Padmarajan – The Man who loved Magical Endings

Padmarajan climaxes in Malayalam Cinema

Padmarajan is my most favorite filmmaker in Malayalam. I could keep on listing the reasons for the same but at the top of the list lies his consistency in catching us by surprise at the end of his movies. His biggest USP was his ability to rise the graph of a movie in the climax and let the viewers leave at a high.

As today, Jan 24th marks the director’s 26th death anniversary, here is a look at some of our most memorable movie endings that Padmarajan had given us.

Innale – Narendran (Suresh Gopi) spreads his photos with his wife on the table and relives his old memories with her. But he also realizes that she doesn’t recognize him a bit and has started a new life altogether. When Sarath (Jayaram) comes out, he hides the photos. He then lies that it’s not his wife and hurries outside. He doesn’t wait to see his wife one more time, gets in the car and leaves. Padmarajan gives one last shot of the car from far as we wonder if this is the most beautiful climax ever in Malayalam. It is debatable, but quite possible too.

Aparan – Viswanathan(Jayaram) meets his father and says he has to leave as he cannot live as Vishwanathan anymore. He then walks near the cremation site , looks at the fire and starts to smile . Was it not Viswanathan but the impostor, Uthaman ? Perhaps only the director himself knew. Much before our modern day film makers started using the concept of dubious and open endings, Padmarajan had used the technique to perfection 29 years ago.

Season – ‘Veendum eniku therivu vilakkukal nashtamaakan pokunnu. Ithavana ethra kalathekku ennariyilla.’  A revenge has never been more poetic. A hero has never sought his revenge with a smile. Jeevan(Mohanlal) rides into a battalion of police with his van , opens its door and shows Fabien’s(Gavin) dead body . He then smiles at them as Ilaiyaraja’s rousing background score gives company. The policemen were as amused as the viewers

Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal – ‘Randamathe horn kelkumbo irangi varaam enu paranjittu ?’ – asks Solomon (Mohanlal). ‘Njan Karuthi’– replies Sofia(Shari). Solomon smiles and walks with her to the lorry. He gets inside ,opens up his arms and lifts her up as the beautiful theme music by Johnson Master sprouts in the background.  Who but Padmarajan could have turned this movie around and let us finish with a smile after what had happened in the scenes before.

Kariyilakkattu Pole – ‘Ithu vayichu kazinjappo ente ippozathe pedi athalla. Swantham maranam ezhuthi vechathu angerkku aram pattiyathu pole case um bookile pole aa vital clue illathe kalaashikkumo ennanu’.  As his brother rests in his one hand and his letter in the other hand, Achuthankutty(Mohanlal) now knows who is the killer and also has the evidence to close the case. But yet he decides to burn down that letter . Suspenseful, Emotional, Brilliant – I haven’t personally seen another better mystery thriller in Malayalam ( perhaps barring Mumbai Police)

Deshadanakili Karayarilla – Harisankar (Mohanlal) thought it would be easy to take the girls back to their school when he arrived at their door with their teacher. But Sally (Shari) and Nirmala (Karthika) had other plans. When he saw the girls had committed suicide , was that shock on his face or was that also guilt ? What we know for sure was that it was yet another memorable Padmarajan ending as it wrote on screen – “Doorekku …safe aaya doorekku”

Moonam Pakkam – Thampi(Thilakan) had lost his son in the past. He has lost now his grandson too with whom he shared a beautiful bond. Moonampakkam is a heartbreaking experience through its last half an hour .At the end of it, Thampi decides to walk right into the sea with the “balichoru” and without paying heed to other’s cries. Few endings keep haunting us for so long like Moonampakkam does.

Thoovanathumbikal‘ Kaanathirikumbol marakkan kurachu koodi eluppamalle’ .  Meeting after a gap of one year, Clara (Sumalatha) explains why she tried and kept a distance from Jayakrishnan (Mohanlal). She tells him not to tell about this meeting to Radha. She gets on the train, exchanges one final glance and waves her hand. Now as the train moves and camera angle changes, we could now see Radha(Parvathi) right behind Jayakrishnan. This complex tale of Clara and her contractor had a beautiful ending. And as it goes by Padmarajan’s ability to get the best of his music directors, you had a lovely background score to listen to while all this happens on screen.

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