Spadikam (transl. Prism), or Spatîkam, is a 1995 Indian Malayalam-language Action drama film written and directed by Bhadran and produced by R. Mohan through Shogun Films. Dialogues were written by Rajendra Babu. The film stars Mohanlal and Thilakan with Urvashi, Spadikam George, K. P. A. C. Lalitha, Rajan P. Dev, Silk Smitha, Nedumudi Venu, Chippy, and V. K. Sreeraman in supporting roles. S. P. Venkatesh composed the film's original songs and background score. The film tells the story of Thomas Chacko (Mohanlal), who is known by the sobriquet Aadu Thoma, a ruffian estranged from his narcissistic father, Chacko Mash (Thilakan), upon failing to meet the latter's high expectations.

Spadikam
Spadikam.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBhadran
Screenplay by
  • Bhadran
  • Rajendra Babu (dialogues)
Story byBhadran
Produced byR. Mohan
StarringMohanlal
Thilakan
Cinematography
Edited byM. S. Mani
Music byS. P. Venkatesh
Production
company
Distributed byManorajyam Release
Release date
  • 30 March 1995 (1995-03-30) (Kerala)
Running time
150 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageMalayalam
Box office₹8 cr+

Spadikam received critical acclaim and was the highest-grossing Malayalam film of the year, grossing more than 8 crores at the box office.[1][2] Mohanlal won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor, at the Filmfare Awards South, the film won Best Film – Malayalam, Best Actor (Mohanlal) and Best Director awards. The film was remade in Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada languages. The film has over the years attained a cult status. The character of Aadu Thoma has over the years become a pop culture icon.

PlotEdit

Thomas Chacko, or "Aadu Thoma" as he is widely known, is a quarry owner and the son of retired school headmaster Chacko, the President's medal winner in mathematics. Thoma is a blemish for the respectable Chacko's reputation, and both never get along. His mother and sister, Jansy, are always left to choose sides, between the two of them; while Chacko's brother – Manimala Vakkachan, supports Thomas.

In the flashback, unlike his father, Thomas was not good at math, but was skilled at mechanical and electronic gadgetry. He made an AM radio receiver inside a soap case, at a time when phonographs were a fad. Thomas's talent astonished others, whereas his father was dismissive. He always compared his son to the best student in the class – Balu, adding to his pressure. His father asked his language teacher, Ravunni Master, to fail his paper, on the belief that only low grades will provoke him to study harder. When Thomas discovered this, he became outraged and ran away from the village, stabbing Balu's hand with a compass, in anger. Fourteen years later, he returned as a changed man, no longer a prodigy. His father still despises him and professes to love his sister more, who lived up to his expectations.

Pookoya, a local baron, is the newly made enemy of Thoma, along with his sub-inspector friend, Kuttikkadan; for supporting Pookoya's daughter's relationship with a penniless teacher. Due to Thomas' relationship with a prostitute, revealed when the police shame him publicly, the arranged marriage of Jansy's, almost fails, further angering his father. This forces him to rat his son out to the police, on a later occasion, surprising even the S.I. with the act. The relationship between the two further declines after this incident, whereby entering into a fit of rage, Thomas cuts off the sleeves of his father's shirts. Chacko then repaints his son's lorry with the word, Chekuthan (devil), and plants a coconut tree in front of their house, naming it after Thomas, to insult him.

Meanwhile, Ravunni Master, who resigned after Thomas ran away from the village, comes back with his daughter, Thulasi, who was Thomas's childhood friend. Thulasi, the Vicar of the local church, and Vakkachan, try to mediate between the two, by trying to get Thomas invited by his father, to attend Jansy's wedding. Thomas, who attends the wedding, hoping for the better, is insulted further by his father. This finally makes Jansy stand against her father, stating she prefers her brother's small necklace to her father's high dowry, in her marriage. While the necklace was actually a gift from Thulasi, given by Thomas, this leads him to be deserted on the day of her wedding. Their mother, who was waiting for the wedding to take place, leaves him as well. With his pride struck the worst blow, Chacko is left all alone, to rethink on his actions and decisions.

Not so long after, Thomas gets stabbed by another goon, employed by Pookoya, in retaliation for helping his daughter elope with her lover, the teacher. Chacko secretly visits his son in the hospital, with regret. Coming back to health, Thomas' attempt at revenge is foiled, when Thulasi interferes. On learning that Thulasi loves him, he tries to prevent her. With her help, he tries to back out from his wrong outlook of life. Filled with the guilt of ruining his son's life, Chacko attempts suicide, which Thomas prevents. The two reconcile, thereafter. With a newfound joy, they, together, bring back his mother.

In a desperate attempt for revenge, Thomas's enemies unite against him. In a tragic turn of events, Chacko is shot by S.I. Kuttikadan, while targeting Thomas. Chacko succumbs to his injuries and dies in front of Thomas. He becomes enraged and attacks Kuttikadan. Thomas kills him and is taken into police custody, on charges of murder, leaving the helpless family and Thulasi in tears.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

It took two to three years of preparation for the film, the screenplay was rewritten a few times.[3] Producer R. Mohan wanted to name the film Aadu Thoma which he felt was more appealing to the public. But Bhadran wanted to name it Spadikam. The character Thomas Chacko / Aadu Thoma was based on three real-life ruffians who lived around Pala, one of them was known by the nickname irattachankan (the man with two hearts), another one used to remove his mundu to wrap his opponent's head for hitting, and the third one had a downfall during his peaks period. Bhadran said he considered Mohanlal the best choice for the role because the character was not only alpha male but also innocent and had self pity, he can emote all these. Shobana was first offered the role of Thulasi, but she could not sign the film as she had to leave for the United States for a dance program she already committed. Urvashi was cast in the role. Later Bhadran said that after watching the film he realized Urvashi was in fact the right choice for the role.[4]

The character Chacko Mash was based on four real-life characters Bhadran knew from his life, one was his own father who used to compare him with other kids, and the other three were his school teachers. Bhadran wanted Thilakan to play the role, but it was difficult to hire him as they were not in good terms after their last film Idanazhiyil Oru Kaalocha (1987), since the two had a verbal dispute during the film's dubbing process, as Bhadran recalls, they came close to hitting each other. Spadikam was written after three to four years after this incident. There were suggestions from the film crew to cast Nedumudi Venu for the role (who was later cast in another role). According to Bhadran, Thilakan acknowledged that it was a mistake on his part and they reconciled, thus he was able to cast him.[4] Thilakan's son Shammi Thilakan later said that he was instrumental in Thilakan's casting, Bhadran used to make unsuccessful visits to see Thilakan while he was in the hospital, but was not permitted by Thilakan. Shammi then acted as an agent for Bhadran to present him the story of Spadikam while he was in a good mood.[5]

In an interview, Bhadran said that Spadikam was inspired by his own life, but not that the character Aadu Thoma is him, but the film draws inspiration from his parents, village, priest, teachers, and disabilities of the education system at that time. Nassar was originally fixed in the role of S.I Kuttikkadan, but he was unable to reach on schedule due to the unexpected extension of the schedule of another film he was filming. Bhadran found Spadikam George for the role accidentally when he saw him in front of a hotel he was staying. Impressed by his physique, Bhadran offered him the role, only then he realized George had already acted in a few films, he immediately agreed. Roopesh Peethambaran, who portrayed Thomas Chacko's childhood, himself asked for a role in the film when Bhadran visited their home, his father Peethambaran was Bhadran's friend. The man who played a goon named Thorappan Bastin hired to finish off Aadu Thoma was originally a cop.[6]

FilmingEdit

The film was extensively shot in and around the town of Changanassery in Kottayam district. The house named Thekkedathu Mana was used as the house of Aadu Thoma and Chacko Mash. It was situated in Kudamaloor, Kottayam.[7] The house was former Kerala chief minister E. M. S. Namboodiripad's mother's tharavadu.[6] The scene in which Kuttikkadan arrest Thoma and Laila was filmed in Changanassery market.[8] The climax scene was filmed in a quarry in Chennai. George was injured while performing a stunt scene where he jumps in front of a moving jeep driven by Mohanlal. Due to his weight, he could not roll away from the vehicle as expected and the tyre ran over his leg. The injury was not serious and he recuperated in a few days.[9]

SoundtrackEdit

Spadikam
Soundtrack album by
Released30 March 1995
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length19:21
LanguageMalayalam
LabelWilson Audios
ProducerS. P. Venkatesh
S. P. Venkatesh chronology
Mannar Mathai Speaking
(1995)
Spadikam
(1995)
Puthukottayile Puthumanavalan
(1995)

The film's original songs and background score were composed by S. P. Venkatesh; lyrics for the songs were written by P. Bhaskaran. The soundtrack album was released by the label Wilson Audios. It consists of three songs. The song "Ezhimala Poonchola" was sung by K. S. Chithra and Mohanlal, "Ormakal" has female and male version sung by Chithra and M. G. Sreekumar, respectively, Chithra also sung "Parumala Cheruvile".[10]

Spadikam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
No.TitleSinger(s)Length
1."Ezhimala Poonchola"K. S. Chithra, Mohanlal5:02
2."Ormakal"K. S. Chithra4:56
3."Ormakal"M. G. Sreekumar4:56
4."Parumala Cheruvile"K. S. Chithra4:27
Total length:19:21

ReleaseEdit

ReceptionEdit

The film received critical acclaim. Spadikam performed well at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing Malayalam film of the year after with a gross collection of more than 8 crore (US$1.0 million).[1][2] Over the years, the film has achieved a cult following.[11] Aadu Thoma has since then become one of the iconic characters in Malayalam cinema.[12]

AwardsEdit

At the Kerala State Film Awards, Mohanlal won the Best Actor.[13] The film won three awards at the Filmfare Awards South[14]

Award Category Recipient Result
Kerala State Film Awards Best Actor Mohanlal Won
Filmfare Awards South Best Film – Malayalam R. Mohan, Bhadran Won
Best Director – Malayalam Bhadran Won
Best Actor – Malayalam Mohanlal Won

LegacyEdit

  • It is hailed as one of the best movies in Mohanlal's career. Often considered as one of the greatest 'Mass' movies ever made.
  • The character of Aadu Thoma is still celebrated today. College students still emulate Aadu Thoma’s attire of Rayban glasses, red shirt and mundu along with the “Chekuthan” lorry during festivals in Kerala campuses.
  • The iconic mundu fight has inspired several movies which came later.
  • The film served as a breakthrough for actor George.
  • Dialogues such as, “Ithu ente puthan Rayban glass ,Ithu chavitti pottichal ninte kaalu njan vettum" ("This is my new Ray-Ban glass. If you break this, I will chop your legs!") has attained cult status.
 
Mohanlal as Aadu Thoma

Digital remasteringEdit

The film is undergoing digital remastering and restoration. As of April 2020, 30 percent of the film has been remastered. The plan was to re-release the film in 4K Dolby Atmos in at least 100 theatres in Kerala during Onam 2020, it was halted after the COVID-19 pandemic. The remastering costs around ₹2 crore to complete and it is undergoing in Prasad Corporation in Chennai. S. P. Venkitesh is re-recording the film again, except for the portions where music comes along with dialogues as they cannot dub the film again. Bhadran said that they will try to answer the doubt of audience that what happens to Aadu Thoma at the end.[11][12]

RemakesEdit

The film was remade in Telugu as Vajram (1995), in Tamil as Veerappu (2007)[15] and in Kannada as Mr. Theertha (2010).

Year Film Language Cast Director
1995 Vajram Telugu Nagarjuna S. V. Krishna Reddy
2007 Veerappu Tamil Sundar C. Badri
2010 Mr. Theertha Kannada Sudeep Sadhu Kokila

Cancelled sequelEdit

Bhadran has clarified that the film will not have a sequel. He recalled in an interview that producer Mohan once approached him offering a Mercedes Benz as remuneration for making a remake to Spadikam, but he declined it. He said that the film ended with a closure for the story. The story was about a father who considers his son a devil and later realizes that his son was not a devil but pure as crystal. Thomas Chacko became Aadu Thoma because his father never understood his aspirations and dreams, instead compared him with other students and constantly snubbed him. Now that his father has acknowledged him, there is no reason for him to go back to his same despicable life. He has transformed back to Thomas Chacko from Aadu Thoma.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "10 Mohanlal films to watch before you die". The Times of India. 25 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b "കോടികളുടെ തിളക്കം". Deepika. 1995. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Lekshmi, Vijayan (31 March 2020). "Took 2-3 years of preparation for Spadikam: director Bhadran". Manorama Online. Archived from the original on 4 April 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b Kuriakose, M. K. (5 March 2019). "Bhadran reveals about 'Spadikam' shoot, but why composer Venkatesh is upset". Manorama Online. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  5. ^ Keralakaumudi Daily (25 September 2019). "Story behind birth of 'Spadikam' that no one knows". Kerala Kaumudi. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  6. ^ a b Soman, Deepa (15 November 2019). "Director Bhadran: Spadikam is a film that is inspired by my own life". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  7. ^ Jimmy, Alphonsa (28 October 2015). "This is the house where 'Spadikam' was shot". Malayala Manorama. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  8. ^ Keralakaumudi Daily (15 March 2019). "സ്ഫടികത്തിൽ ലാലിന്റെ സപ്പോർട്ട് അപാരമായിരുന്നു, അതുതന്നെയാണ് എന്റെ കഥാപാത്രത്തിന്റെ വിജയം". Kerala Kaumudi (in Malayalam). Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  9. ^ Keralakaumudi (6 March 2019). "ലാൽ ഓടിച്ച ജീപ്പ് എന്റെ നേരെ വന്നു, കാലിലൂടെ വണ്ടി കയറിയിറങ്ങി, പിന്നീട് മോഹൻലാൽ ഇക്കാര്യം തിരക്കുമായിരുന്നു: സ്ഫടികം ജോർജ്". Kerala Kaumudi (in Malayalam). Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Spadikam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - EP by S. P. Venkitesh on Apple Music". iTunes. 16 November 2015. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  11. ^ a b Rajan, Silpa (20 April 2020). "'Spadikam' is three times better in terms of audio-visual experience when converted into 4K Dolby Atoms: Director Bhadran". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b Entertainment desk (31 March 2020). "Mohanlal starrer Spadikam to re-release in digital format". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  13. ^ "State Film Awards (1991–99)". Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Filmfare Awards". www.filmfare.com. Archived from the original on 10 October 1999. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  15. ^ "மோகன்லாலும், பின்னே தமிழ் ரீமேக்கும்..." Dinamalar. 5 July 2015. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.

External linksEdit