Vampire Owl: One day, I will write about the complications I had while reading the movie title.
Vampire Owl: Yes, they eat it. Not literally though.
Vampire Owl: Oh! I thought it was human brain fried rice. Never mind.
Vampire Bat: It doesn’t matter if human or vampire; they love the brains. Just to eat though.
Vampire Owl: You mean to say that my struggle in reading this movie title is due to zombies eating part of my brain.
Vampire Bat: Exactly. In the case of humans, they have their own relatives and other people around them in the society to do the job, and you have your own zombies.
Vampire Owl: How do I escape it? I can’t fire them because their contract is for one full eternity.
Vampire Bat: Well, you can always try growing parts of your brain by watching some intelligent short-films.
[Gets some banana chips and three cups of Munnar tea].
What is the movie about? :: The story begins with a group of the three, the groom-to-be, his uncle and his best friend going to see the girl. The broker joins in, and they reach the house where they are welcomed by the girl’s father who is a retired teacher. The girl is also teaching at a nearby school. The groom-to-be, Anirudhan (Sethu Kumar), is a professional who has been working in Dubai for the last five years, and after the death of his father, he is the one who has carried the weight of his family, and also got his elder sister married all by his own efforts. Just like anyone who has returned from the Middle East for a short period of time, he also seems to be going through the procedure of a never-ending “pennu kaanal” programmes which seems to begin and never end – something which almost everyone has to go through in our society, no matter what all qualities are there.
So, what happens next? :: In our world, the programme of “pennu kaanal” has so many sides, not just those of a coin, but of a dice. It is more of something which has the influence of so many factors of which those who are to marry only have that much opinion as everyone else who are around them – but that opportunity to talk alone to the girl during the “pennu kaanal” is a cent percent sure thing. So, Anirudhan gets to talk to his future wife, the school teacher (Anu Padmanabha Iyer) who lets him know some of the harsh realities. After that, what decision he takes, forms the core of this movie, and the message that it attempts to provide for its viewers. Can he take that one decision which will change not only his life, but also of those who are close to him? Is he strong enough to make his own choice, and stay there? Is there the possibility of this wedding take place in the end?
The defence of Mangalyam Thanthunanena :: The main cast, Sethu Kumar and Anu Padmanabha Iyer, as well as the supporting cast got the ability to make us feel the full strength of the situation in this movie – the emotional side gets stronger as we get near the middle of the movie. It is about eight something minutes later that movie gets to be better. From there begins the serious side, after those moments of fun which had a partially working side. The latter part of the movie has some nice dialogues and beautiful moments, which make one wish for short-films like these to come more often. These dialogues are smartly done to bring the point as well as the message to us. It is realistic as well as socially relevant in our society. It is always better to have this kind of movies rather than those messed up love stories which make romance look like some low level new generation nonsense. Nice visuals and beautiful music nicely go with the same.
Soul exploration :: There seems to be so much talent behind this short-film, and the idea here seems to simple, but it goes deep. This is the kind of short-film, about which if I was notified earlier, would have wanted to write a review then. The questions that the film asks, begins and ends with the value of a person – is wealth all that matters? Is money more important than a person and the qualities possessed by the same? Why would anyone value a girl based on the dowry that her father gives? The questions are endless in our society – this short-film is sure to give the message, but the change is to be brought by people themselves. But in a world where some girls’ fathers are willing to give more and more dowry and judging boys only on their land or asking for a government job in return, is there hope? Neither is the girl or the boy is valued for their qualities or education these days – let more short-films with such valuable core arrive, and let more people at least feel how wrong they are.
How it finishes :: There is the usual question that comes up as people have asked me what I have to gain by reviewing a short-film which is already a few months old. There are those who have told me that there is no point in reviewing an old short-film as that would bring no visitors. But I have felt that this socially relevant movie is something that everyone should watch, and so, it is worth supporting at Movies of the Soul. A review on a usual movie will get more hits, but it will be lost among those fake, paid reviews, no matter how sincere we try to be, with our writing. Those big movies can also do well without our support. But giving support to a short-film with a message is something that makes us feel good, and it is a reflection of the feel-good factor in this movie, with its subtitles is a must watch not just in Kerala, but everywhere as it is applicable rather widely. I had earlier reviewed, another different, impressive work, the short-film, Red Jacket.
[Walks into the balcony with another cup of tea].
Vampire Owl: I am certainly feeling enlightened. But I am not sure if a part of my brain has grown.
Vampire Bat: It is a slow procedure. You wil need a lot more of similar enlightenment to keep it growing.
Vampire Owl: I am surely happy that we vampires don’t have dowry system.
Vampire Bat: I believe that Uncle Dracula abolished it by seeing the future using a time machine developed by Doctor Frankenstein, making him realize that Mavis was to be born.
Vampire Owl: You mean to say that Mr. Frankenstein did invent something which was actually working centuries ago?
Vampire Bat: Yes, the vampire defence itself is planned on that vision Uncle Dracula received by traveling into the future.
Vampire Owl: You mean to say that the victory against werewolves and the Lich Queen lead undead army were not luck?
Vampire Bat: Dude, even luck has its own boundaries. Those victories were beyond that, and they repeated too many times to be just luck. We were outnumbered and weak, and still we won because of something or the other every time.
Vampire Owl: Now, my brain has started working extra.
Vampire Bat: Let’s watch a few more of similar interesting short-films and get it to work better.
[Walks into the silence of darkness].
Release date: 21st January 2017
Running time: 17 minutes
Directed by: Titto P Thankachen
Starring: Anu Padmanabha Iyer, Sethu Kumar, Daliya Rachel Solomon, Surendran Nair, Gopalakrishna Panicker, Sushanth Ninan Koshy, Juliya Mathews, Prasad, Fibi Thomas, Ajo Joseph, Jayaraj Naduvilathu, Jothin Paul, Sachin M Suresh, Shajeer Kodungallur, Vinu Surendran, Titto P Thankachen, B Lalithammal, Prabhavathy Raghunath, Prem Pandalam, Rajesh, Baby Pradeeksha, Master N Pranesh
Watch the beautiful short-film, Mangalyam Thanthunanena here, and take it’s message home:
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.