24 September 2015

Njan Samvidhanam Cheyyum

The digital technology has made the process of film making so easy that anyone with a decent cell phone and internet connection can claim to be a filmmaker, so, eyebrows are not raised or people do not get shocked when they hear the phrase “I’m going to be a director” as they did in the past. But, veteran actor-director Balachandra Menon would like us to believe that things have not changed and breaking into this field is an arduous thing as it was when he was in his prime. Why else you will have a mother of a daughter on the threshold of her twenties doing a degree in visual communication freaks out when her daughter expresses a desire to be a film maker after completing her graduation.

But this is not story of the young girl trying to break into a male bastion called film direction, it is the story of her middle aged father who on a whim decides that he will direct a film after chucking a cushy job as a bureaucrat in a film corporation.

Basically, this film is just about Balachandra Menon’s observations about the happenings in the industry while he was away. He begins with leading ladies opting to marry and leave the industry at the peak of their career and coming back after a couple of years and seeking divorce. This topic discussed in the television news and chat shows, we see a bank manager named Gayathri making a few progressive points about leading a happy family life where she talks about an individuals freedom inside the marriage, trust , faith and such things. The next thing we see is she conducting a homam at home for her daughter who is adamant to become a film director.

Gayathri is the wife of Krishna Das (Balachandra Menon) who has stayed separately from his wife due to his transferable job. She shows a brave face in public but she is insecure from inside regarding her husband’s lifestyle. She calls him back to advise their daughter against going into films, but he eventually announces that he is going to direct a film. It takes just a little while to convince her and the film gets made in a jiffy . It is praised in the preview for its natural and realist treatment in the previews.

In the second half the attention shifts to the jury of the state awards comprising of Menaka, Renji Panikkar, Vineeth, Ravindran and others. Here we get to see the deliberations, fights, manipulations and such things going on inside the jury and how deserving and meritorious films get discarded for some undeserving and crass works. Here too Balachandra Menon takes the events that have happened in the state award juries in the last few years.

The treatment of this film is tacky to put it mildly it does not have anything. That feels of some substance or having an emotional core making us feel sorry for the director we knew as Balachandra Menon in the past.

As it appeared in Rediff.  

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