilayaraja – Gireesh Puthencherry
Sathyan Anthikad, the biggest brand name in Malayalam cinema after the superstars, is certainly in no mood to take chances. If you are Malayalam cinema’s “ladies and family specialist” who has his own following among the audiences, you can’t afford to move away from your basic formula that has survived for nearly 30 years.
Once again in Innathe Chinthavishayam, Sathyan’s 2008 Vishukaineetam, he caters to his core audiences. There is nothing new story wise or in presentation and it’s the same old Kadumanga (tender mango pickle) in tetra pack, which has its own unique taste. And Mohanlal the greatest entertainer in Malayalam cinema does his “do-gooder” act, along with Meera. Does the Sathyan- Mohanlal combo succeed? “Yes” to a certain extent, as they have come out with another feel-good family entertainer with a topical message.
The film’s focus is on three women and their families and moves away from the regular pattern of telling the story through the eyes of its larger-than-life hero. In fact the hero plays second fiddle to the three women and acts more as a Suthradhar who takes the story forward. The writer-director’s agenda is to examine the problems that seem to plague marital life today and how urbanisation has caused havoc in personal relationships.
The film opens with a voice-over from the director about three couples who are facing martial discord and are on the verge of splitting up. Meet Dr Murali Krishnan (Mukesh) a successful dentist who married Tressa (Sukanya), and has a 10 year-old daughter Lakshmi who is the apple of their eyes. However Murali has a roving eye and is a skirt chaser and his mobile has male names for all his female friends, and soon is cornered by his wife which leads to the dentist walking out on his family.
Pitambaran (Vijayraghavan) who was doing well in the gulf throws up his job to live with his wife Premila (Mohini) and their two lovely children, as he has an inferiority complex stemming from the fact that she is beautiful. Pitambaran is always suspicious of his wife’s movements, which leads to a showdown between the two. Premila in disgust moves out of her home and goes to live with her rich father, while Pitambaran is an egoist who believes he is right.
Similarly the well educated Rehna (Muthumani) married into an orthodox Muslim family consisting of her husband Nassar (Asokhan), his parents and relatives feel suffocated as they are not allowing her the freedom to work as an advocate. She rebels against her husband and his family and starts working independently.
Meanwhile our hero Gopa Kumar (Mohanlal) or GK, a garment exporter buys Dr Murali Krishnan’s house and when he and the broker Imanuel (Innocent) along with the cook Shajahan (Mammookoya) tries to move into the house they find it still occupied by Tressa. GK does not want to resort to police help because he is “caring and has a large heart that tries to reach across to everybody he meets” including taking care of women in distress! Soon Gopan wins over Tressa her daughter, and the two other women Premila and Rehna who are her ‘soul buddies’ from college days. Gopan along with his new fashion designer Kamla (Meera Jasmine) plays the good Samaritan and solves all their problems and bring the three feuding couples together.
The first half of the film is a rollicking and funny, while the second half drags as Sathyan repeats the gags he has already shown in the first half. The film has no story, as it is string together by a series of incidents. All the women characters are strong, while the men are all weak in comparison. Mohanlal oozes sincerity and he is the pivot around which the film revolves, and his ability to bring his character vibrantly to life with all the nuances of tenderness and humour at his disposal, is reason enough to see this film.
Meera repeats her Rasathantram act, as the cute girl with a sad past, while Sukanya, Muthumani and Mohini are a treat to watch as the three women with problems in their marriage while the men who play their husbands Mukesh, Vijayaraghavan and Asokhan are adequate.
Ilayaraja’s music is melodious, though picturisation is a carbon copy of Sathyan’s earlier films. Innathe Chinthavishayam has its flaws but it must be watched because it is able to recreate the Sathyan magic which our families love.