Devasuram

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Devasuram
Devaasuram 100.jpg
Newspaper advertisement announcing the 100 days of running in the cinemas
Directed by I. V. Sasi
Produced by V. B. K. Menon
Written by Ranjith
Starring Mohanlal
Revathi
Nedumudi Venu
Innocent
Napoleon
V. K. Sreeraman
Manian Pillai Raju
Augustine
Music by Songs:
M. G. Radhakrishnan
Background Score:
S. P. Venkatesh
Cinematography v.jayaram
Edited by K. Narayanan
Production
company
Anugraha Cine Arts
Distributed by Anugraha Release
Release dates
  • April 14, 1993 (1993-04-14)
Running time
160 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam

Devasuram (ദേവാസുരം; English: The God Demon) is a 1993 Indian Malayalam-language drama film directed by I. V. Sasi and written by Ranjith. The film stars Mohanlal, Revathi, Nedumudi Venu, Innocent, Napoleon, V. K. Sreeraman, Manian Pillai Raju and Augustine. The songs featured in the film were composed by M. G. Radhakrishnan, while S. P. Venkatesh composed the original background score.

The rivalry between Mangalassery Neelakantan (Mohanlal) and Mundakkal Shekaran (Napoleon) forms the main theme of the film. The character Mangalaserry Neelakandan was created by Ranjith based on the real-life person Mullasserry Rajagopal.[1]

The film was one of the highest grossing Malayalam films of the 1990s and the story, dialogues, and characters have achieved cult status in Kerala. It is generally considered as one of the best films of Mohanlal's and I. V. Sasi's careers.[2] The film ran for more than five months in the cinemas. It was followed by a sequel Ravanaprabhu (2001), which was writer Ranjith's directional début.

Production[edit]

The protagonist Mangalaserry Neelakandan (Mohanlal) is a real-life character sketch of Mullasserry Rajagopal (died 2002).[3] Supposedly, some notable scenes in Devasuram are real-life incidents. Varikassery Mana near Ottappalam was selected to portray the ancient Mangalaserry house. "It was only after Devasuram became a hit that producers and directors began to queue up for this location. Until then only one film was shot here," says Murali, one of the managers of the mana.[4]

Mullasserry Rajagopal is known as an ardent music lover. "Music was the sole passion in his life. He was a good friend of mine, but we never discussed literature; we talked mainly about music and films," said renowned author MT Vasudevan Nair. MT was impressed by the way Rajagopal reacted to the setbacks in his life. "I was even more impressed by the way how his wife, Lakshmi, devoted her life to him; he would not have survived but for her."[5] "I met him for the first time at K. J. Yesudas’ bungalow in Chennai, way back in 1985," recalls playback singer G Venugopal. "He was sitting on a wheelchair. I was told that his name was Raju. Yesudas, his close friend, had brought him to Chennai for a brain surgery."[6] "I will never forget the evening director and script-writer Ranjith took me along to meet Raju," says director Jayaraj. "When I went there, a ghazal programme was going on; I could sense music everywhere in that house. I could also feel the extraordinary warmth of the man. I was surprised he could take life so lightly, despite being bed-ridden for about two decades. We became very good friends. Ranjith had told me that he was planning to make a film on Raju (Devasuram). I believe that is the best work by Ranjith till date. Raju used to joke that Ranjith had not managed to show even half of what he did in his life." [7]

"There were [also] powerful business interests at work when I wrote my hits such as Devasuram, Narasimham, Ravanaprabhu and so on...", said writer Ranjith Balakrishnan.[8]

Plot[edit]

Neelakantan (Mohanlal) is the heir to the well-known Mangalassery family. He squanders away his father's largess and good name, but is loved by the people who know him well. He has been the arch-rival of Shekaran of the Mundakkal family since childhood. During a minor ruckus, one of Neelakantan's aides accidentally kills Shekaran's uncle (Janardanan). This incites Shekaran to plan to avenge the death of his uncle.

Meanwhile, Neelakantan offends Bhanumathi (Revathi), a talented Carnatic dance graduate, by forcing her to dance in front of him in his house. In retaliation, Bhanumathi quits dancing and curses Neelakantan for desecrating the art so dear to her. Later he feels regretful and helps her family in many ways and tries to persuade Bhanumathi to take up dancing again, but she doesn't budge.

Meantime, Neelakantan visits his widowed mother intending to bring her back home, but she passes away after revealing a terrible secret; that he was born of another man, out of wedlock. This fact crushes him, and only Bhanumathi finds out this secret when he curses drunkenly (at the car of his deceased "father") that the ancestral heritage which he is proud of, is actually not his. She is surprised by the vulnerable side of Neelakantan.

He visits Banumathi at her home to persuade her to take up dancing again, only to be refused like before, telling him that she will resume dancing only after his death. That night while returning home from the visit, Shekaran and his aides ambush (by hitting him with a car from behind) and injure him seriously after also inflicting several wounds with swords and wooden sticks.

Neelakantan survives the attack, but his left hand and right leg are badly injured and as a cure he undergoes Ayurvedic treatment to rejuvenate his legs. It is during this time that Bhanumathi falls in love with him (she is also regretful for having cursed him, feeling a bit guilty that the attack was somehow related to her curse). Neelakantan convinces Bhanumathi to dance and he arranges for a dance event for her at Delhi. He refuses to marry Bhanumathi considering her future, but in the end she and Warrier (his elderly right hand man) persuade him to do so.

Neelakantan tries to forget all the past events and his rivalry with Shekaran, but Shekaran is not satisfied and wants to defeat Neelakantan in front of the whole village. For this he kidnaps Bhanumathi and forces Neelakantan to take blows in front of the public during a village festival organized by the Mundakkal family. Meanwhile Neelakantan's friends rescue Bhanumathi and after this Neelakantan mauls Shekaran badly and cuts off Shekaran's right hand, claiming "Shekeran, I want to live peacefully..." so that he will not again come up with revenge later. However while severing shekharan's right hand neelakandan uses the backside of the sword which shows the agony and power he had

Cast (in credits order)[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

The film includes songs written by lyricist Gireesh Puthenchery and composed by MG Radhakrishnan.[9] Background music was composed by SP Venkatesh. The songs became chart-busters. Mohanlal has rendered his voice for some songs as its intro.

Song Title Singer(s) Other notes
Angopangan KS Chithra Raga: Lalitha
Ganga Tharanga (Bit) MG Sreekumar
Kizhakkannam MG Radhakrishnan
Maappu Nalku"" MG Sreekumar Raga: Mukhari
Maarimazhakal MG Sreekumar, Jaya
Medaponnaniyum MG Sreekumar, B Arundhathi Raga: Kadanakuthuhala
Namasthesthu (Bit) B Arundhathi Traditional Slokam by Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam
Sarasijanaabha K Omanakutty Traditional keerthanam by Muthuswami Dikshitar
Raga: Nagagandhari
Sooryakireedam MG Sreekumar Raga: Chenchurutti
Sree Paadam MG Sreekumar Raga: Aarabhi, Anandabhairavi
Sree Paadam KS Chithra Raga: Aarabhi, Anandabhairavi
Vande Mukundahare MG Radhakrishnan Raga: Anandabhairavi
Yamuna Kinaare (Bit) MG Sreekumar

The song "Vande Mukunda Hare" is picturised on Oduvil Unnikrishnan, and is considered the most dramatic scene in the film. Though Oduvil Unnikrishnan plays only a small role, it was his performance that got the most applause. He plays the role of a wandering Edakka musician who frequently visits Neelakandan. The Edakka featured in the background of the song is played by Tripunithura Krishnadas.[10]

Sequels and impact[edit]

Devasuram followed up with a sequel, Ravanaprabhu, in 2001.[11] Because of the success of this film, a number of movies of the same genre (called thampuran movies) were made, but only three of them, starring Mohanlal — Aaraam Thampuran (1997), Narasimham (2000) and Ravanaprabhu (2001) — were blockbusters.[12]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "An award in the name of a music lover". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2007-09-08. 
  2. ^ "Spirit - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  3. ^ "An award in the name of a music lover". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2007-09-08. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  4. ^ http://ibnlive.in.com/news/theyre-shooting-like-hell-at-varikkassery-mana/262437-60-116.html
  5. ^ "An award in the name of a music lover". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2007-09-08. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  6. ^ "An award in the name of a music lover". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2007-09-08. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  7. ^ "An award in the name of a music lover". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2007-09-08. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  8. ^ Nagarajan, Saraswathy (2011-10-07). "When money talks". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  9. ^ http://www.raaga.com/channels/malayalam/album/M0000178.html
  10. ^ K. Pradeep (2011-04-01). "Edakka NOTES". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  11. ^ "Painting a portrait of love - Section: The Shooting of Ravana Prabhu". The Hindu. 2001-07-18. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  12. ^ "Journey of music". The Hindu. 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2011-02-03. Ravana Prabhu is one of the biggest hits of Malayalam cinema