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Jun 10, 2008

Akkara Kazhchakal

It had been a long time since I watched any Malayalam TV serial. Living close to the the Arctic circle has served as a natural inoculation against the said TV serials. The Malayalam channels understood(rightly) that Malayalam is not a popular language North of 60 deg N. It had worked well in my favor keeping me safe from the onslaught of emotianally charged pixel streams till Akkara Kazhchakal - a serial in Kairali channel recently crossed my radar. I chanced to see a mention of Akkara Kazhchakal on one of my virtual voyeuristic sallys in Orkut, searched youtube immediately afterwards and have been hooked on the serial ever since.

Akkara Kazhchakal is such a realistic portrayal of East coast Achayans that it is hard to believe it is not a reality show. Ajayan Venugoplan, the writer seems to have an indepth understanding of the East Coast Malayalis, most of them Christians who came to the US as nurses or husbands of the said nurses from seventies onwards.

Goergekuttychayan, the lead character is the life-breath of the serial. He carries the show on his capable shoulders with his mannerisms, accent and his general outlook on life. Other characters like Gregory aka Girigiri, Rincy - Georgekuttychayan's wife,their two kids, Mahesh and Babykuttan aka Bobby - the fresh-off-the-boat male nurses, each one embodies a unique segment found in every US Malayali community. The story ideas for each episode is refreshing and topical. It has been a long time since Malayalam TV media has come out with something that is entertaining and believable at the same time. Kudos to director Abi Varghese, Ajayan Venugopalan and the team at Kairali TV.

Edit 2011

Akkarakazchakal - the movie is coming soon. You can see the stills here.



Very well articulated review on Akkara Kazchakal. What makes it even more commemndable is that this is a no budget production by a bunch of enthusiastic artists doing it on week-ends.

agree with you completely. I had similar feeling about it..enjoy every moment of every episode..and after a long time I am laughing aloud seeing some serial!

Edey..I was tempted to post something on it in my blog..we need to spread the word ..right! Check it out if you have time.

Last summer this time, when my folks were visiting the US, I would wince when they would switch on "Ente Manasaputri" (not even sure if that's how it is spelt) or "Idea Star Singer" and similar trash that is so prevalent on prime-time TV! But with "Akkara Kazhchakal" I feel Malayalam TV has redeemed itself :)

I can see this serial being limited in its outreach; any attempt to increase its "appeal" beyond North America would only dilute the sharp wit and intelligence that makes this serial special. I still wish this gets more mileage than just a cult following on YouTube... so that it does not get killed by the channel due to limited viewership :(

btw, really nice blog. Interesting posts...

anonymous: hmmm....why do I feel like you might have more to with Akkara Kazhchakal than you choose to reveal?! :)

anamika: read your post. interesting. you might have come across george kuttichayan clones more often than i do.

savio: Very true. Again the core of person like George Kuttichayan will be the same whether he is in US, UK, Japan or South Africa and probably will be identifiable to lot of people. And also these days there are people and things that first get 'viral' on youtube then become famous in other forms of media(like Randy Pausch.)

ok i am a little confused with the last comment or the set of comments. Why is my name being attached to the last comment ("Randy Pausch"). Sorry I guess I missed something...