Director: Balachandra Menon
Producer: Balachandra Menon
Music Director: Balachandra Menon
Cast: Balachandra Menon, Sreedhanya, Gayathri, Dakshina, Shankar Ramakrishnan, Menaka Suresh, Ravindran, Madhu, Sunil Sugatha, Sudheer Karamana, Sasi Kallinga, Kalabhavan Shajon, Sreelatha Namboothiri, Renji Panicker, Bhagyalakshmi, Tessa, Viji Thampi, Dharmajan Bolgatty, P. Sreekumar
Balachandra Menon tries to drive home a point or two with his latest film ‘Njan Samvidhanam Cheyyum’, at the end of which he asserts that as long as there is public demand for his films, a director could continue making films. Remotely funny, vaguely emotional and hardly insightful, ‘Njan Samvidhanam Cheyyum’, is heroically dull.
Menon makes an entry into the film, almost half an hour since its commencement, as Krishna Das, fondly called as Dasettan by his wife Gayatri (Sreedhanya). Das is a former employee of the NFDC, who has been on a sabbatical from work, penning a script that he intends to film on his own. Gayatri doesn’t find her husband’s directorial ambitions amusing, since she has already had a tough time convincing their teenage daughter (Dakshina) that films aren’t where a young woman should be.
It’s indeed a bit relieving that ‘Njan Samvidhanam Cheyyum’, is infinitely better than the director’s previous film, which was a shot way off the mark. Menon shows flashes of the director that he once was in ‘Njan Samvidhanam Cheyyum’, but sadly that isn’t enough for the film to rise from the debris of cliches that it is engulfed in.
The film maker indulges in a celebration of sorts – a commemoration perhaps – of the times that once were. Das tells Gayatri over the phone, that he would be home from Mumbai in no time, and that she would only have to wait till the 18th of April. Gayatri walks over to the calendar hanging on the wall and draws a circle around the date with her finger, further emphasising the point.
Menon also brings in a much-adored screen couple (Shankar and Menaka), and lets them bask in the glory of their films, several of which were blockbusters. He fictionalizes a romance between the two, and throws in a couple of songs to serve as mementos from an age that had seen many a love tale blossom on screen.
The former half of the film has little to offer, in that it talks of the aspirations of a first time film maker, pretty much on the lines of several other films on movie hopefuls that we had seen of late. The latter half has less of Menon and his family, and more of an award jury, that takes over the reins of the film from the film maker.
It’s here that ‘Njan Samvidhanam Cheyyum’, proffers an interesting moment or two. It does lay bare the behind-the-scene games that make the award jury a laughing stock these days. There are a few barbs that strike the right point, and a few occasions when the jury manages to elicit some amusement as well.
Decent performances from the leading cast – Menon, Sreedhanya and Dakshina – do not make any difference in the bland screenplay that leaves viewers with zilch rooting interest in what is likely to ensue. Technicalities are nothing to be overwhelmed about, and the musical score by the director himself, leaves a lot to be desired.
Menon draws the curtains with a final speech, that it as predictable as it gets. I for one, wouldn’t mind his directing yet another film, and fervently hope that he comes up with something worth writing about, the next time around.
2 out of 5 (Okay)