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Manichitrathazhu

The DVD Cover
Directed by Fazil
II-unit directors:
Siddique Lal
Priyadarshan
Sibi Malayil
Produced by Appachan
Written by Madhu Muttam
Starring Shobana
Mohanlal
Suresh Gopi
Nedumudi Venu
Vinaya Prasad
Innocent
KPAC Lalitha
Pappu
Sudheesh
Rudra
Ganesh Kumar
Thilakan
Music by M.G. Radhakrishnan
Johnson (BGM)
Cinematography Venu
Editing by T.R. Shekar
Distributed by Swargachitra
Release date(s) 1993
Running time 169 min.
Language Malayalam
Tamil

Manichitrathazhu (The Ornate Lock) is a 1993 Psychological thriller/Horror Malayalam film directed by Fazil and written by Madhu Muttam. The story is influenced by a tragedy that happened in the Alummoottil palace of a famous central Travancore family in the 19th century.[1] The movie was an unusual theme in Malayalam cinema but proceeded to become a big hit. Several other prominent directors such as Siddique-Lal, Priyadarshan and Sibi Malayil served as second-unit directors on the movie. Shobhana was awarded the National Film Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the central character Ganga.


After its runaway success in Kerala, it was remade after nearly 10 years in various languages, including Kannada (Apthamitra), Tamil (Chandramukhi), Bengali (Rajmohol), and Hindi (Bhool Bhulaiyaa). All of them went on to become big commercial successes.

Contents

Plot

The plot involves a young couple, Ganga (Shobhana) and Nakulan (Suresh Gopi) arriving at the ancestral "Tharavadu" mansion of the latter. Ignoring the protests of their superstitious uncle Thampi (Nedumudi Venu), they move in to the mansion, when unusual and supernatural events begin to happen. Suspicion falls on Sreedevi (Vinaya Prasad), Nakulan's cousin, who is known to be suffering from depression who was his Murappennu, still a spinster. Dr. Sunny Joseph (Mohanlal), a frolicsome psychiatrist and Nakulan's close friend is called in to investigate. Soon it becomes evident that Ganga, affected by Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), is behind the mystery, haunted by a troubled past.

The mansion that Nakulan and Ganga were living in was occupied in ancient times by a cruel Thampi chieftain, who had imprisoned a famous Bharatnatyam dancer, Nagavalli. There she pines away for her lover Ramanathan. Ganga who grew up listening to folklore and ghost stories from her grandmother identifies with the character Nagavalli. This empathy gradually leads to psychosis. When Ganga turns into Nagavalli the characters of the household turn into the characters of a bygone era in her eyes.

Sunny correctly identifies the source of the violent happenings at the mansion, and convinces Nagavalli to renounce Ganga's body once she is allowed to execute the cruel chieftain. He dresses up Nakulan as the ancient chieftan, and at the crucial moment, replaces Nakulan with a dummy. Nagavalli in Ganga is fooled into believing that she has taken her revenge, and Ganga recovers from her affliction.

Cast

Crew

Awards

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National Film Awards

Character map of Manichithrathazhu and its remakes

Manichitrathazhu
(Malayalam)
Aaptamitra
(Kannada)
Chandramukhi
(Telugu)
Chandramukhi
(Tamil)
Rajmohol
(Bengali)
Bhool Bhulaiya
(Hindi)
Dr. Sunny Joseph
(Mohanlal)
Dr. Vijay
(Vishnuvardhan)
Dr. Eeswar
(Rajinikanth)
Dr. Saravanan
(Rajinikanth)
Dr. Raghu
(Prasenjit Chatterjee)
Dr. Aditya Shrivastav
(Akshay Kumar)
Nakulan
(Suresh Gopi)
Ramesh
(Ramesh Aravind)
Kailash
(Prabhu Ganesan)
Senthilnathan
(Prabhu Ganesan)
Siddharth Chaturvedi
(Shiney Ahuja)
Ganga
(Shobana)
Ganga
(Soundarya)
Ganga
(Jyothika)
Ganga Senthilnathan
(Jyothika)
Avni
(Vidya Balan)
Sreedevi
(Vinaya Prasad)
Soumya
(Prema)
Durga
(Nayantara)
Durga
(Nayantara)
Radha
(Amisha Patel)
Thampy
(Nedumudi Venu)

(Satyajit)

(Nassar)
Kandaswamy
(Nassar)
Badrinarayan Chaturvedi
(Manoj Joshi)
Unnithan
(Innocent)
Mukunda
(Dwarakesh)
Basavaiah
(Vadivelu)
Murugesan
(Vadivelu)
Batukshankar Upadhyay
(Paresh Rawal)

Trivia

  • The story is influenced from a tragedy happened in Alummoottil tharavadu, a famous central Travancore family, in 19th century.[1]
  • Manichitrathazu was one of the all time hits of Malayalam films running for more than 300 days.
  • This movie fetched maximum rating consistently for its television screening. Fourteen years after its release this film so far screened more than 12 times in kerala's leading TV channel Asianet. This film has got the maximum TRP rating on every screening. Interestingly TRP ratings were increasing by every year.This is a rare record for any movie ever produced in kerala.[citation needed]
  • Manichitrathazu had also spurred to other remakes in other languages later such as Aaptamitra in Kannada starring Vishnuvardhan, Chandramukhi in Tamil and Telugu starring Rajnikanth and the recently released Bhool Bhulaiyaa in Hindi.
  • The central character played by Shobhana is named Ganga in the all the remakes except Bhool Bhulaiya.In that film,the character is named Avni,played by Vidya Balan.
  • All 3 South-Indian versions (Malayalam, Kannada and Tamil) earned the actresses playing the central character (Shobhana, Soundarya, Jyothika Saravanan, respectively) the State Awards for Best Actress of the respective states (Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu)
  • The character of the psychiatrist in all 4 versions have studied or worked in the USA.
  • Aaptamitra, the Kannada version is a deviated version of Manichitrathazhu, in which the character of psychiatrist is given more screen presence in order to please the fans of Vishnuvardhan, who plays the role in it. The Rajinikanth starrer Tamil version Chandramukhi followed the same pattern, both films being directed by P. Vasu. The Hindi version Bhool Bhulaiyaa directed by Priyadarshan however stuck to the original script.
  • The story was not credited to Madhu Muttam in Aaptamitra and Chandramukhi, in which the story was credited to the director P. Vasu himself. However, in Bhool Bhulaiyaa the story was credited to Madhu Muttam, following a Kerala Highcourt verdict in a case filed by him.
  • The film was dubbed into Telugu as Chandramukhi.

References

External links


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