The Malayalam psychological horror-thriller directed by Fazil and starring Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi and Shobana is available on Eros Now
Manichitrathazhu released in 1993
Last Updated: 09.04 AM, Oct 04, 2021
One of the cult films in Malayalam, the nationwide impact of the Malayalam psychological horror-thriller is undeniable. Directed by Fazil, the Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi and Shobana starrer is known to be a timeless viewing. With a run time of 2 hours 50 minutes, the film was released on December 25, 1993.
Even after almost three decades of its release, the film still holds relevance and is remembered by every film lover. According to the digit.in, Manichitrathazhu which is available on Eros Now scores a 9.0 digit binge rating out of 10 even in 2021. The film is still broadcast more than 12 times a year on the leading television channel Asianet and it receives maximum TRP rating every time it is broadcast. In fact, it reportedly increases every year which is rare for a film in India. On completing 100 years of Indian cinema in 2013, IBN live had conducted a survey and the audience voted Manichitrathazhu as India's second greatest film.
The 'Vidamatte' dialogue of Shobana while she is transitioning into Nagavalli has made waves with several viral memes. Earlier this year, a Canada-based animator Aju Mohan had created an 18-second clip titled Gange as a tribute to the epic film. He gave a humorous twist to Shobana's dance sequence Oru Murai Vanthu Parthaya, interchanging between her characters, Ganga and Nagavalli, the court dancer. As she continues to dance, the clip shows her slipping and falling. That’s when you hear “Gangeee…”, the famous dialogue by Nakulan (played by Suresh Gopi), which gets Ganga back from her ‘possessed’ state.
The 1993 film is not just a blockbuster but also a textbook for filmmaking, according to the actress Shobana. On the mega-hit film's 27th anniversary last year, the actress had wished all the best to the director Fazil and posted on her social media that she still remembers Nagavalli every single day in her life. Well, of course, after all, the film got her her first National Film Award.
The well-crafted psychological thriller with horror elements, rich characters, apt backstories, thrilling soundtrack and impeccable performances make it a great watch even today. It definitely guarantees entertainment with edge-of-the-seat moments and some funny jabs. Growing up, I remember watching the film on TV while I was around nine years old and getting scared. The long empty corridors of the tharavad, a family member running to escape from the clutches of a shadow and getting herself locked in a dingy storeroom, Mohanlal's bag catching fire and of course, Shobana's dance are the first images that appear on my mind when I think of the film. And it still creates the same experience of fear, thrill and fun even today.
The film deals with the genre horror comedy which was not so popular at the time. It would be safe to credit the film for creating the genre and setting a landmark example for it. The film completed 319 days of run in 1 releasing theatre. A spin-off to the film Geethaanjali, directed by Priyadarshan had Mohanlal reprising the role of Dr Sunny Joseph in 2013. Manichitrathazhu was remade in four languages and all were commercially successful - Apthamitra in Kannada, Chandramukhi in Tamil, Rajmohol in Bengali and Bhool Bhulaiyaa in Hindi. A sequel to the Akshay Kumar starrer film Bhool Bhulaiyaa is currently under work. The film is being led by Kartik Aryan.
Manichitrathazhu is considered one of the best films ever made in Indian cinema. It received two National Awards (Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, Best Actress) and three Kerala State Film Awards (Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value, Best Actress, Best Makeup Artist).
Catch a show of the film on Eros Now.