- 1 hr 59 min
Vaanaprastham is the story of a celebrated Kathakali dancer, Kunhikuttan, played by the versatile Mohanlal. The movie delves into the life of this intricately layered character and how he comes to term with his tumultuous relationships. Kunhikuttan hails from a poor Brahmin family, living in a small village in Kerala. His father is also a Kathakali artist, who passes on his art to his son. Kunhikuttan evolves into a prodigious Kathakali dancer through years of hard work and dedication. He becomes a celebrity in no time, and his prowess in dance earns him the title of "Arjuna." However, alongside his success comes the realization of the inescapable truth that his prestigious status cannot provide him with love and companionship.
Ultimately, Kunhikuttan becomes hopeless and chooses to undergo the Vanaprastham, an ancient Indian tradition where a father leaves his family to embrace a life of self-discovery. Kunhikuttan embraces the monk-like lifestyle, wandering the forests and the hills. Eventually, he falls in love with a tribal woman, Subhadra, played by Suhasini, who he saves from the clutches of an oppressive tax collector.
The movie progresses with a series of flashback sequences that provide an insight into Kunhikuttanâs past. The story is beautifully crafted, and the amalgamation of dance, drama, and romance creates an effect that stays with the audience long after the movie finishes.
The movieâs direction is exceptional, with Shaji N.Karun weaving his magic once again. The director masterfully captures the intricate nuances of Indian classical dance in a way that fills the audience with awe. While the movie is mainly in Malayalam, its visuals, dance sequences, and the soundtrack transcend the language barrier and stir emotions in the audience.
Undoubtedly the backbone of the movie is the acting of Mohanlal. He delivers one of his most nuanced performances to date, showcasing Kunhikuttan's character's complexities with grace and skill that makes it easy for viewers to relate to his character. Suhasini also shines in her role, providing a much-needed balance of subtlety and elegance.
The musical score of the movie is captivating, as the legendary composer Zakir Hussain creates an unforgettable soundtrack that sets the tone for the entire film. The music, dance, and storyline all come to a magnificent peak in the movie's climax.
In conclusion, Vaanaprastham is a masterpiece that has left an indelible mark on Indian cinema. It is an enriching, fascinating experience that immerses the audience into the world of classical dance through its mesmerising portrayal. The film reflects the inevitability of change in oneâs life and the importance of embracing it, making it a must-watch for anyone who loves a good story.