‘Ninakku avale ishtamaano ?’
Kilukkam is one of the finest examples in Malayalam of how you could make a perfect commercial movie and a huge blockbuster with all the ingredients in the right proportions. It had some of Malayalam Cinema’s best comedy sequences ever all which worked purely because of the well written lines, situations and the amazing comic timing of the actors involved. It utilized Mohanlal’s superstar image through some stylish action sequences which appeared only when the story needed it.
It also had beautifully executed emotional scenes, stunning camera work (which won that year’s state award), a soothing background score and two melodious songs in ‘Kilukil Pambaram’ and ‘Meena Venalil’. Amongst all these, Kilukkam had one more thing that is actually less talked about- a delicately and subtly handled romance. The above conversation between Joji and Justice Pillai towards the end being one of the finest instances depicting the same.
Venu Nagavally handled the dialogues and screenplay of Kilukkam and one cannot help but notice his calming presence in several scenes. Priyadarshan’s ability to handle any genre effortlessly and the flawless form he used to be in those days meant that the lines written by Venu Nagavally were beautifully transformed to the screen as well. Now if romance was subdued , Priyadarshan went all out for the comedy scenes.
Kilukkam’s comedy one-liners perhaps stand second only to Nadodikattu when it comes to influencing our real-time conversations -‘Please don’t misunderstand me’ ,’Njan ninaku singapore dollars ayachu tharaam’ and ‘Athu nee enthu venelum cheyyu’ topping the list
Jagathy and Innocent made great use of their roles to come out with works that rank among their career bests .Jagathy’s sequences with Mohanlal shows how two actors with electrifying energy and breathtaking comic timing could still keep us glued to the screens even after so many repeated viewings. Priyadarshan once said that Revathi had been his first choice for many movies including Chithram but we are glad that she chose to act in Kilukkam than others. Thilakan was as always brilliant in both comedy and serious scenes.
Kilukkam is one movie where Mohanlal gladly relegated to the background most times allowing his co-actors to shine. He didn’t even appear in a segment where it just involved Revathi and Thilakan. But Mohanlal being ‘Mohanlal’ , he doesn’t need too many scenes or dialogues. In one of the memorable scenes from the movie, Revathy speaks in length on what all she did in the hotel . Mohanlal just replies innocently – ‘Vattanalle’ and that expression and line stays with us forever
One other reason which makes me grow more and more fond of Kilukkam over the years is the serene and pleasant manner in which the movie ends. This is so unlike Priyadarshan. Usually he takes all his characters to a godown or a ground where they run all over the places ( Poochakkoru Mookuthi, Akkare Akkare Akkare, Vettam and several others) or he ends it too tragically or melodramatically separating the lovers or letting the hero or heroine die (Chitram, Vandanam, Abhimanyu, Minnaram, Cheppu and the list goes on too). Instead how Kilukkam ends is with five extremely subtly handled scenes.
First where Revathi asks Thilakan the permission to call him dad. Second where Thilakan asks Mohanlal if he loves her. Third where Revathi tells Mohanlal her plans after leaving Ooty . Fourth where Jagathy and Mohanlal patches up .Finally the last where the heroine returns to the man who had helped her throughout her troubled times but had kept his feelings to himself. S.P Venkatesh’s graceful music that flows in the background all this while adds a lot to the impact too. Its this climax that makes sure Kilukkam is the Malayalam movie that I enjoy revisiting most.