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Unniyarcha (1961)

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Kottayam Chellappan ...
Chandu
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Kunjiraman
Ragini ...
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Ballads of Northern Kerala
27 December 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I watched this movie in the 1970s. Though the theme is based on 'Vadakkan Pattukal' or Northern Ballads, how much of the Ballads itself is true history is debatable. The film versions of Northern Ballads such as Unniyarcha, Aromal Ckekavar, Aromalunni, Kannappanunni etc describe the story of the family of Aromal Chekavar, a hero North Kerala who was to 'Kalarippayattu', the martial arts of North Kerala as Brucee Lee was to Kungfu. He was a great exponent of this art which mainly involves sword fight and it is said that he never lost a fight in his life time. He was eventually killed in his sleep by his own cousin , Chandu, who was taking revenge for the rejection by Unniyarcha, Aromal's sister. Chandu was later killed in a sword fight by Aromalunni, Unniyarcha's son. Ironically a 1987 film version of the Northern Ballads, 'Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha' portrays Chandu as an innocent and honest person. Those interested should also watch the movie 'Thacholi Othenan', another hero, probably the more famous, who was immortalised by Sathyan, the superstar of the Malayalam film world of the 1950s and 60s.


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