Manikyam Malayalam Movie
'Manickyam' tells a forlorn tale of love, as it follows its protagonist Kunjumanickyam) despondently wading through troubled waters infested with swirling emotional undercurrents. Narrated at a lethargic pace, 'Manickyam' does not break fresh ground with its tale; neither does it offer unsullied insights.
Married to Krishnan Muthalali (Ajaya Ghosh), Manickyam (Sree Laya) leads a dejected existence. She feels invariably ignored by her husband, and is charmed by the gentle manners of Kumaran Writer (Sahil Sunil). Manickyam realizes that their forbidden love can only be headed over for doom, unless Krishnan Muthalali is wiped off their plot. However, her plans go for a toss, when Kumaran Writer unearths a truth about her husband, that he had buried long back and had left for forgotten.
Moving ahead with a snail's swiftness, 'Manickyam' is a tale that takes its own time to unfurl the story that it intends to tell. Many a time slow paced films do leave an impact with the story gradually gaining hold over the viewer, but in 'Manickyam' there are no such big disclosures in store that will leave them terrifically moved.
Manickyam meets a Desdamonaisque end, and the letter that she leaves for her husband reveals the kind of person that she truly was. As tears flood Krishnan Muthalali's eyes, remorse and regret find their way out. The two men, stranded alone after Manickyam has made her exit, examine their loss before going separate ways.
The few considerations that the film offers concern the woman psyche, as Manickyam is compelled to make a fatal choice, and forced to choose between an indifferent husband and a considerate lover. It isn't exactly difficult for her to make a choice, but when her perceptions are altered, she finds herself at the cross roads again.
While S K Pottakad's 'Prema Shiksha' on which the film is based makes for compelling reading, the film does not rise up to the expectations raised by the momentous literary work. While the age and ambience are recreated with much precision, the characters seem stuck in a groove that place them on plains almost alien to the viewer.
There are no two questions about the lead acts, especially those of Sree Laya and Ajaya Ghosh. Sree Laya is amazingly good in the title role, while Ajaya Ghosh's performance as the film heads over for the climax is commendable. Sahil Sunil however tends to underplay the role a little, and at times strikes us as wooden.
Manoj Narayanan's camera leads us on to an almost rusty world and the empty spaces that lie all around ironically talk of the claustrophobic gloom that rules Manickyam's mind. The musical score by Sheik Ilyani adds to the sober tone of the film.
R J Prasad's film is a classy instance of a work of literature losing out on its allure in the process of being transformed into a film. At best 'Manickyam' remains a lukewarm movie adaptation that is timid and tame, and which never really gets going beyond a point.