Malayalam remake Bhramam is as thrilling as the original

Originals Reviews
By Christopher Antony

Malayalam film Bhramam, second directorial venture of cinematographer Ravi K Chandran, now streaming on Amazon Prime, is a remake of the Hindi film Andhadhun (available on Netflix), based on the French film L’accordeur (The Piano Tuner).

Ravi K Chandran is one of the finest in a fairly long list of illustrious cinematographers from Kerala who have worked extensively in Hindi and Tamil. Cinematography of Andhadhun was also by a Keralite.

Like an obsession, The Piano Tuner has already seen three remakes in India, with a fourth in Tamil in the making. Ravi K Chandran has also been associated with quite a few remakes in different languages. Mostly, they are films from the South that are remade in Hindi. A few are in the pre-production and production stages, the latest announcement being that the recent Malayalam release Home will be remade in Hindi.

Brahmam is a very occasional case of a subject that was made in Hindi first, that is in India. Generally speaking, films in vernacular languages have emerged much stronger than the largely cosmetic Bollywood, more so since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Proof of the pudding will lie in the eating. Try it out with Bhramam. It is a thriller with cheating and greed as ingredients.

The risk of a remake is that it is bound to be compared. Prithviraj has adopted an acting method distinctive from that of Ayushmann. His performance is good as that of Ayushmann. Mamta Mohandas is uncomfortable in the early scenes, seemingly buoyed down with the image of Tabu whose role she has essayed, but goes on to give an improved performance as the film progresses. The film may have been shot chronologically. Rashi Khanna stands up to Radhika Apte. Unni Mukundan has done justice to his role as a police officer. His scenes with Prithviraj have come out well. Malayalam cinema has a rich bank of talented actors for supporting roles and that area is well taken care of.

The film is shot in and around Fort Cochin, rich in heritage. Cinematography is done differently from Andhadhun, but not better. Dialogues are good. Music by Jakes Bejoy has an edge over that of Andhadhun.

Those who have not watched Andhadhun may like Bhramam. The twists and turns in the plot are better handled but the pudding fails to impress in comparison. Why did Ravi K Chandran have to be a maestro of blind tunes? A needless tune.