TThe director of the film ‘Chalakkudikkaran Changathi’ had promised that the film portrayed the life of the talented actor Kalabhavan Mani who had a sudden disappearance. But, the first watch reveals that it is not a biopic. The film is typical fiction based on the real life of Mani. At the same time, it reminds us of our well known Kalabhavan Mani. There are two aspects to the film, one as a life story and the other as a film. To tell the truth, the film is not a success in both directions.
Although the names can be changed, the film chronicles Mani’s eventful life. It has a plot that intertwines the stories Mani has told repeatedly and the story of his death that has not been told. When Vinayan recounts the stories Mani tells overloading her with humility and kindness, the death story is presented in an exaggerated manner. The climax of the film has the versions about Mani’s death.
The script or the presentation does not have the strength to mark the life of a multi-talented person like Kalabhavan Mani. His life was limited to the good deeds he did for his village. Vinayan seems unable to decide what to say and where to start as he describes the journey of an actor born into a Dalit family. The director also fails to convincingly present the struggles of the hero who was a mimicry artist and folk singer. The mysteries surrounding the actor’s death also couldn’t be addressed properly.
Everyone in the film industry has a dupe. The movie sets formed by these dupes create another world. When many scenes are aimed at teasing others, Mani’s true story remains intact.
Senthil, the main actor played the role of Kalabhavan Mani. Although his face shows a lack of self-confidence, his performance must be appreciated. The casting of the hero did not go badly. Salim Kumar, Dharmajan, Joju, Vishnu Govindan, Honey Rose and Kottayam Nazeer also played prominent roles. A film about Mani doesn’t have to be like that. The story of the life of this hero was not so banal.