Frames in Movies

Devadoothan and Frames that were ahead of its times

One of Malayalam Cinema’s biggest mysteries would be how Devadoothan became a flop at box-office. I still remember how the movie managed to both scare and stun me when watching it first day in theaters 20 years back.

Just look at these visuals! Thanks Amazon Prime for this remastered print !

The movie starts straight away showing show much importance it has for music.
Santhosh Thundiyil who had helmed camera for Bollywood blockbusters like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Krish gave us frames that were ahead of its time.
Look at the variations of colours through this one song sequence. From here…
…To here
Mohanlal lost a lot of weight for Devadoothan which came 12 months after Narasimham, as Sibi Malayil was adamant that the role demanded it. This frame from Poove Poove song would agree that it helped.
Sibi Malayil’s ability to switch from a family movie like Kireedam to a Thriller like August 1 to a Horror-Musical movie like Devadoothan is brilliant.

He visualized Devadoothan so beautifully
Poove Poove song might be his best song picturizations ever
He later mentioned in one of his interivews that Devadoothan’s failure remains one that has given him most pain in his career.
Devadoothan won the Kerala state award for Best Costume Design. Look at how the colors of costumes gelled with background throughout the movie.
Costume colors gelled with colors of wall paintings, walls and curtains !
Costumes even gelled with the nature !
Raghunath Paleri’s screenplay ticked perfectly what all you expected from a horror thriller giving you twists from time to time. The interval scene where Vishal(Mohanlal) tells Angelina(Jaya Prada) that Maheshwar was blind remains one of Malayalam Cinema’s finest interval blocks
Finally if there was something from the movie that audience accepted wholeheartedly even at the time of its release was it’s music. Vidyasagar won Kerala State Award for Best Music. He may have even deserved the National award.
20 years later, Devadoothan remains one of Malayalam Cinema’s most beautifully shot movies and one of its finest musicals.