Thoovanathumbikal (Translation: Dragon Flies in the drizzling rain) is a 1987 Mohanlal-starring movie by Padmarajan. I have seen this movie many many times. But the last time I saw it, was probably when I completely immersed myself in the film to study the characters.
The story revolves around Jayakrishnan lives a nondescript life in rural Kerala. He also leads a secret dual life where he gallivants around town drinking and partying with boisterous friends. Jayakrishnan falls in love with a lovely strong-minded lass named Radha. At around the same time, he has a brief encounter with a sex worker named Clara. The film then explores Jayakrishnan’s emotions and how his will is torn between the two women. He is extremely sincere and doesn’t hide his encounters from either of the women.
The portrayal of the three characters is extremely well done in this story. The author has carefully sculpted and built each of these characters to make us love/hate them. None of these characters are completely “good” or “bad”. Each of them have flaws and there was no attempt to cover them up. Jayakrishnan, for instance, is ruthless and adamant when he wants something. Radha is shown to be too head-strong and Clara is — well — a “fallen” woman.
This is what I liked the most — the bold theme. It is not something that is usually discussed in Malayalam movies. Even then, the director did not take it over the top or underplay it. Watch it if you can :)
The movie is available on youtube (with subtitles).