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Oct 5, 2010

Bhargavi Nilayam

Bhargavi Nilayam is one of the best ghost stories to come out of Malayalam ever. Vaikom Muhammad Basheer's literary gem was transformed for screen by director A.Vincent. It was probably a high grossing film of those days with two dashing young heroes and a beautiful heroine at the helm of a haunting and popular story.

I saw this movie a long time back. The reason I am writing a review now when my memories of the movie is almost unreadable is because today I read an article about Madhu, one of the heroes of the movie. Madhu is perhaps 'the' unsung hero of Malayalam film industry. He was a mainstream actor, had done considerable number of hero roles during his heyday and is perhaps the only remaining member from the old school of Malayalam cinema who is still acting. He indeed did have an incredibly long innings, I hope he continue to prosper.

In Bhargavi Nilayam Madhu plays the character of the novelist(Mr.Basheer himself) who rents a house inhabited by a young female ghost(Vijaya Nirmala). He befriends the ghost and thereby comes to know the story behind her untimely demise. In true Basheer fashion, even though it is a ghost story, it is a light-hearted romantic flick. Prem Nazir plays the ghost lady's love interest in her life before death.

The movie has some incredibly melodious and yet simple songs, which became a part of Malayali's musical heritage once they were released in 1964. The hit song machine team was composed of P.Bhaskaran, Baburaj, Yesudas and Janaki.

I read some interesting trivia about Madhu(of course that is why I wrote this post.) Madhu's original name was P.Madhavan Nair. He began his career as a Hindi lecturer, quit it to pursue his dream of acting. He had acted in a Bollywood movie in a major role before acting in Bollywood movies had become a fashion or news. It was Saat Hindustani, which was also Amitabh Bachchan's debut vehicle. Madhu got several Bollywood offers after this to be cast as a handsome villain which he rejected because of longer shooting schedules of Hindi movies and also to avoid being typecast a tall handsome villain who didn't do much else than kidnap the heroine and get beaten up by the hero in the climax scene.



Hi Deeptea,
Landed up at this post on my trawling on Madhu, the actor, and sat around and read through almost all of your posts on Malayalam cinema. :) Love your concise style, and can also relate to the passion for the old classics. Have bookmarked DBF and would surely be coming around to know your perspectives on the classics as and when you update them.
Keep Writing. :)
PS. Any plans of migrating this also to Wordpress like :)