7.7/10
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Aparan (1988)

| Mystery, Thriller
Viswanathan, new in town, soon learns that he is being chased by enemies of his look-alike, who is a con man. Vishwanathan tries to find out Uthaman before its too late, but things don't go as planned.

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... Vishwan
... (as Innocent)
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Viswanathan, new in town, soon learns that he is being chased by enemies of his look-alike, who is a con man. Vishwanathan tries to find out Uthaman before its too late, but things don't go as planned.

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Mystery | Thriller

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Parvathy, who plays Jayaram's sister in the film, later became his wife in real life. See more »

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The Birth of one of Kerala's Finest...
28 November 2009 | by See all my reviews

I managed to get around to watching one of the old Malayalam movies lying on my laptop. This was a movie by the deceased Padmarajan. The movie itself was a prime example of how Malayalam movies have deteriorated in the current millennium. The movie in question, Aparan, was released in the late 80's or the early 90's, probably what can be termed as the golden age of Malayalam Cinema. The movie was a throwback to the good old days, when Malayalam Cinema, despite operating on shoestring budgets, were powerhouses of story lines and performances. Those days, i used to take pride in the fact that, unlike Bollywood or the amazingly crass Tamil Industry, Malayalam movies never catered to the superstar culture. The story was the superstar. Alas, these days, the superstar effect seems to be more evident here now more than even the Tamil Industry. Its rare nowadays that a story based on a great actor comes out where the story is given precedence. It seems that the 'story' is woven around the star.

The movie marked the debut of Jayaram, a wonderful actor, who proceeded from then to give us some wonderfully sensitive and comic portrayals in a number of good movies. Here he plays the role of the typical unemployed graduate in desperate search of a job. In one of the uncountable interviews he attends, as he steps out for a coffee break, he is accosted by a couple of people and the police who believe that he is the one who has swindled them out of their hard earned money. Its only when the police inspector(Mukesh, in an inconsequential role) recognizes him as an old friend, that the confusion is resolved. Yet, the fact remains that there is someone who looks exactly like Viswanathan, on the run from the law. Viswanathan goes back home not telling his parents anything which transpired. However, he gets an appointment in the same city where he was mistaken. He takes up office and things seem to move normally initially, and he even manages to find a romantic interest with a girl in his office, Ambili(Shobana). But then his evil look alike rears his head. From then on the movie continues in a gripping manner till the thrilling climax.

The film has been made in a very taught and tight manner, without any unnecessary frills, in the usual unique Padmarajan style. The way the character deals with his helplessness, moves you to feel for him. Jayaram is excellent in his first movie, while the supporting cast (which everyone else is) does a fine job. His future wife, Parvathy, plays his sister in the movie and veteran actor Madhu plays his dad.

For those of you who grew up on a diet of great movies by Padmarajan, Bharatan et al, it is a way to get back. For the present generation of lovers of Malayalam Cinema, its a way to acquaint themselves with the glory days of Malayalam cinema and watch the flowering of one of our best talents, Jayaram.


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