The Mind, through the Lens of Malayalam Cinema

This is my first review of a book on WordPress and I chose Vidya Chathoth’s book, “Reel to Real” which is a book that dwells deep into the mental makeup of characters who were a part of good Malayalam Cinema through the 1970’s to the 90’s.

The book keeps you engaged, as to how the minds of such characters took shape with their backgrounds and how their mental perceptions helped them evolve into such characters, allowing them to survive or fail in respective movies, some of which have been detailed in depth. It also helps us to understand certain psychological definitions like self-actualized individuals, the issues caused by denial of the self , border line personality disorder etc.

This book is not just for movie buffs, but a good read for parents, students and mentors alike, in the sense that it helps us understand what pains, great writers in the industry took to place and fit such molded characters within the story that viewers could self analyse as an after thought or while watching the movie.

The inferences that we draw from the book are precious to understand precarious human nature in general and people we meet from all walks of life, empathize with them, especially since all of us come from different backgrounds and have experienced certain pain at some point in life. After reading, I was amazed how much the writers and the directors wanted to convey in a film through the script and the characters and how Vidya’s book ‘ Reel to Real’ helps us understand and analyse some of them through her maiden venture.

Vidya writes regularly at her blog

To enjoy the book thoroughly, I had to revisit some of the movies listed below on YouTube and trust me, the author has put to good use, her professional background as a medical doctor and has helped readers like me, understand and analyse in depth, the human mind put on display through such wonderful characters and the great actors and actresses who portrayed them.

Some of the few movies in the book, wherein the central character’s  mental makeup have been analysed are are listed below:

Aranyakam (1988)
Thoovanathumbikal (1987)
Mazha (2000)
Udyanapalakan (1996)
Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal (1986)
Parinayam (1994)
Sargam (1992)
Desadanakilli Karayarilla (1986)

Here are  the links to her book on Amazon India and Amazon UK and wish you all, a happy reading…


Reel to Real