Bhayanakam Review & Rating
Jayaraj's Bhayanakam is sixth in the Navarasa series done by 8 times National Award winning filmmaker Jayaraj after his movies Karunam(2000), Santham(2000), Bheebhasta (2002), Adbhutham (2006) and Veeram (2016). The film which stars Renji Panicker and Asha Sharath is an adaption of two chapters from Thakazhi's epic novel Kayar and won National Awards for Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography this year. Read Bhayanakam review here to know what the fare is all about.
The film opens with the arrival of a new postman to a lush green village in Kuttanad from where a lot of young men have joined the army to fight in the Second World War. The new postman, who is slightly handicapped, had fought in the First World War and has terrifying war memories. He instantly gets bonded with villagers and everything goes well till the war intensifies. The postman who had till then brought the letters and money orders from their beloved young men, suddenly becomes the carrier of sad news. Eventually, he himself becomes an omen of death for the villagers.
Bhayanakam reeks of fear and the fearful anticipation of the inevitable throughout. Even in the first half of the film which is infused with the poetic beauty of the Kuttandan landscape, the lighter moments and the characters who are in their good spirits despite the ongoing war, there hung an ominous shadow of something inexorable. In the second half, the film turns dark; each frame poetically and effectively captures the feel of it and even the audience is pulled into that gloom. So much so that at one point we begin to feel unease at the arrival of postman.
Renjipanicker has done quite an astounding performance in the role of the postman. He effectively and precisely brings in the nuances of a character who has terrifying memories of war and is aware of the fleeting transitions of life. Asha Sharath who plays the role of the ever-romantic Gowrikunjamma has donned her role beautifully. The rest of the cast including Kumarakom Vasudevan and Sabith Jayaraj backs up the movie with their spectacular performances. Cinematographer Nikhil S Praveen and music director MK Arjunan deserves a special mention. Bhayanakam wouldn't be the treat it is without them.
Final Verdict: Bhayanakam is a compelling film beautifully woven by a moving story and some splendid performances.
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What Is Bhayanakam About?
Jayaraj's Bhayanakam starring Renji Panicker and Asha Sarath in the pivotal roles is one of the highly awaited releases of the year. The film, which is set in Kuttanadu of the Second World War era, revolves around a postman who delivers letter and money orders to the families of young men who have left to fight in the war. Over the time, he becomes a death of omen to the villagers who are torn by the death of their beloved sons.
What To Expect From Bhayanakam?
Until recently, till the film bagged a hat-trick at the National Awards for Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, the makers were keeping it under tight wraps. In fact, except for the title, very little did anyone know about this film which is now getting tagged as a splendid visual treat and compelling watch by those who got to see it.
Well, Bhayanakam is the screen adaptation of two chapters from notable Malayalam writer Thakazhi Sivasankaran Pillai's epic novel Kayar which comments on the social milieu of Kuttanad during the World War II. Renji Panicker appears in the role of the postman in the film is said to have delivered a stunning performance in the film. While rest of the cast doesn't comprise familiar faces, popular actress Asha Sarath play another central character.
Cinematographer Nikhil S Praveen who bagged the National Award for Best Cinematographer has captured in his poetically beautiful frames the lush green landscape of Kuttanad intermittent of backwaters and fields. Going by the promo videos, music by MK Arjunan is also equally appealing. In short, Bhayanakam has all the fair chances to be the movie of the week.