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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thanmathra, award winning indian movie on Alzheimer's Disease


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Directed by Blessy
Produced by Raju Mathew
Written by Blessy
Starring Mohanlal,
Jagathy Sreekumar, Meera Vasudev,
Prathap Pothan,
Nedumudi Venu ,
Arjun Lal
Music by Mohan Sithara
Distributed by Century Films
Release date(s) 2005
Running time 2 hrs 30 min.
Language Malayalam
IMDb profile

Thanmathra (Malayalam:Molecule) (2005) is a Malayalam film directed by Blessy which portrays the effects of Alzheimer's disease on the life of an individual and his family. The film bagged five Kerala state film awards for the Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay and a special mention for the debutant actor Arjun Lal.



Ramesan Nair (Mohanlal) is a Kerala government secretariat employee, cocooned in his own small and happy world. An honest and sincere man, Ramesan's family consists of his loving wife Lekha (Meera Vasudev), son Manu (Arjun Lal) who is a plus-two student, and daughter Manju (Baby Niranjana), a primary school student. His biggest ambition is to see that his son gets into the IAS (Indian Administrative Service), something he himself had failed to achieve despite being a brilliant student. Manu is a very loving son and an intelligent student who shares a strong emotional bond with his father. All in all, they form the very picture of loving family, with a bright future.

However, fate has other ideas. Ramesan starts to develop problems with his memory. What starts as commonplace omissions and absentmindedness, quickly grows into handicapping cognitive and behavioral impairments.

The first time we notice this is when Ramesan misplaces a very important office file at his home, inside the refrigerator. One day he arrives in office after buying a bag of vegetables and starts behaving as if he had reached home after his office hours. He begins acting strangely in the office, as if he has lost his sense of time and place. He is taken to the doctor by his family and close friend, Joseph (Jagathy Sreekumar).

In the hospital, Ramesan is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, a disease which causes a gradual loss of memory and cognitive abilities. The news comes as a grave shock for the happy family and turns their world upside down. The family is devastated by the sad news, but tries to adjust to the situation with a lot of determination underscored by strong emotional bonds. How they cope up with the trauma, insecurity and uncertainty caused by Ramesan's plight, forms the gist of the movie.

Director Blessy has brought out the manner in which the dreaded disease entangles Ramesan in its vice-like grip, with a few deft directorial strokes. These snapshots are devastating. One scene depicts Rameshan forgetting to switch on the scooter; another has Ramesan using his son’s toothbrush. Then there is the scene that shows Ramesan forgetting the way to his house. In a scene which is rather unusual for the staid malayalee, there is a love-making scene, where Ramesan gets distracted by a lizard on the wall. In a few fabulous frames, Blessy conveys to the audience the malignancy and horror of the disease.

Thanmathra is a must-watch film both for the serious student of films as well as the ordinary movie-buff who likes to watch good and clean films. A socially relevant theme has been brilliantly told intertwined with a portrayal of strong family bonds, strongly supported by excellent performances from the main actors.


The movie illustrates one of the finest performances by Mohanlal who is a spontaneous actor and an acting genius in his own right. He won the state best actor award for his unparalleled depiction of a middle aged man in the throes of a crippling disability. The movie was advertised as a return of the actor from a super-hero image which he had cultivated with a string of movies, back to that of an average man. The actor has taken full advantage of this opportunity to display a superb performance.

Newbie Arjun Lal who plays Mohanlal's son, is the surprise package of the movie, giving a performance which stands above his years of experience. His performance won him a special mention from the state film awards jury. The performance of Nedumudi Venu, who plays the role of Mohanlal's father, is also excellent. Meera Vasudev, a newcomer to Malayalam movies, plays a great supporting role and does justice to her character. Jagathy Sreekumar is in his elements as usual, and fits into the role of Joseph, as if it were tailor-made for him.

The bulk of the movie is carried on the shoulders of the three protagonists - the father (Mohanlal), the grand-father (Nedumudi Venu) and the son(Arjun Lal). It is very touching to watch the strong ties between them helping the family to cope with the disaster. In this age of the Internet and instant relationships, it is soothing to watch a story that rides on the strong ties among three successive generations.


Mohanlal - Ramesan Nair, a middle-class government servant who is a role-model family man and persona.

Meera Vasudev - Lekha, Ramesan's devoted wife who stands by him throughout his ordeal.

Arjun Lal - Manu, Ramesan's brilliant son whose life's aim is to get into the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), to fulfil his father's dreams.

Nedumudi Venu - Ramesan's father, a hapless spectator to the progressive mental degeneration of his son.

Jagathy Sreekumar - Ramesan's colleague and trusted friend.


The film Won

  • Best Regional Film (Malayalam) - National Film Awards 2006

The film won five Kerala State Film Awards for the year 2005.

These are:

The film won eight Asianet Film Awards 2006 for the year 2005. These are:

External links

Best Malayalam Film - National film award 2005



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Pattu Raj said...

Just watched it. Cried uncontrollably. Sad for the patient and sadder for the caregivers.