Theaters getting full. Ticket counters getting busier. Movie ratings going up. More and more reviews, write-ups and comments on the internet- some about the story, some others about the style, but most of them about the cinematography, the acting and the music. All of that in awe of one movie- NAYAKAN.
So, what makes this movie so special? Well, I had gotten the chance to see this movie in its crude form, when the background score for it was being worked on. Thanks to Prashant Pillai, the music director of the film, who also happens to be my brother. And right at that time, when I saw the first face of the film, I knew that it would create an entirely different impact on the audience.
Now, the film is out running successfully in theaters, and earning all kinds of reviews- positive, and well, not so positive. Either way, this flick has definitely got everyone talking, especially about how distinct the film is from the usual lot that Malayalam Cinema has seen.
As a layman who went and watched the 1st day, 1st show of the movie (Sridhar Theater, Kochi), here’s a list of some brilliant aspects of the movie Nayakan that you should really watch out for…
- The Style: Already from the time the trailers and posters of the movie came out, people were talking about the unique ‘style’ that this movie had. Yes, the movie IS very stylish. Unlike most of the films in Mollywood, there’s no hero walking proudly in slow motion, folding his mundu and sleeves, followed by a huge mass of people cheering and marching behind him, and the heavy trademark background music (BGM) that would add to the scene. Instead, there’s just one hero walking smartly, and without the moustache twist or the loud dialogue overdose, this guy makes a strong statement with his style and expression, and the mindblowing BGM hits at the right places, making you want to coo and clap for the scenes. You’ll see grand entries with guns and jeeps and ships and helicopters. Even the costumes of the characters depict style-be it the chick black suits Thilakan is seen in, or Indrajith’s vibrant Kathakali costume, his face painted, bare-chested and holding out a gun. The movie redefines style in Malayalam cinema, giving it an international feel.
- The acting: Nayakan has some of Malayalam’s most versatile actors like Thilakan, Jagadhee and Siddhique, as well as some relatively new and promising talents, especially Dhanya Mary Varghese. Thilakan has got some amazing scenes in the movie, and the favourite one among the audience is a police station scene. Jagadhee’s is a power-packed role, and this is undoubtedly one of his best movies till date. Siddhique’s is a villainous character in the film, and he plays it so well, that you fear and despise his character at the same time. And as for the Nayakan himself, I guess this movie is as good as a debut for him. He is seen in a completely different avatar: right from his physique to the depth in his voice. He has had to depict many roles and emotions in this movie, and has done more than justice to each one of them. This movie is definitely a turning point in his career, and will win him a whole lot of fans.
Even apart from these actors, the film makes it evident that every other actor has given his best to this film. And for having extracted such great acting from the cast, director Lijo Jose Pellissery deserves to be applauded.
- The music: Read the reviews online and you’ll get a glimpse of the impact the music of the film has made. This is the first commercial film project of the music director Prashant Pillai, whose music has been described as adipoli and amazing almost everywhere. There are only three soundtracks in the film; the title track ‘Nayakan’ sung by Indrajith himself, another one called ‘Katte Vaayo’, a song describing the hero’s journey to the top, sung by Renjini Jose, and a melodious track sung by me, which captures the childhood memories of the hero. Just three tracks, but all three of them refreshingly different. The tracks have an altogether international feel, and the composer has introduced a lot of newness to the sound of Malayalam cinema. One such new element is the use of dhol tasha in one of the versions, two instruments played during Ganeshotsav celebrations in Maharashtra. The background score is gripping; it multiplies the effect of the dialogues and the scene. The BGM has been specially appreciated by the masses for its blend of authentic kathakali beats and techno elements from the West. It is one of the reasons why you MUST watch this movie in the theaters, and not its pirated version.
- The dialogues: The movie is filled with quite a few powerful and also witty dialogues, but as I said earlier, they aren’t conspicuously loud and don’t come with bulky words. They’re subtle killers, punched in at the right places, and if you are completely ‘in’ the movie, you’ll love them. Some of the best dialogues in the movie have been rendered by Jagadee’s character; his dialogues brilliantly depict the story’s connection to mythological episodes and to the different veshams in Kathakali.
- The action: Just one word. Wow. Who doesn’t love action sequences in movies, where the hero is dramatically fighting the villain, and is victorious in the end? The visual effects are splendid; and the sound effects add to it. The best part you need to notice: there’s not much slow motion, and there’s not much background music throughout the action scenes. So you cannot just hear, but also ‘feel’ the clanging and the smashing and the banging and the heaving. Wow. Action, like never before.
- The Cinematography: So many people who’ve watched the movie are saying, “Kochi looks so much better in the film. It looks even better than Malaysia!” Most of the movie has been shot in Kerala, but a part of it has been done in Malaysia, (you can catch a glimpse in the video of the song Katte Vaayo). Be it the magnificent and green village shots, the busy city-street shots or the snapshots of Malaysia, cinematographer Manoj Paramahansa has created magic with his camera.
- The power of ‘New’: One of the probable reasons why Naayakan has turned out to be unique is its young and almost ‘new’ team. Debutant Director Lijo Jose Pellissery, who has a great taste for films and music, has proved his mettle right in his first film. Music Director Prashant Pillai has put together some amazing tracks for the film, creating a new wave of music in the Malayalam film industry and among the audiences. Dhanya Mary Varghese, a relatively new actress is seen in a role entirely different from the previous ones. And as for Indrajith, as I mentioned earlier, this movie will sure prove to be like a ‘second debut’ of his career. Apart from these mainstream members of the cast and crew, every other person who has contributed to the film appears to have done so with utmost perfection and enthusiasm. No wonder people are saying that the movie’s got something ‘New’!
So, if you haven’t watched the movie yet, doubting about the goodness of this film and the worth of your time and money, free yourself of all that inhibition and go, watch the movie. It has got style, action, romance, drama- everything to make it the perfect entertainer!
Hey, and also check out the website: www.nayakanthemovie.com