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Ninamaninja Kaalpaadukal (1963)

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A Classic Malayalam Story...
5 September 2014 | by (Kerala,India) – See all my reviews

I'm writing - and viewed, this, as an English non-Indian, who simply loves film and is venturing from more obvious World Cinema, into the more obscure and possibly more rewarding.

So, I'm more concerned with the story than who's playing whom and such. I came across the story, Ninamaninha Kalpadukal.

The universal and accessible story, written is of the trials Indo- China war. Add family issues and you've got a nice pot-boiler of emotion, drama and pathos throughout the 160 minute run-time.

Many think, wrongly, that Indian cinema is nothing but Bollywood - lightweight singing and dancing and that serious issues on Life are either treated in a dismissive way, or not at all. In many ways, this story could be Shakespearian, or made for the Golden era of Hollywood. What makes it endlessly fascinating is of course the different culture, from marriage and fidelity to the simple poetic beauty in the landscape and costume.

There is some singing and dancing in this 1963 black & white version, but little compared to a Mollywood production and much of what there is are the rituals of the working ladies that venture into Ninamaninha Kalpadukal's sordid existence.

Naturally, this monochrome , is poorer in picture and sound quality. Mine (cover exactly as shown) had a varying faint green/olive colour cast, had quite a few blemishes picked up through time and was slightly soft. The sound is OK, if you're not fussy. However, I know that this quality is typical, for Malayalam film of this period. However, one gets used to it and almost comforted by it, being more intense, somehow. At least is doesn't look like a video- transfer, thankfully. From what I gather, many agree that N.N Pisharadi's film, here, is the definitive adaption. If the story and the acting and a purer form of beauty is what you're after, then this one will have you enthralled. Though the film itself is a four and half starrer, I've not rounded it up, due to transfer quality issue.


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