Into Harihar Nagar

So finally after quite some effort to get tickets (unusual for a Malayalam movie in Bangalore) I managed to see the much awaited ‘2 Harihar Nagar’. Everyone was talking about it, some to the extent that it is the best movie in Malayalam in a long time, which was quite believable looking at the standard of some of the recent flicks I had seen.

This post is not about a review for the movie, so I’ll keep it short. The movie was just about ok. First half was excellent with some good humour (if you can excuse some really bad PJs in between). Second half was at best average, too much emo and twists and turns. But enjoyable anyway. Lal (the director and producer) however has realized the power of nostalgia. Solely due to this, the movie is going to make big bucks. It works on that feeling you get when you think of the golden age of Malayalam cinema that ‘In Harihar Nagar’ was part of.

I was probably 5 years old when the original was released and I remember going to the theatre with my parents and cousins for this. My mind was too young to really grasp the full crux of all that was happening on screen. But watching it again (and again) during adulthood, made me realize how ‘real’ this movie was. The basic plot was too outrageous to be real, but what I mean are the fine details. Every silly joke in that movie, I have seen played around me or I can imagine being played around me. That was the real brilliance behind the original and why it turned out to be a cult classic in Kerala. Every person who has some ‘malluness’ in him, would know those punchlines by heart.

I have heard loads of complaints from my non-Keralite friends, saying that Malayalam films are too real (won’t say that about the recent ones though), that there is no feeling of escapism in them. Well I love ‘real’, and I think most Malayalees do too. Maybe we didn’t need that escapism, maybe it’s already provided to us by all the ‘gelf’ money, lazyness and all the booze that we didn’t need them in the movies. But ‘real’ films owned the market in Malayalam and probably that was the major reason why the recent ‘superhero larger-than-life’ films fail. They should go back to making films like they used to! Those Mohanlal ‘unemployed’ flicks, Mamootty’s family movies, Mukesh’s ‘fraud’ movies, Jayaram’s ‘how-to-escape-from-a-big-mess’ flicks, Padmarajan’s classics, Sreenivasan’s satires… aww.. it was such a beautiful world!

I got bit by the nostalgia bug again! Back to those old cds (.avi’s rather)… ;)

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