Paalangal (1982)“ Railroad Tracks ” – (Lit.Translation)
One of the Magnificent Four of ’82 by Bharathan. Set amongst the grime, soot and simmering environs of the railroad (shot in Shornur), the role of Vasu Menon was tailor-made for Bharat Gopy. Though he had worked in the John Paul-scripted production (Vida Parayum Munpe) previously, it was on the sets of Paalangal that they first met, which was the beginning of an enduring friendship that had its creative benefits as well for Malayalam cinema. Bharat Gopy would go on to collaborate with Zarina Wahab onscreen for another production, Punnaram Cholli Cholli (1985), with the ever faithful celluloid companion making merry all along – Nedumudi Venu.
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|Singers||KJ Yesudas, Vani Jairam, Unni Menon|
Vasu Menon and wife Geetha live in their cosy yet cramped work quarters of the Railways, and are expecting their first child. Vasu Menon is equal parts love and lust and loves his libido, liberty and his vices through and through. An evening of sundowners with his gang completes his day. It is into this domestic set-up that Usha, the demure and beautiful younger sister of Geetha steps in, heart-broken from a freak accident which took the life of her beloved, and presuming a change would do her good, and help heal.
Usha soon realises the Vasu Menon’s air of benevolence and fond affection is a cleverly built ruse of seduction, and underneath the veneer of the caring brother-in-law, he is a beast biding his time. Vasu Menon’s close friend Ramankutty, is gleefully celibate and madly in love with Usha, but hasn’t yet told her that. For the beast biding his time, the perfect opportunity soon arrives. He also realizes that Ramankutty would get married to her; this enrages him and makes him sever all ties with his best friend.
Matters take an interesting turn one morning as Vasu Menon, Usha and Geetha are at home and a determined Ramankutty lands up, to take Usha away.
Video Credit and Rights : Wilson Audios & Videos.
Bharat Gopy as Vasu Menon : An Overview
Vasu Menon is lost in his libido. Lusty affectations always seem to charge him up, though when it comes to actual action, he is mortally scared and afraid at some level, trying to compensate for it with his generous intakes of sundowners amidst the company of his regular gang, at home. It is a sort of re-affirmation to himself that he is still in control, and he has the power to affect events, how ever social it may be. His mood swings are obvious pointers.
As renowned journalist R Ayyappan wrote,
Engine driver Vasu Menon is also a womaniser, but one with devilish cunning. He does not force himself on women the way Ayyappan does. Vasu is a stealthy brute. And his behaviour creates a strange ambiguity, enough to confuse the victim. He could be a villain. But he could also be a nice man with a rough exterior.
It is this perceived dichotomy, of seemingly perching the viewer at that unsure edge that Bharat Gopy so effortlessly manages to re-affirm with his performances, through the myriad characters that he brought to life on screen.