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Feb 27, 2012


Blessy won’t be making 3D any time soon. Like we care, right? Blessy’s style of moving making is one dimensional, his stories absolutely require characters not to have any depth. But then again I can’t go on my spiteful tirade against Blessy  because he at least makes movies, I am just an armchair critic.

From my armchair, actually a couch, Pranayam is one of the better Blessy movies, the credit should go to Mohanlal and Anupam Kher. Two phenomenal actors doing a remarkable job within the set one dimensional framework. Jayaprada has done okay, then again poignant female roles in Malayalam only require expertise in various degrees and categories of crying – sobbing, weeping, sniveling, moaning, bawling, whimpering, screaming, blubbing, wailing – are like the navarasas of acting skills necessary in a Malayalam actress’s repertoire. It also helps if you are a classical dancer or a Kalathilakam. 

I was wondering whether we didn’t have any homegrown actresses who could’ve replaced Jayaprada in this role. Late Srividya and Jayabharathi come to mind. They obviously didn’t make it into Blessy’s mind while he was  doing the casting.

Although shot in color, characerization is typical Blessy – black and white with no greys. In the white corner we have the three main characters – Anupam Kher, Jayaprada and Mohanlal along with Anoop Menon as Anupam Kher’s son and there is the girl who plays Anoop Menon’s daughter. Every other significant character is in the black corner, all of them qualify as outright demons with little or no understanding of human condition besides theirs. 

While the movie tugs at the heartstrings occasionally, all that tugging was precipitated by the cinematic liberty taken by Blessy by creating the characters in black corner who are devoid of any greys. My favorite hippie era poet singer, the sounds of Leonard Cohen haunts this movie, so does Blessy’s personal philosophical injections via Mohanlal’s dialogs. Digital butterflies and birds show up at strategic scenes a la M.Mukandan Velliankalu and dragon flies (ref: The Legend of Khasak.)

Inspite of all this I am immensely glad Blessy is making progress – Kaazcha and Tanmatra were tortures, Calcutta News was forgettable, Palunku was actually watcheable, Bhramaram was okay if you take it as a pyscho-social thriller and now we have Pranayam which compared to his first two movies could be deemed a classic. Worth watching, while you are at it try those 3D glasses to get some depth.