Summer in Bethlehem

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Summer in Bethlehem
Summer in Bethlahem.jpg
VCD cover
Directed by Sibi Malayil
Produced by Siyad Koker
Screenplay by Ranjith
Story by Venu Nagavalli
Starring Mohanlal
Suresh Gopi
Jayaram
Manju Warrier
Kalabhavan Mani
Akhil Unnikrishnan
Sukumari
Janardhanan
Music by Vidyasagar
Cinematography Sanjeev Shankar
Edited by L. Bhoominathan
Production
company
Distributed by Anupama Release & PJ Entertainments UK
Release date
  • 4 September 1998 (1998-09-04)
Running time
143 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam
Budget 2 crore (US$310,000)
Box office 15.78 crore (US$2.5 million)

Summer in Bethlehem is a 1998 Malayalam romantic comedy drama film written by Ranjith and directed by Sibi Malayil. It stars Suresh Gopi, Jayaram, and Manju Warrier with a cameo appearance by Mohanlal. The music was composed by Vidyasagar.

The film was shot among the forest hills and farms of Ooty (Ootacamund). It tells the story of Ravishankar (Jayaram), the bumbling friend of a successful landowner Dennis (Suresh Gopi), and the vacation visit by Ravishankar's relatives in Dennis's estate known as Bethlehem Estates in Chandragiri. Movie was released along with Mohanlal,Mamooty starrer Harikrishnans and became second highest grooser film after Harikrishnans

Plot[edit]

Ravishankar (Jayaram), an unsuccessful investor, stays with Dennis (Suresh Gopi), his friend who is successful in farming business. Dennis owns a vast farmland named Bethlehem, and hundreds of cattle, in a valley. Ravi is a fun-loving, jovial chap, who has fabricated stories of his success to his parents and relatives.

On a vacation, Colonel C.R. Menon (Janardhanan), his grandfather and grandmother (Sukumari) arrive with their extended family to spend a couple of days at the farmhouse of Ravishankar. He successfully makes them believe that he is the real owner of Bethlehem, and Dennis is his partner. Dennis, who is an orphan, was happy to meet a huge family and welcomes them with full heart. Colonel Menon has a plan to get Ravishankar married to any one of his granddaughters. Ravishankar is a bit confused about whom he should choose. To make matters complicated, he had been receiving messages and letters from one of the five girls expressing her love for him. Meanwhile, a few days after their arrival at Bethlehem, Abhirami (Manju Warrier), another granddaughter of Menon, who is studying in Bangalore arrives alone. She seems to be too upset and worried. But within short time, she returns to normalcy and enjoys the colors of vacation. During their stay, Ravi and Dennis decide to discover the girl who had been teasing them with the cryptic messages.

Dennis begins suspecting Abhirami of being the sender but she informs him that she is not and that she would help them in finding the person. She asks around among her cousins but everyone denies them being the sender. However, Dennis begins to fall for her and to make matters complicated, Ravi confesses to him that he plans on proposing to Abhirami. To avoid a situation, Dennis hides her true feelings from everyone.

Colonel Menon and his wife approve of Ravi's and Abhirami's relationship but upon knowing this, Abhirami snubs them by declaring that she is in love with Dennis. Her decision creates a panic among all, who believes that Dennis is a failed businessman who is living at the expense of Ravishankar. Ravi shocks everyone by revealing that Dennis is the actual owner of Bethlehem and that he is more than happy to see Abhirami getting married to Dennis. Abhirami meets Dennis who is completely broken down after the chaos at the house. Dennis, at the same time, is happy at heart knowing about Abhirami's love for him. But she shocks him by saying that she was just using his name to escape the marriage. She tells Dennis that she is in love with Niranjan (Mohanlal), a Naxal revolutionary in southern Karnataka. Niranjan, whom she met in Bangalore, is now in jail, convicted of killing Brijesh Mallaya, a landlord and his family. He is awaiting his execution in a couple of days and Abhirami has taken a vow not to marry anyone other than Niranjan.

But at home, upon the compulsion from Ravi, the family decides to get Abhirami married to Dennis. The night before wedding, Abhirami requests Dennis to take her to jail to meet Niranjan for one last time. They meet Niranjan (Mohanlal), who is a completely changed man. Remorseful Niranjan regrets the violent ways he adopted in class war and the crimes he did to obtain a classless society. Niranjan advises Abhirami to forget him and accept Dennis as her husband. Abhirami refuses to take his words, but Niranjan forces Dennis to tie the mangalsutra to Abhirami, which she has brought with her. Dennis obeys Niranjan, marries Abhirami at the jail, and Niranjan witnesses it with tearful eyes.

A few days later, the family returns home, while Ravi jokingly reminds everyone that they should be back here next year to welcome junior Dennis. The train departs slowly and a girl's hand reaches out of the coach window, holding the kitten which was sent as a gift to Ravi before. Ravi takes off running to find out who it is, but he catches only a cryptic message that teases him to follow and discover her identity.

Cast[edit]

Remake controversy[edit]

Producer of the film Siyad Kokker had accused Priyadarshan of remaking Summer In Bethlehem in Tamil without taking his permission or paying for the rights. The Kerala film producers association had banned the screening of all the films of director Priyadarsan in the state.[1] Kokker had alleged Priyadarshan's Tamil film Laysa Laysa is an exact copy of Summer In Bethlehem. Priyadarsan refuted by alleging that Summer in Bethlehem is a copy of Hollywood films like Fiddler On The Roof and Come September.[2] The matter was later settled.

Trivia[edit]

  • This was the second script written by Renjith for Sibi Malayil after Maya Mayooram. Later they joined again for Ustaad in 1999.
  • The movie is also famous for the cameo of actor Mohanlal as a convict, who is in the green mile.

Soundtrack[edit]

Summer in Bethlehem
Soundtrack album by Vidyasagar
Released October 1998
Recorded 1998 Varshaa Vallaki Studios, Chennai
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Sargam Musics
Producer Vidyasagar
Vidyasagar chronology
Sidhartha
(1998)Sidhartha1998
Summer in Bethlehem
(1998)
Thaayin Manikodi
(1998)Thaayin Manikodi1998

The soundtrack of the film was composed by Vidyasagar and written by Gireesh Puthenchery. The soundtrack had seven songs. The soundtrack became one of the biggest hits in Kerala. Vidyasagar won Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for this film.

Track Song Title Singer(s) Raga
1 "Oru Raathri Koodi" Dr. K. J. Yesudas, K. S. Chithra Abheri
2 "Ethrayo Janmamay" Srinivas, Sujatha Kapi
3 "Marivillin Gopurangal" Biju Narayanan, Srinivas
4 "Choolamadichu" K. S. Chithra, Chorus Vrindavana Saranga
5 "Oru Raathri Koodi" Dr. K. J. Yesudas Abheri
6 "Poonchillamel" K. S. Chithra, Chorus
7 "Kunnimani Koottil" M. G. Sreekumar, K. S. Chithra
8 "Confusion Theerkaname" M. G. Sreekumar Shanmukhapriya
9 "Oru Raathri Koodi" K. S. Chithra Abheri

References[edit]

External links[edit]