Dasan, Vijayan and everyone else have been making us laugh for 30 years now.

Pavanayi shavamaayi Why we love the evergreen characters of Nadodikattu
Flix Mollywood Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 16:39

Would your ears perk up and eyes light up if you heard the phrase ‘Gafoorka dost’? Then you are in the right place. Because we are celebrating Sathyan Anthikad's Nadodikattu and its priceless characters. A film that needs no introduction, or context. And definitely no excuse for a gazillion re-watches.

We’re just giving you one any way; it’s been making us laugh for thirty years now.

Dasan (Mohanlal): Dasan, for all his buffoonery, is one of the most realistic representations of an unemployed middle-class Malayali youth. He comes with the paraphernalia of one—the false ego (not only does he think his job as a peon is below his dignity, he also dislikes being ordered around; he is a sore worker), the frustrations and the fuss about making a quick buck.

Dasan talks about an impoverished childhood, living off the crumbs of relatives’ and a mother who still works as a maid. Dasan’s constant assurance to the world about being a BCom (first class) comes from this insecurity. But he is also a survivor who, occasionally, tries devious methods to reach his goal—like wooing a girl for the sake of monetary gains or adulterating milk with water. The scene where he sheepishly asks for oil and sugar from his neighbour is such a satirical take on the typically Malayali middle-class mindset.

The constant tussle between one’s need and the desire to hold on to one’s false pride. Interestingly once he steps outside his state, he isn’t as plagued by the thought of not getting a white-collar job. Note what an ideal Malayali trait that is.

Vijayan (Sreenivasan): Vijayan on the contrary is the more rational of the two. He isn’t a day-dreamer like his pal (he is the one who keeps warning Dasan to be realistic) and we aren’t really told much about his background.

Vijayan seems to thrive in adversity and carries a wry sense of humour—it’s what comes in handy when he wants to hide his shortcomings. He also loves gate-crashing into a party—when Dasan’s uncle insists to Ananthan Nambiar that he should give him special consideration, Vijayan quickly butts in with a cheeky—“Me too.”

Having said that, Vijayan is also equipped with the quintessential Malayali ego, a reason why he is provoked into reacting when Dasan slyly hints at the difference in their educational backgrounds. But their friendship despite all odds stands on equal ground.

Ananthan Nambiar (Thilakan): The notorious smuggler who hides his fear and insecurity under the blanket of his fiery reputation. By the time we see Nambiar, he has a thriving business empire, a successful smuggling trade and a host of yes-men who are as cowardly as he is. That he nearly throws away his money and career at the sight of two down-and-out young men who are mistaken as “dangerous CIDs” bears testimony to his chicken heart.

He is the spoof of a celluloid underworld don (the scene where he hides his moll on hearing someone knocking the door)—he is petrified of losing himself and his empire, consistently shaken and stirred and it’s this fear that makes him commit follies, one after another. From hiring an “international hitman” who impresses him with his array of guns and knives to relying on his goofy henchmen to save him, Nambiar is one of the most adored dons in Malayalam cinema.

As long as you are in his team, everyone gets a free ride. At his expense.

Gafoorka (Mammukoya): The modest con-man who is as impoverished as his victims. And his methods, though not very clever, still work; if his preys are gullible fools. That’s the only reason he could hoodwink Dasan and Vijayan into paying for a boat ride to Madras under the guise of transporting them to Dubai.

Be it fooling them with his smattering of Arabic or convincing them to put on an Arab robe, Gafoorka is immensely likeable.

Pavanayi (Captain Raju): P V Narayanan a.k.a Pavanayi from Kanhangad, in a trench coat, hat and shades, is an international hitman committed to his work—killing people. He talks very casually about “that murder in Haryana and Meerut he has committed” and quickly flicks open his suitcase that has everything from a Malappuram Kathi to ultra-modern machine guns and time bombs.

Pavanayi is again an overkill on the stiff, unsmiling hired killers we seen on celluloid. The scene where he suggests using a transistor bomb or a bow and arrow to kill Dasan and Vijayan is one hell of a laugh riot.

Same goes for his final encounter with them—“Aaara Dasa, ee alavalathi?" asks Vijayan. That really sums him up.

Driver Balagopalan (Innocent): The harrowed relative of Vijayan is also a realistic representation of the lower-middle class Malayali who has made his dwelling in Chennai. He is wary of his own people, is married to a Tamilian and is kind-hearted but also practical.

Radha’s mother (Meena): The kind and pragmatic mother of Radha who wisely sees through Dasan and Vijayan’s poverty and nudges Radha to help. Her understanding smile when Dasan wants some free provision is a troll favourite today.

This article was originally published on Fullpicture.in. The News Minute has syndicated the content. You can read the original article here.

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