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Language : Malayalam
Banner : Kalasangam Productions
Director : Sathyan Anthikkad
Producer : M.M. Hamsa
Camera : S. Kumar
Story : Sathyan Anthikkad
Screenplay : Sathyan Anthikkad
Dialogue : Sathyan Anthikkad
Lyrics : Vayalar Sarathchandra Varma
Music : Illayaraja
Distribution : Manjunath Films Release
Release : 2007 April 07
Cast : Dileep, Mukesh, Meera Jasmine, Seetha, Parvathi, Murali, Nedumudi Venu, Vijayaraghavan, Innocent, Mamukoya, KPAC Lalitha, Manjusha, Sreelatha, Babu Namboodiri, Sandeep, Anoop Chandran, Reshmi Nambiar.
Sathyan Anthikkad has done it again. With his latest film Vinodayathra, this popular director of Malayalam movies proves once again that he can change with the times and still be what he is as far as the creativity is concerned. His films have undergone certain changes as is demanded by the changing times, but beneath the surface Sathyan Anthikkad films still bear the stamp of his individuality and convey some strong messages to all classes of viewers, while staying within the parameters of commercial cinema. Vinodayathra is another testimony to the director's versatility, while it remains to be seen how the film fares at the box office.
Shaji Raghavan is an Assistant Executive Engineer in the Irrigation Department and lives with his wife Vimala and younger sister Reshmi, who is a college student. Shaji is a man of principles and integrity and always does what he feels right. He is sincere to his profession too. And then one day Vimala tells him that her younger brother Vinod is coming to stay with them for an indefinite period. This is unwelcome news for Shaji as he is worried that Vinod and Reshmi may get intimate with each other and even fall in love, which he doesn't want to happen. He decides to stall Vinod's trip, but doesn't succeed in doing that. Vinod arrives and Shaji takes care to see to it that Vinod and Reshmi don't get intimate.
Shaji arranges a job for Vinod with retired IG John Mathew, who requires an assistant for penning an autobiography. Shaji does this to see that Vinod is engaged elsewhere and doesn't get time to spend with his sister. John Mathew treats Vinod like a servant and even makes him do domestic chores and run errands. In the meantime, Vinod happens to come across a young girl Anupama at a Railway Station. She appears to be in a drugged condition. He comes to her rescue, books her into a hotel, and leaves his number behind. But this lands him in very difficult situations.
Dileep is an actor with his own limitations. But under the direction of Sathyan Anthikkad, he has performed convincingly as Vinod and deserves appreciation. Meera Jasmine as Anupama is superb. Mukesh as Shaji Raghavan is his usual self and makes the whole film live with his presence. Seetha as Vimala and Parvathy as Reshmi lend able support. Nedumudi Venu as John Mathew, Mamookoya as Shaji's driver Ananthan, Innocent as watchman Thankachchan, Sreelatha as Thankachchan's wife Shoshamma, Murali as Anupama's father Vijayan, Reshmi Nambiar as Anupama's sister Ambili, KPAC Lalitha as John Mathew's sister etc do their respective roles convincingly. The child actor Ganapathy in the role of Ganapathy, who has run away from the juvenile home, appeals very much.
The main highlight of the film is that the director is able to convey what he wants to convey in a simple and straight forward manner. Characterization too is a highlight as far as the movie is concerned. There may seem to be some exaggeration in the portrayal of the idealist Shaji Raghavan, but Mukesh who does the role performs rather convincingly, making the exaggeration less obvious.
Cinematography by S. Kumar is first-rate. The songs penned by Vayalar Sarathchandra Varma and set to tune by Illayaraja have come out really well and have also been shot well. Vinodayathra like any other Sathyan Anthikkad film, stands out as it sensitively presents slices from real life through really down-to-earth characters.
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