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Thanmathra
Directed by Blessy
Produced by Raju Mathew
Written by Blessy
Starring Mohanlal,
Jagathy Sreekumar, Meera Vasudev,
Prathap Pothan,
Nedumudi Venu ,
Arjun Lal
Music by Mohan Sithara
Distributed by Century Films
Release date(s) 2005
Running time 2 hrs 30 min.
Language Malayalam

Thanmathra (Molecule) (2005) is a Malayalam film directed by Blessy which portrays the effects of Alzheimer's disease on the life of an individual and his family. The film bagged five Kerala state film awards for the Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay and a special mention for the debutant actor Arjun Lal.

Contents

Story

Ramesan Nair (Mohanlal) is a Kerala government secretariat employee, cocooned in his own small and happy world. An honest and sincere man, Ramesan's family consists of his loving wife Lekha (Meera Vasudev), son Manu (Arjun Lal) who is a plus-two student, and daughter Manju (Baby Niranjana), a primary school student. His biggest ambition is to see that his son gets into the IAS (Indian Administrative Service), something he himself had failed to achieve despite being a brilliant student. Manu is a very loving son and an intelligent student who shares a strong emotional bond with his father. All in all, they form the very picture of loving family, with a bright future.

However, fate has other ideas. Ramesan starts to develop problems with his memory. What starts as commonplace omissions and absentmindedness, quickly grows into handicapping cognitive and behavioral impairments.

The first time we notice this is when Ramesan misplaces a very important office file at his home, inside the refrigerator. One day he arrives in office after buying a bag of vegetables and starts behaving as if he had reached home after his office hours. He begins acting strangely in the office, as if he has lost his sense of time and place. He is taken to the doctor by his family and close friend, Joseph (Jagathy Sreekumar).

In the hospital, Ramesan is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, a disease which causes a gradual loss of memory and cognitive abilities. The news comes as a grave shock for the happy family and turns their world upside down. The family is devastated by the sad news, but tries to adjust to the situation with a lot of determination underscored by strong emotional bonds. How they cope up with the trauma, insecurity and uncertainty caused by Ramesan's plight, forms the gist of the movie.

Director Blessy has brought out the manner in which the dreaded disease entangles Ramesan in its vice-like grip, with a few deft directorial strokes. These snapshots are devastating. One scene depicts Rameshan forgetting to switch on the scooter; another has Ramesan using his son’s toothbrush. Then there is the scene that shows Ramesan forgetting the way to his house. In a scene which is rather unusual for the staid malayalee, there is a love-making scene, where Ramesan gets distracted by a lizard on the wall. In a few fabulous frames, Blessy conveys to the audience the malignancy and horror of the disease.

Performances

The movie illustrates one of the finest performances by Mohanlal. He won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for his unparalleled depiction of a middle-aged man in the throes of a crippling disability. The movie was advertised as a return of the actor from a super-hero image which he had cultivated with a string of movies, back to that of an average man. The actor has taken full advantage of this opportunity to display a superb performance. He was also nominated for the National Film Award for Best Actor.

Arjun Lal, who plays Mohanlal's son, gives a performance that won him a special mention from the state film awards jury. The performance of Nedumudi Venu, who plays the role of Mohanlal's father, is also excellent. Meera Vasudev, a newcomer to Malayalam movies, plays a great supporting role and does justice to her character. Jagathy Sreekumar is in his element as usual, and fits into the role of Joseph as if it were tailor-made for him.

The bulk of the movie is carried on the shoulders of the three protagonists: the father (Mohanlal), the grandfather (Nedumudi Venu) and the son (Arjun Lal).

Cast

Actor Role
Mohanlal Ramesan Nair
Meera Vasudev Lekha
Nedumudi Venu Ramesan's father
Arjun Lal Manu
Jagathy Sreekumar Joseph
Pradhab Pothan Doctor
Baby Niranjana Manju

Awards

  • Vanita Film Awards
  • Kerala Film Critics Awards
  • Amrita Film Awards
    • Best Film (Producer) - Raju Mathew
    • Best Director - Blessy
  • Mathruboomi Film Awards
  • Kerala Film Audience Council Awards
  • Other Awards
    • Kala Keralam Award : Best Actor - Mohanlal
    • J. C. Foundation Award : Best Actor - Mohanlal
    • National Film Academy Award : Best Actor - Mohanlal

External links

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