‘Gulmohur’ - a breath of fresh air (Malayalam Film Review; Rating ***)

October 4th, 2008 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Film: “Gulmohur”; Director: Jayaraj; Cast: Renjith, Siddique, Meenu Mathews, Nishant Sagar, Jagathy Sreekumar; Music: Johnson; Rating: ***Despite treading the beaten path of Maoist violence in Left-leaning Kerala, “Gulmohur” is a breath of fresh air.

Director Jayaraj has utilised the underplaying genius of fellow megaphone wielder Renjith to the optimum and created a gem. Renjith, the maker of hit films like “Nandanam” and “Ravanaprabhu”, shines as an actor here.

Narrated in a flashback mode, “Gulmohur” revolves around Induchoodan (Renjith), the headmaster of a school, and his revolutionary past. Induchoodan is a mellowed, convicted Maoist who relives his past when he meets with a former comrade-in-arms Harikrishnan (Siddique). Induchoodan did not betray his comrade even under severe torture and serves a sentence for killing the wrong man.

After meeting his old friend, Induchoodan’s thoughts go back to the days when he was a young guest lecturer at a college. We are taken back to the time when Induchoodan, Harikrishnan and a group of friends were ignited by revolutionary ideologies and had set out to fight corruption and exploitation. Meenu Mathews plays a student in Induchoodan’s college and provides the film with some romantic angle.

While Renjith and Siddique are brilliant, Meenu, Jagathy and Sagar lend able support.

Sticking to the basics of simple storytelling, Jayaraj has proved that good cinema is truly the nebula that produces stars.

Debutante scriptwriter Deedi Damodaran deserves a special pat for a beautiful narrative.

Lyrics by O.N.V. Kurup and Johnson’s music galvanise the audience against class injustice and Radhakrishnan’s cinematography etches the anguish of the downtrodden.

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