Chandrolsavam – An in-depth analysis

In Malayalam cinema, there is no ordinary everyday love. It’s always the flawless protagonists falling in flawless love with some poetic adjectives thrown around. One such flawless (also, pointless) love story is Chandrolsavam.

chandrolsavam movie poster

Now, first things first. Chandrolsavam is a movie which has no pretensions on the position of women in this society. This was early 2000s, and director Ranjith gave no flying fuck about women.

ranjith and women chandrolsavam

A minute or two into the movie, we realize it; the lead woman, Indu, is just a body desired by men in the village. She is apparently in love with Chirakkal Srihari, something that the entire village knows about. But her fiancee gives zero fucks, because he knows the woman will come his way after she has his children. Not my reading, he literally spills it out.

As we eagerly wait to know who this Srihari is, a drunken middle aged guy starts a monologue about his love for Indu. Chirakkal Srihari, an apparent feudal lord of the village, lives in Varikkasery Mana – the home of all mallu upper caste heroes. He is heartbroken, because Indu has been forced to choose someone else. He is also not going to fight it and save her from an undesired marriage because that would be “revolution”- not him being a lazy ass.

mohanlal chandrolsavam review

Just as Srihari plans to be the next Devdas, someone attacks the fiancee (now groom) and blames it on Srihari. Everyone believes the goon blindly, and Srihari is jailed. The poor groom who was expecting an extended honeymoon that would result in a couple of offsprings is now half paralysed (read broken dick).

Coming to present day, a pseudo intellectual-pretentious AF-wannabe writer, Kuttiraman a.k.a KR is narrating this apparently ‘great’ love story of Indu and Srihari to a bunch of jobless teenagers. Methinks, we should give praise where it is due. Although in plain sight we wouldn’t notice, the Wannabe writer is actually a meta reference to Ranjith himself, the writer-director who’s telling us the story of Indu-Srihari. Did I tell you that the meta-character is also a name dropper? Coincidence much?

jagadeesh in chandrolsavam ranjith

The only role of this Wannabe writer is to tell us what is happening in the movie. Like, literally, he would just blurt out what is going to happen or tell us what we should think about a certain situation.

If you think the meta-references stop there, hold your horses.

So Srihari is coming back from Paris via Delhi to Ottapalam and all the rich elites in the village are unassumingly happy.

Ranjith & Paris : a better love story than Twilight. In his head, Paris is the place where foriegn chicas swoon over Mallu men.

Thankfully, in this movie, the protagonist’s friends are of his age as well, not the usual bunch. Refreshingly, we have representatives from each religion and also a woman! OMFG I’m fainting with all the ‘progressive’ elements in this movie.The friends were expecting goodies from Paris, but sadly Srihari doesn’t seem to be carrying even an underwear to change.

Srihari, unfortunately, has come back with a disease – Multiple Personality Disorder. Possibly a consequence of Obsessive Fan Syndrome (feat. Mohanlal), Srihari unconsciously becomes Sagar Kottapuram or Dr. Sunny or Jagannathan in seconds. Now that his normal self – an entitled upper caste shit talker – is close to most of the above characters, his friends fail to notice the illness.

aaram thampuran and chandrolsavam mohanlal
Aaram Thampuran (L): Chandrolsavam (R)

Just for your sake, I shall tell you that the only way to spot the ‘normal’ Srihari is to look at his attire. Is he wearing something that causes cringe from down under? Congratulations, you have found the right personality, I mean who in their frigging senses wear reddish brown cargos with a fugly shirt and jiggles around like he is part of some nursery jingle. Are you even for real, bro?

mohanlal instagram

You’d think the Srihari saga ends there, sorry, nope, not yet. If your Malayalam II paper could talk, that is Srihari for you.

Srihari, who might have watched a million Mohanlal interviews typically answers like this if someone asks, “What’s up?”

“Is there anything like what’s up? Sometimes it is a ceiling, right? But above the ceiling we have clouds, right? Clouds are in the sky. Sky has birds, birds fly, right? Sometimes birds die in flight. Some birds migrate. Some birds perch on cows. We eat cow, isn’t it? But if we eat cow, RSS will kill us. Then, what is the meaning of ‘what’s up’? Nothing is up, maybe except my cock that’s persistently up when I lie in the lap of Claude.”

Add to it, some veena music, and here we have our own intellectual bullshit of the century.

ezgif.com-add-text (4)

Srihari also likes to do this dude stuff of bragging to his male friends about his sexcapades with women. Yeah, right, with that cargos, sure thing.

chandrolsavam

Coming back to the plot, Srihari now tries to clear his name by beating up the previous goon who had stabbed Indu’s groom (a.k.a present hubby).

bdsm_chandrolsavam

He does, and everyone believes him, easily.

Had they listened to Srihari in the beginning 15 minutes, this movie would have ended real quick. Sigh.

By now, we realize the main villain too is another rich feudal guy who is smitten by Indu that he is trying all creepy ways to get her on bed.

So who is this Indu, really?

The relevance of Indu in the movie is so much so that if you replace her with a puppy, no one would notice something changed. Puppy comes, yelps quietly, stares at everyone with her puppy eyes, and obeys everyone without any qualms.

(On a slightly different note, a movie with three men fighting with each other to adopt an actual puppy would have burst my ovaries)

Out of pure research interest, I tracked the number of dialogues Indu has vs rest of the BS in the movie.

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 20.24.27

Not exaggerating, Srihari’s stupid catch phrase “Best Kanna Best” has more occurrences than Indu herself!

bechdel test malayalam movies chandrolsavam
Bechdel test asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.

To no one’s surprise Indu’s hubby gets killed. But before dying, the half paralysed hubby managed to write a virginity certificate for Indu addressed to Srihari. Srihari is relieved that the hymen is intact and pulls a mi casa su casa with Indu.

But, since our writer is also a moralistic a-hole, there is a character solely made to serve the purpose of restoring morale- Srihari’s father’s ex-girlfriend. Who’d think of such a relation, I will never know. She is made to come and stay with Indu and Srihari because unmarried couple staying under one roof is a grave sin.

By now, we have every reason to think the movie will end, but enter a woman, Durga, who is considered as a vamp – because she is bold, is friendly with Srihari, and also drinks. If the audience doesn’t actually feel that she is a vamp, we have the Wannabe writer to tell us she is and doubt their relationship.

It seems Durga is taking Srihari back to Delhi and has booked tickets for both. Everyone rounds up and decides to interrogate her unabashedly. To our relief, Durga drops the bomb pretty quickly – it is Srihari’s Multiple Personality Disorder that has progressed from neurosis to psychosis and that he ran away from Delhi during the treatment. Seriously, with everything that Srihari was doing from the beginning, anyone could have guessed that.

Is a movie actually cliched enough if it doesn’t have a macho hero beating up a villain?

Out of nowhere, our creepy villain kidnaps Indu and plans to dress her up as a bride and rape her. In case we didn’t get the reference, the villain happily tells us that this is like Ravan kidnapping Sita. Really guys, this is one of the movies where you can keep the brain at home and watch. Obviously Srihari lands just in time claiming that it was his “idea” to send Indu and track the villain’s place. OMFG, I am done! Will this guy ever accept his pitfalls?

chandro_always
In a parallel universe

The movie doesn’t end here either. Sigh. 

Srihari is going back to Delhi with Durga to get himself cured of MPD. Senti all over, and everyone wonders what would happen to the adopted puppy a.k.a Indu. But Srihari is ready to pay a hefty flight charge on last minute booking and decides to take her to Delhi.

~Moral of the story~

Adopt puppies. Puppies are cute.

Malayalam version of the review by @cavemanthelast can be found here

 

 

13 thoughts on “Chandrolsavam – An in-depth analysis

  1. Well done once again. I wish you would do movies which are on the face of it serious, good, and done by serious directors, but dig a little deeper and you will find the hidden shit. For example, Thoovana Thumbigal.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well there are women like Indu in real life …all women aren’t like you…there are many women who are submissive like Indu.. Coming to the film I just don’t understand why you didn’t mention anything about the songs…the beautiful songs which are quite well shot too… There is a lot of painstaking effort behind writing and making a film… It’s easy to write off a movie or an artiste…why don’t you make a film and show us what is good cinema.. It should be ” A quintessential mellu trying to make fun of the movies she grew up with “

    Like

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