Balyakalasakhi as a book is indeed a classic but in the form of a cinema it hasn’t reached that stature. The scope of making this story to an eternal love story on silver screen is a difficult task (my personal opinion after reading the book) and the new comer Pramod Payyannur has managed to do it in a satisfactory way.
There is no need for me to tell you about the plot as most of you will be familiar with the story. Unlike the book, they have given some extra weightage to the last segment of Majeed’s life (in the book) where he went far away from the family to support them financially. I was curious to know how the director will narrate the story which in the book was conveyed without any back and forth fluctuations. Well the pattern was kind of a good one that followed the usual way of tracking the flashback. The film proceeds with very less annoyance in the first half with all the famous dialogues and moments of the book being captured neatly. But its the second half which had some new inclusions, an awkward change in timezone, going slightly commercial and also the compromised casting effects the movies rhythm.
The phase change where the young Majeed changed from Shane Nigam to Mammooty was really small as per the book and here we are seeing entirely different characters within a small time interval. The makeup and getup of Mammootty as young Majeed wasn’t causing much irritation and if they had replaced Shane Nigam with Mammootty in the beginning itself, things would have been a bit more easy to digest. The additional screenplay in the second half doesn’t work out the way it was supposed to be.
Director has made the film in a dramatic tone. There was an underlying humor in the story written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer and that was sadly missing here. Dialogues were good. Cinematography and art section were also pretty good. Edits were not sharp. The songs sung by Yesudas and V T Murali were really worth humming and Bijibal’s background score made from that V T Murali song was also really catchy. Visual effects were just about okay.
Mammooty is good as Majeed but its the father character that shows his excellence. The head weight, rudeness and that transformation to a man who has lost everything was shown very smartly by the actor. Meena was good as Majeed’s mother. Isha Talwar had that looks which suited Suhara but her expressions and tight lipped performance were no where near the performance of the kids who also played the role of Suhara in different stages. Some compromised casting decisions were there like the characters played by Sasikumar and Atlas Ramachandran. Kavitha Nair, Sunil Sukhada and the kids also were good in their respective roles.
Balyakalasakhi hasnt done any injustice to the novel in my view but still the juice wasn’t extracted perfectly to make the film an unforgettable one. The rating for the movie in my perspective is 3/5. Don’t try to taste it if you haven’t read the book. The censor certificate showed a runtime of 121 minutes, but the film finished almost at 100 minutes point.
Balyakalasakhi hasnt done any injustice to the novel in my view but still the juice wasn't extracted perfectly to make the film an unforgettable one.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended