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Dec 4, 2008

Malabar Wedding

When Kathakali started getting old, the tourism industry of Kerala discovered Theyyam - the popular ritual dance of North Kerala, lesser known in the tourism circles but culturally much more alive than Kathakali. North Kerala or Malabar comes to the rescue once more when Malayalam movie industry has started running out of genuine Malayali cultural events as themes for their movies. This time around it is the custom of "sorakalyanam" which often accompanies weddings in North Malabar.

I do not know whether the tradition of sora-kalyanam is still going strong or not, but it was when 10-20 years ago when my cousin-brothers were getting married one by one. Sorakalyanam is an elaborate set of pranks and jokes played by the groom's friends on the newly wedded couple on their wedding day. Sometimes the jokes might get too harsh and end up in something serious, although this didn't happen very often.

Indrajith is the hero, Manukuttan - the local youth leader and organizer of several sorakalyanams. Unlike his brother Prithviraj, Indrajit has shown a wider range in his acting. Whether he is a villian, the comedian or the hero, I am yet to see him in a role that doesn't look natural on him. His team of friends in the film include Mamukkoya, Suraaj Venjarmoodu and others. The film-maker duo of Rajesh-Faisal have tried to tell a simple tale. It is one of the bearable Malayalam films of the recent times without the presence of over-bearing superstars. If not for the totally out-of-place climax and the introduction of a new character, which could have been avoided, it is an ok movie.