From Tamil star Surya to Malayalam actor Ganesh,one common thing a lot of them use to say about Mohanlal is that even his fingers and fingernails can act. In Dasharatham’s climax, when Mohanlal rests his hand on Sukumari’s shoulder and tells her -” Annie mone snehikunna pole Maggieku enne snehikaamo’ ,you could just watch his fingers and you would understand what they all mean. Mohanlal’s terrific acting quite ably supported by the ever versatile Sukumari and a hauntingly beautiful background score makes sure Lohitadas’s well scripted climax is one that viewed by many of us multiple times and which stays with you for long anytime you watch it.
Dasharatham which released in 1989 told the story of a rich reckless young man, Rajiv Menon, who is alcoholic and has no aim in life. He gets attached to his friend’s children during their family’s stay at his house and decides to rent a womb and get a child through artificial insemination. The character might look crazy on paper but Mohanlal’s awe-inspiring portrayal gives Rajiv Menon a whole different dimension on screen. When he tells Nedumudi Venu – ‘Thommiye eniku tharumo’ or tells Karamana Janaardhanan – ‘Njan avanu oru adi kodukatte uncle’ , Mohanlal amuses us with his innocence.
During the final portions of the movie where he visits Murali’s house and asks to hold his son for one last time ,later when he tells Annie – ‘Ninniloode njan puthiyathu palathum padikkan thudangukayaanu’ and in the closing scene with Sukumari , Mohanlal makes a wonderful transition as his character learns some new lessons in life and he just tugs at our heartstrings with his brilliant and effortless acting.
There is a general notion that even if you don’t have a great script or character for Mohanlal ,if you can cast him as a drunkard throughout a movie , you could have wonderful returns. Hello is a fine example of this where the makers produced a huge hit just at a time when Mohanlal was having flops and Siddeeq too tried the same with the recent ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’. There are few actors in the business who could match up to Mohanlal’s flamboyance when he acts drunk. In Dasharatham too ,he just sizzles on screen as you see in several instances like his introduction scene where he asks random people in the bar to give him a company, when he gets out and walks into the glass door and when he gets into the jeep and searches for the steering.
Sibi Malayil and Lohitadas formed such a prolific combo in the eighties and nineties to pull of so many successful heartbreaking tearjerkers like Thaniyavarthanam, Bharatham , Kireedom .Dasharatham is one another gem in that elite list. Its one pair ,that we really wished ,shouldn’t have split up as they never found such critical or commercial success individually after parting ways. Johnson’s music once again proves a great asset to a movie with both the song ‘ Mantharacheppundo’ and its theme version adding soul and depth to Dasharatham.
24 years ago ,Dasharaham told a unconventional story that was much ahead of its time.The concept of renting a womb, artificial insemination etc did not sit well with the audience back then and the movie did not get the success it deserved . But today Dasharatham is a movie that a lot of us love watching many a time and also confounds us at the fact that we had such ace film makers in the past who could create such fresh and innovative stories .
Very few writers could leave lump in our throats consistently at the end of their movies end like Lohitadas did with almost his every other script. Just like Kireedom, Bharatham or Amaram, Dasharatham also reminds you how much we miss the great writer today.