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Chanthupottu directed by Lal Jose is a 2005 Malayalam film, written by Benny P. Nayarambalam. The story is character-driven and is about a man known as Radhakrishnan (Dileep) who has been brought up as a girl. This movie is crated on the lines of a drama with the same title, which is about a man with female gestures.
Plot: Chandupottu is an ordinary tale, about a boy named Radhakrishnan (Dileep) (Radha) in a village, who is brought up like a girl by his grandmother. He’s more of comfort with them than the boys. Subsequently, an event involving his dad to be held responsible of murder is sent to jail. Radha, with all the female like mannerisms, ends up growing as a joke in the village. He imparts his knowledge about folk dance for a living, in the company of girls at all time. He’s mainly close with Malu (played by Gopika).
At this point, Kumaran, the antagonist of the story makes his entry. He happens to be the son of the man, Radha’s father murders. Radha and Malu develop a very close relationship. Kumaran also likes Malu and wants to get rid of Radha. He takes the help of Malu’s father, and gets him beaten up and throws him into the sea. Freddie ( Biju Menon) saves him and takes him to Goa, where he and his sister Rosie (Bhavana) aid Radha to recover soon. At this time, back in his village Radha’s father returns from the jail, and is shocked to hear about his son’s state. What happens when Radha comes back to his village? Will the true love unite again? Watch this dramatically romantic movie to find out.
Analysis: Director Lal Jose and writer Benny P Nayarambalam have made this film with a unique theme. The subject is new and is bundled and is put together just fine, by the director. The story is from a play with the same issue. The story-telling is somewhat humorous. But, the screenplay is unstable in some places, like when in the second half the story and locality are changed, the movie loses its rhythm. Camera work by Azagappan is brilliant, taking stunning shots of the sea. Music by Vidyasagar is done well.
Star Performances: Dileep and Lal Jose have worked together plenty of times and have an excellent understanding. Dileep's performance is spot-on, even a little underemphasizing or overdoing would have made it absurd or unpolished. He smoothly balances the feminine physicality with an emotional skill to near flawlessness. Gopika did her part very well, and Dileep and Gopika make an exceptional duo. Indrajeet, Lal, Rajan P Dev, etc. did their best too, but their roles do not have much scope.
1) Acting by the lead characters is commendable.
2) The storyline is unique and different.
What’s not there?
1) The Screenplay of the movie could have been put together, better.
2) Supporting roles could have got a little more emphasis.
Verdict: With an entirely different storyline and admirable acting skills, this movie is worth a watch.
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