Devasuram

Devasuram (transl. God-Demon) is a 1993 Indian Malayalam-language drama film directed by I. V. Sasi and written by Ranjith. It stars Mohanlal, Revathi, and Napoleon, with Innocent, V. K. Sreeraman, Maniyanpilla Raju, and Augustine in supporting roles. The songs featured in the film were composed by M. G. Radhakrishnan, while S. P. Venkatesh composed the background score.

Devasuram
Devasuram poster.jpg
Poster published on newspaper
Directed byI. V. Sasi
Produced byV. B. K. Menon
Written byRanjith
StarringMohanlal
Revathi
Napoleon
Innocent
Music bySongs:
M. G. Radhakrishnan
Score:
S. P. Venkatesh
CinematographyV. Jayaram
Edited byK. Narayanan
Production
company
Anugraha Cine Arts
Distributed byAnugraha Release
Release date
  • 14 April 1993 (1993-04-14)
Running time
160 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageMalayalam

The film depicts the rivalry between two spoiled heirs of two feudal families—Mangalassery Neelakandan (Mohanlal) and Mundakkal Shekaran (Napoleon). The character Neelakandan was created by Ranjith based on a real-life person named Mullasserry Rajagopal (died 2002).[1] The film was shot at Varikkassery Mana in Ottappalam.

Devasuram was one of the highest-grossing Malayalam films of the 1990s. It is generally considered as one of the best films in Mohanlal's and I. V. Sasi's career.[2][3] The film ran for more than 150 days in the cinemas.[4] It was followed by a sequel, Ravanaprabhu (2001), which was writer Ranjith's directorial debut. The film was remade in Telugu the same year as Kunti Putrudu.

PlotEdit

Neelakandan is the spoiled heir to the rich and well-known Mangalassery family. He squanders away his father's largess, wealth and good name who served as a judge, but is loved by the people who know him well, mainly Warrier, his elderly right-hand man . He has been the arch-rival of Shekaran Nambiar of the Mundakkal family since childhood. During a minor ruckus, one of Neelakandan's aides accidentally kills Shekaran's uncle. This incites Shekaran to plan to avenge the death of his uncle.

Meanwhile, Neelakandan offends Bhanumathi, a talented and educated Bharata Natyam dance graduate, by forcing her to dance in front of him in his house. In retaliation, Bhanumathi quits dancing and curses Neelakandan for desecrating the art so dear to her. Later, he feels regretful and helps her family in many ways and tries to persuade Bhanumathi to take up dancing again, but she doesn't budge.

Meanwhile, Neelakandan visits his widowed mother intending to bring her back home, but she passes away after revealing a terrible secret; that he was born of another man, out of wedlock, without revealing the name of his real father. This fact crushes him, and only Bhanumathi finds out this secret when he curses drunkenly (at the car of his deceased "father") that the ancestral heritage which he is proud of, is actually not his. She is surprised by the vulnerable side of Neelakandan.

He visits Bhanumathi at her home to persuade her to take up dancing again, only to be refused like before, telling him that she will resume dancing only after his death. That night while returning home from the visit, Shekaran and his aide's ambush (by hitting him with a car from behind) and injure him seriously after also inflicting several wounds with swords, knives, iron rods, and wooden sticks.

Neelakandan survives the attack, but his left hand and right leg are badly injured and as a cure he undergoes Ayurvedic treatment to rejuvenate his legs. It is during this time that Bhanumathi falls in love with him (she is also regretful for having cursed him, feeling a bit guilty that the attack was somehow related to her curse). Neelakandan convinces Bhanumathi to dance and he arranges for a dance event for her at Delhi. He too loves her ardently, but he refuses to marry Bhanumathi considering her future, but in the end, she and Warrier persuade him to do so.

Neelakandan tries to forget all the past events and his rivalry with Shekaran, but Shekaran is not satisfied and wants to defeat Neelakandan in front of the whole village. For this, he kidnaps Bhanumathi and forces Neelakandan to take blows in front of the public during the annual village temple festival organized by the Mundackal family. Meanwhile, Neelakandan's friends rescue Bhanumathi and after this, Neelakandan mauls Shekaran badly and cuts off Shekaran's right hand, claiming "Shekaran, I want to live peacefully..." so that he will not again come up with revenge later. However, while severing Shekharan's right-hand, Neelakandan uses the backside of the sword, which shows the agony and power he had.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

The protagonist Mangalaserry Neelakandan (Mohanlal) is a real-life character sketch of Mullasserry Rajagopal (died 2002).[5] Supposedly, some notable scenes in Devasuram are real-life incidents. Varikassery Mana near Ottappalam was selected to portray the ancient Mangalaserry house. "It was only after Devasuram became a hit that producers and directors began to queue up for this location. Until then only one film was shot here," says Murali, one of the managers of the mana.[6] The climax scene of the movie was shot entirely in Pariyanampatta Bhagavathi Temple.

Mullasserry Rajagopal is known as an ardent music lover. "Music was the sole passion in his life. He was a good friend of mine, but we never discussed literature; we talked mainly about music and films," said renowned author M. T. Vasudevan Nair. M. T. was impressed by the way Rajagopal reacted to the setbacks in his life. "I was even more impressed by the way how his wife, Lakshmi, devoted her life to him; he would not have survived but for her."[5] "I met him for the first time at K. J. Yesudas' bungalow in Chennai, way back in 1985," recalls playback singer G. Venugopal. "He was sitting on a wheelchair. I was told that his name was Raju. K. J. Yesudas, his close friend, had brought him to Chennai for brain surgery."[5] "I will never forget the evening director and script-writer Ranjith took me along to meet Raju," says director Jayaraj. "When I went there, a ghazal programme was going on; I could sense music everywhere in that house. I could also feel the extraordinary warmth of the man. I was surprised he could take life so lightly, despite being bed-ridden for about two decades. We became very good friends. Ranjith had told me that he was planning to make a film on Raju (Devasuram). I believe that is the best work by Ranjith till date. Raju used to joke that Ranjith had not managed to show even half of what he did in his life." [5][7]

"There were [also] powerful business interests at work when I wrote my hits such as Devasuram, Narasimham, Ravanaprabhu and so on...", said writer Ranjith.[8][9]

SoundtrackEdit

Devasuram
Soundtrack album by
Released14 April 1993
Recorded1993
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LanguageMalayalam
LabelMagnasound
ProducerM. G. Radhakrishnan
M. G. Radhakrishnan chronology
Manichithrathazhu
(1993)
Devasuram
(1993)
Ammayane Sathyam
(1993)

The film includes songs composed by M. G. Radhakrishnan, with lyrics by Gireesh Puthenchery.[10] The background score was composed by S. P. Venkatesh. The songs were chart-busters. Mohanlal has rendered his voice for some songs as its introduction.

The song "Vande Mukunda Hare" is picturised on Oduvil Unnikrishnan, in one of the most dramatic scenes in the film. Unnikrishnan plays the role of a wandering Edakka musician who frequently visits Neelakandan. The Edakka featured in the background of the song is played by Tripunithura Krishnadas.[11]

Title Singer(s) Notes
"Angopangan" K. S. Chithra Raga: Lalitha
"Ganga Tharanga" (Bit) M. G. Sreekumar Raga:Bowli
"Kizhakkannam" M. G. Radhakrishnan
"Maappu Nalku" M. G. Sreekumar Raga: Mukhari
"Maarimazhakal" M. G. Sreekumar, Jaya
"Medaponnaniyum" M. G. Sreekumar, B. Arundhathi Raga: Kadanakuthuhalam
"Namasthesthu" (Bit) B. Arundhathi (Raga: Anandabhairavi) Traditional slokam by Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam
"Sarasijanaabha" K. Omanakutty Traditional keerthanam by Muthuswami Dikshitar
Raga: Nagagandhari
"Sooryakireedam" M. G. Sreekumar Raga: Chenchurutti
"Sree Paadam" M. G. Sreekumar Raga: Aarabhi, Anandabhairavi
"Sree Paadam" K. S. Chithra Raga: Aarabhi, Anandabhairavi
"Vande Mukundahare" M. G. Radhakrishnan Raga: Anandabhairavi
"Yamuna Kinaare" (Bit) M. G. Sreekumar

SequelEdit

Devasuram was followed by a sequel, Ravanaprabhu, in 2001.[12] Because of the success of the film, a number of films with the same genre and feudal backdrop was produced in Malayalam cinema.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "An award in the name of a music lover". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 8 September 2007.
  2. ^ Indulge (24 October 2017). "Remembering a legend: Five iconic IV Sasi movies that shaped Mollywood". Indulge. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Spirit". The Times of India.
  4. ^ "10 Mohanlal films to watch before you die - The Times of India".
  5. ^ a b c d "An award in the name of a music lover". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 8 September 2007. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Theyre shooting like hell at Varikkassery Mana". 29 May 2012.
  7. ^ https://keralakaumudi.com/en/news/news.php?id=147257&u=he-was-initially-afraid-to-kick-mohanlal-renjith-opens-up-about-this-particular-scene-in-devasuram-147257
  8. ^ Nagarajan, Saraswathy (7 October 2011). "When money talks". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  9. ^ https://english.manoramaonline.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/2020/04/14/devasuram-mohanlal-mangalassery-neelakandan-malayalam-movie.html
  10. ^ ", Songs, Download songs by . Raaga.com Malayalam Songs - Raaga.com - A World Of Music".
  11. ^ K. Pradeep (1 April 2011). "Edakka Notes". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Painting a portrait of love - Section: The Shooting of Ravana Prabhu" Archived 24 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine. The Hindu. 2001-07-18. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  13. ^ "Journey of music". The Hindu. 19 July 2008. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2011. Ravana Prabhu is one of the biggest hits of Malayalam cinema

External linksEdit