Harikumar deftly conceived psychoanalysis of protagonists

May 9, 2024 KRR

As director Harikumar bids adieu to the world, his protagonists will remain as the time-tested characters with disturbed minds. Indeed, they have the sustaining power of haunting the emotional consciousness of viewers. Harikumar has intensely explored the inner conflicts of his protagonists who undergo emotional or intellectual whirl in their life triggered by their ill-fate. Ravishankar, played by Mammootty in ‘Sukrutham’ is the highly intense character that represents the varied traits of human emotions apart from sharing deep hope for resuming life’s journey.

Retired military man Sudhakaran, the hero in ‘Udyanapalakan’, also played by Mammootty, exudes shades of romance even as he realises the hurdles ahead in life. Samyuktha Varma’s portrayal of Priya in ‘Swayamvara Panthal’ beautifully showcases how her dim-witted demeanour affects her life partner.

When Navya Nair played Yamuna in ‘Sadgamaya’, Harikumar was able to bring out the mental state of the character and narrate her emotional dilemma touchingly. A subtle psychoanalysis of major characters is apparent in all his films. Despite the meagre success of his movies, Harikumar stands out as a ‘specialist’ in fabulously transforming the depth of the inner turmoil of his main characters on screen.

He had a penchant for weaving visual language for notable works of litterateurs including MT Vasudevan Nair (‘Sukrutham’), M Mukundan (‘Autorickshawkarente Bharya’), Balachandran Chullikkad (‘Jalakam’) and Perumbadavam Sreedharan (‘Ambal Poovu). Scenarists like AK Lohithadas, Sreenivasan and Kaloor Dennis have also written for Harikumar, who passed away at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday evening. He was 70.

Ailing from cancer, he had been under treatment for a while. In a career that began in 1981 with ‘Ambal Poovu’, he became popular with ‘Sukurtham’ (1994). This film won two National awards — for the best Malayalam film and music direction.

Harikumar directed 16 films with the last being ‘Autorickshawkarente Bharya’ (2022). He was a member of the National Film Awards jury in 2005 and 2008.

The last rites will be held in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday evening.

His major films include ‘Ambal Poovu’, ‘Ezhunnallathu’, ‘Oru Swakaryam’, ‘Puli Varunne Puli’, ‘Ayanam’, ‘Jalakam’, ‘Oozham’, ‘Sukrutham’, ‘Udyanapalakan’, ‘Swayamvara Panthal’, ‘Paranju Theeratha Visheshangal’, ‘Sadgamaya’, ‘Clint’, and ‘Autorickshawkarante Bharya.’


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