Kunjumalu and Ratnam meet again after long years at the genteel Valluvanadan Tharavadu of Malukutty Amma. Their minds flash back to their past days there and ‘Neelathamara’ unfurls.
From this point, M T Vasudevan Nair retells his old story once made into a film in the late 70s. And, director Laljose comes up with its brilliant, beautified version, keeping intact the original flavour. The choice of faces, costumes and locations has been done prudently to achieve this.
Kunjumalu with her elfin charm, modesty and a heart to swallow pain silently haunts us. She comes to the household as a housemaid. Before long, Malukutty Amma’s son Haridas (Kailash) too returns home after his law studies.
It is a mere youthful dalliance that Haridas develops for Kunjumallu who wishes for otherwise. She slowly gets absorbed in him. At a decisive moment, she anchors her hopes on the hearsay surrounding ‘Thevar’ (deity) of the village temple and the ‘neelathamara’ (blue lotus) that blooms in the temple tank. Kunjumalu is shattered when Haridas is dispassionate enough to marry Ratnam from a well-off family.
There are other real-life characters like Sharathe Ammini (Rima Kallingal) and an insane old man that add depth to the simple plot.
Though a remake, the film gives Laljose another masterwork. Each frame is a marvel and Vijay Ulaganath’s camerawork a splendour. In the flashback, debutante Archana Kavi is cast as Kunjumalu and Samvrutha as Ratnam. Casting different faces for the same characters in the opening scenes looks a bit odd. Vidyasagar gives us a good romantic fast song but what enthralls us is the Bollywood oldie “Zidna karo ab to ruko...”