It is an ideal, happy home. A police constable father, a mother devoted to her husband and children, an elder son waiting for the final interview to be inducted as a police inspector, and studious younger children. The father dreams of the day he can salute his son.
Everything goes awry when the father gets transferred to a new posting. When the elder son happens to see his father being hit by a goon, he jumps in and gets entangled in a street fight, for the first time in his life. The assailant is badly wounded, and that is the first time anyone in the village has stood up to the goon. Villagers hail the son as the next big hoodlum. Unwittingly, he gets involved in many more street fights and soon his name gets listed as one of the most wanted hoodlums.
This is the story of one of Mohanlal’s most loved Malayalam films, Kireedam. Now, it’s being remade into Tamil by his brother in law Suresh Balaji, with Ajith in the lead. With Kireedam, Adlabs enters the Tamil film world.
The original Kireedam was a film full of pathos, unforgettable moments and amazing performances — by Mohanlal as Sethu, Thilakan as his father and Kaviyoor Ponnamma as his mother.
Mohanlal’s performance was so heart-wrenching that even today, 18 years after the film was made, both young and old still talk about it. The film won the actor his first National Award in the form of a Special Jury award.
The film was such a huge success that producer Unni was christened ‘Kireedam Unni’.
This was one of the first successful Lohitadas scripts, with his favourite theme of individuals getting dragged into situations for no fault of theirs — in Thaniyavarthanam, Bharatam and many more of his films, destiny plays a major role in the lives of the protagonists. Situations arise in such a manner that his characters become just pawns in the hands of a power that is beyond all human understanding.
In Kireedam, Sethu had no control over his life or his future. Director Sibi Malayil and Lohitadas created many such unforgettable films in Malayalam.
The Tamil Kireedam is directed by AL Vijay, onetime assistant to Priyadarshan.
The original film featured many simple family moments, like the mother cooking her son’s favourite food without her husband’s knowledge, and the seemingly hard father shedding a tear for his son when alone.
What is poignant in the film is the love and understanding between the father and the son. Thilakan as the father and Mohanlal as the son really created movie magic.
“In Tamil, we have only Ravi Kiran who can do what Thilakan did in the original,” Suresh Balaji said, about selecting the actor who gave a scintillating performance in Cheran?s Thavamai Thavamirundu.
The love track in the original between Mohanlal and Parvathi (Jayaram’s wife) was quite understated and simple but in the Tamil, it has its strong points, Suresh Balaji told rediff.com. “We have to make changes in the presentation to suit the Tamil audience. The love track will be a little more strong, with songs,” said the producer.
The Malayalam Kireedam did not have any songs except one in the background, Kannuneer poovinte sung by MG Sreekumar. It was with this song that Sreekumar became a name to reckon with, and the voice of Mohanlal.
The Tamil Kireedam soundtrack is by GV Prakash, AR Rahman’s nephew who has had the impressive Veyil and Oram Po to his credit.
If Ajith?s Pongal release Aalkwar was a disaster, following the highly successful Varalaaru, he can take solace in the fact that he will now play a character that is extremely well written and powerful.
With Ravi Kiran, capable of stretching any artist, opposite him, we can expect a solid performance from Ajith.
Even if the Tamil Kireedam is half as good as the original, Ajith can expect a winner on his birthday on May 1, when the film is scheduled to hit the silver screen.