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The rappakal Movie Review

A Delectable Family Entertainer
Rating: 0.5/5

Mammootty has proved time and again that he is at his best in family-oriented films. Arayannangalude Veedu, Valsalyam, Valiettan, Kazhcha, Vesham are some of the films which have evoked wholehearted response from the cine-goers. It is a big relief to note that after a brief flirtation with flippancy in Thommanum Makkalum and Thaskaraveeran, the Malayalam megastar is back on familiar ground in Rappakal (Day and Night). The result of the Mammootty-Kamal team-up is a delectable family entertainer.

This is the second time Mammootty and Kamal have come together, the first time being in Azhagiya Ravanan. Family-centric plots are Kamal's forte too. Two of his films that spring to mind are Manju Poloru Penkutty and Perumazhakkalam, both of which secured critical as well as popular acclaim.

Another strong point of Rappakal is competent performances from national award winners, Mammootty and Sarada. And when it is propped up by a powerful script (TA Razack) and crisp dialogues, the outcome is a fare that appeals to all, cutting across gender and age barriers.

An aristocratic Nair home called Easwaramangalam Kovikakam is the hub of action in Rappakal. And the soul of the ancestral home is the Head of the family Saraswathi Amma (Sarada) and her loyal servant Krishnan (Mammootty). Krishnan knows the home like the back of his palm. Nothing happens there without his knowledge. Such is Saraswathi Amma's faith in the simpleton who came to the house as a child. Krishnan is like a son to her.

Of course, Saraswathi Amma has her own children. But they are all away, working in the cities.

Saraswathi Amma is averse to leaving the ancestral home. So she lives there alone with only Krishnan to give her affectionate company.

The even tenor of their life is disturbed when news floats in that Saraswathi Amma's children and other family members will soon come calling. To cope with the additional kitchen work, a new maidservant Gowri (Nayanthara) is drafted. Saraswathi Amma is excited like a child about the imminent get-together.

Little is she aware of the bombshell the children are about to drop on her. The real purpose of the get-together is to discuss partition, which is anathema to a shocked Saraswathi Amma.

But she has to yield to the collective will of her children. And willy-nilly the proud and elderly Nair lady is forced to live with her youngest son (Suresh Krishna) in the city. One is reminded of another Malayalam movie, Thingalazcha Oru Nalla Divasam, which has a similar theme.

Will Saraswathi Amma survive the traumatic experience? Do Krishnan and Gowri rush to her rescue? That forms the remainder of this absorbing family drama.

It is a pleasure to watch Mammootty and Sarada vie for the acting honours. The titans match their histrionic skills with such finesse that there is little to choose between the two. But it is a pleasant surprise to see Nayanthara in a totally deglamourised role as the maidservant. And the newcomer has come out with a convincing portrayal of the anguish and helplessness of a marginal player in the family theatre. She is totally devoid of glamour and none the worse for it!

Then there is Salim Kumar whose mahout provides the comic element, and Geethu Mohandas who plays an impressive writer. Janardhanan, Balachandra Menon and Vijayaraghavan acquit themselves well in supportive roles.

Mohan Sithara's music meshes well with the mood of the movie. One song, “Katha Katha” sung by Yesudas has caught on popular imagination.

All in all, Rappakal is a simple story told in a simple way. Kamal takes a mighty swipe at modernity that kills relationships and blights fraternal bonds. No matter the hurdles, love for the soil and kin triumph in the end. That is the abiding message of Rappakal. And Kamal has conveyed it convincingly.

Eminently Watchable.

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Movie Review : A Delectable Family Entertainer (0.5/5)
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