Chalakkudikkaran Changathi Review: not an honest tribute
The biopic on Kalabhavan Mani, Chalakkudikkaran Changathi is a generic movie from veteran director Vinayan who uses the sympathy to showcase his personal vendetta with a section of the industry. Biopics are supposed to be an exploration about the main character and here that part of the purpose is very peripheral and it will be a tough task for you as a viewer to feel any kind of empathy for the hero as he gets glorified beyond a certain level. Chalakkudikkaran Changathi is just a summary of Kalabhavan Mani, not a quality cinema about that talent.
Rajamani was a young guy who rose to fame after a huge struggle. He was an auto driver and mimicry artist who went on to become an actor. He easily became one of the finest actors and earned a good status in all the languages in south India. The rise of Mani and the eventual fall is what the movie showing us.
Kalabahavan Mani, Thilakan and Vinayan have faced certain discriminations from the industry and that is not a secret. But what is inappreciable about this movie is the fact that Vinayan uses this movie as a tool to target those people who mainly destroyed his career. The attack on people like Mammootty, Dileep, Innocent, Idavela Babu Etc is pretty clear and the lack of subtlety in conveying these politics makes these scenes look so amateurish even when there is truth and history supporting it.
Senthil Krishna / Rajamani who plays the role of Kalabhavan Mani in the movie is the only saving grace of Chalakkudikkaran Changathi. He has managed to make Mani look less like a caricature and more of a humane character. Vishnu and Dharmajan portray the role of the friends of Mani and they were okay in handling humor but fumbles when emotional equation came. Honey Rose, Joju George, Salim Kumar, Kottayam Nazeer, Ramesh Pisharody etc. and several other names are there in brief yet important roles.
The outdated approach of Mr. Vinayan towards this movie is a major drawback. He is excessively using sentiments to establish the human side of his hero and after a point the worshipping becomes excessive. The goodness is so much that it may make the actual deeds look like a publicity stunt. Like I said in the beginning, Vinayan is using this movie as a tool to establish his viewpoints about what's happening in the movie industry and his approach towards presenting Mani’s story is half-hearted. Even the relevant issue of discrimination based on caste and color sounded awkwardly loud. Technically the movie is better than some of the recent Vinayan films.
Chalakkudikkaran Changathi isn’t an honest tribute to the late artist. It has Kalabhavan Mani getting explored only in a peripheral way. Senthil Krishna’s performance can make you sit through this quick summary. Other than that this movie is dull and intentions are directed to somewhere else.
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