KOCHI: “Ormayundo Ee Mugham?” (Do you remember this face?). The question brings to our mind an image of actor Suresh Gopi posing it to actor Ragini in the movie Commissioner. There are many such dialogues which have made a big impact on the minds of the viewers and as a result are being used by the Malayalees in their day to day life. This trend was not initiated by the trolls or memes that rule the social media today. It is something that has travelled over the times and passed on from generation to generation even though the context might have changed.
For instance, if the dialogue ‘Chanthuvine Tolpikkan Avilla Makkale’ was used by actor Mammootty in the movie Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha as an emotional self-iteration of a man who has tasted many failures in his personal life, the new generation is using it even in comic situations. Wanting to conserve and record popular dialogues in the history of Malayalam cinema, writer and scenarist Bipin Chandran decided to come up with the book- Ormmayundo Ee Mukham? - Malayali Marakkatha Cinema Dialoguekal. The book, which has been published by DC Books, is already a best seller.
“Once cultural study starts getting prominence in Kerala, people will realise the importance of recording all those popular elements in the history. Film dialogues have evolved as a strong medium which the Malayalee is using to shape his own language,” observed Bipin.He said during the 80s, Malayalees only got to hear famous dialogues on the radio. Opportunities and mediums were not aplenty for the common man during those days. They rarely got to hear dialogues and learn it by heart. “But some filmmakers used these dialogues for advertising their movies through the radio. Later, the soundtrack of the movies (that too the shortened version) was released by cassette companies like Tharangini, Nisari and Renjini. Those who own VCRs could watch the movies repeatedly and learn the dialogues by heart,” added Bipin.
The late 80’s and early 90’s saw mimicry troupes flourishing. Imitating the stars and the actors became a popular item in the mimics parade. “However, those dialogues were usually twisted or altered by the mimicry artists and people started to follow them. The dialogues presented by legendary actors, superstars and even stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan became popular,” he added.
Later, by 2000, the outlook on cinema changed. Studies were conducted on actors, popular and mainstream cinema. Once these studies were restricted (or strictly reserved) to parallel cinema alone. “There are various cinema dialogues that have gained a prominent place in Malayalee’s day to day life. The book is a present to all the Malayalees who connect all the major situations in their personal life with cinema,” added Bipin.
The book, priced at Rs 260, is written in an interesting way. Bipin has tried to give details like the birth, background and transformation of each dialogues. In order to make the reading more pleasurable, he has also included interactions with screenwriters like Sreenivasan, Ranjith, Renjipanicker, John Paul, Benny P Nayarambalam, Syam Pushkaran and Sidhique Lal. Also sharing their experiences are directors Fazil, Sibi Malayil, Sathyan Anthikkad, Lal Jose and Shaji Kailas along with actors Manju Warrier, Prithviraj, Fahad Fazil and Dulquer Salman.
“I identified the 72 dialogues in the book by conducting a survey and also interacting with various film aficionados. Rather than going for a personal choice, I wanted to realise which are the popular dialogues because the book is published in the series Keralam 60, which is a study on the various subjects that have helped to form Malayalee’s socio-cultural realm. So I kept my personal choices away,” he added.