Theatrical release poster
|Produced by||G. P. Vijayakumar|
the novel Elephants Can Remember|
by Agatha Christie
|Edited by||T. S. Suresh|
Seven Arts International
|Distributed by||Seven Arts Release|
Geethaanjali (also spelt Geethanjali) is a 2013 Indian Malayalam-language horror film directed by Priyadarshan, and written by Abhilash Nair, with dialogue by Dennis Joseph. It is a spin-off of the 1993 film Manichitrathazhu in which Mohanlal reprised his role from the original and Suresh Gopi appears in a cameo role. It also features Nishan, Keerthi Suresh, Swapna Menon, Siddique, Madhu, Innocent, and K. B. Ganesh Kumar. The film was produced and released by Seven Arts; psychologist Dr. Sunny Joseph (Mohanlal) arrives in an old mansion to treat Anjali (Keerthy), who is haunted by her deceased twin sister Geetha (Keerthy), and investigates paranormal activities occurring there.
The film was originally planned to be shot in 3D and Auro-3D formats but this was abandoned because the technology was time-consuming and only a few theatres in Kerala were equipped with Auro sound equipment at that time. Principal photography commenced on 6 July 2013 at Thiruvananthapuram and was completed in September. Most of the filming took place at the Chitranjali Studio and in and around Thiruvananthapuram. The cinematographer was Tirru and editing was done by T. S. Suresh.
Geethaanjali was released in more than 300 theatres worldwide on 14 November 2013; it was a critical and commercial failure.
Anjali's (Keerthi Suresh) twin sister Geetha (Keerthi Suresh) has committed suicide. Anjali is betrothed to Anoop (Nishan), a member of a prominent family. When her mother falls from a terrace and is paralysed, Anjali and Anoop go to her house in Arackal. Once there, the spirit of Geetha starts to haunt Anjali, which physically disturbs her. Within days of a series of horrifying incidents, Dr. Sunny Joseph (Mohanlal) arrives to treat Anjali and to help her out of her crisis. Because the house was haunted, the family buys a new house, and the future owner Vasu (Ganesh Kumar) claims that he had seen Geetha in a car and wrote down the number on a file. He says that he could give it to them the next day. But Vasu gets a phone call from Geetha's spirit asking him to meet her in the church next morning. He goes there and calls Dr. Sunny for help, but Vasu gets killed before he could help him. Sunny then spots a car driving out of the church and follows it, but the killer already got out of the car before he could spot him.
Gruesome events follow that, including the death of Thambichayan (Siddique), a caretaker at Arakal. Dr. Sunny tells everyone that the ghost haunting Anjali is just a psychological effect and not real. For some reason he tries to postpone their marriage, but in vain. On their engagement day, Sunny grabs Anoop and shoves him to his car. He drives to a small graveyard. He tells Anoop that the so-called Anjali is actually Geetha, who has a criminal nature.
there is then a flaskback. Anjali and Anoop fall in love with each other, but Geetha mistakes that Anoop loves her. She loves Anoop. She was angry that Anoop is going to marry Anjali and not her, and eventually killed Anjali during an argument at a beach. Dr. Sunny shows Anjali's grave to Anoop and tells him the whole truth about her. The feeling of guilt in her mind led to seeing Anjali wherever she goes and all horrible incidents that happened were just an illusion seen by Geetha. Vasu was killed by Thambichayan, the only person who knew this apart from Geetha and her mother. It is also shown that it was actually Geetha who accidentally shoved her mother off the terrace, when she was told that Anjali's spirit was in the house. Thambi is later killed by Geetha so that there is no way anyone could find out the truth. He was still not sure, so he had tried to postpone their marriage until he had collected enough evidence to tell them.
Hearing this, Anoop storms into Anjali's house and accused her of taking Anjali's name. She tries to kill Anoop when he says he doesn't want her anymore. Fortunately, Sunny breaks into the house and rescues Anoop, but she takes a gun and aims at them. But an image of Anjali's spirit appears in Geetha's mind (on a mirror), and prevents her from shooting Anoop. Geetha is killed by a fire in the house and Anjali's 'spirit' watches over Geetha while she is dying.
Later, the grave of Geetha is built alongside Anjali's, and Anoop, his family and Thankappan (Innocent) thanks Sunny for helping them.
- Mohanlal as Dr. Sunny Joseph
- Keerthi Suresh as Geetha / Anjali
- Nishan K. P. Nanaiah as Anoop
- Swapna Menon as Mary
- Siddique as Thampichayan
- Madhu as Babychayan
- Innocent as Thankappan
- Harisree Ashokan as an exorcist
- Nassar as Kathalikaattu Thirumeni
- Seema as Annaamma
- Ganesh Kumar as Vasu
- Ambika Mohan as Anjali's kin
- Mahesh Padmanabhan
- Arun Benny
- Madan Mohan
- Maya Vishwanath
- V. B. K Menon
- Safa as young Geetha
- Marwa as young Anjali
- Daniel Moorehead as an Englishman
- Suresh Gopi as Nakulan (cameo)
Priyadarshan had earlier worked as a second-unit director, along with Siddique, Lal, and Sibi Malayil, on Manichitrathazhu (1993), which was directed by his friend Fazil. Priyadarsan said Mohanlal wanted to revive Sunny and was looking for a suitable subject and storyline. He said, "I had been telling [Priyadarshan] that he should revive Sunny as I felt that he was a character with immense potential for a new film; someone who can fit into any background or period. In this movie, Sunny reappears, a little older, but no less wacky than in his previous outing." The film is not an official sequel to Manichitrathazhu, but Mohanlal portrays the psychiatrist Dr. Sunny Joseph, the character he acted in Manichitrathazhu. About the genre, Priyadarshan says "It is more of a thriller and a whodunit. To maintain the feel of the theme, there is no slapstick comedy or forced attempts at humor. At the same time, I have infused humour into some of the scenes to ease the tension". According to the director, Geethanjali is a psychological thriller set in a supposedly-haunted bungalow. Since the story has a Christian backdrop, he engaged screenwriter Dennis Joseph to help with the dialogue. He said, Shobana, who played the female lead in Manichitrathazhu, would make a guest appearance to introduce Dr. Sunny as the psychiatrist who cured her. However, she did not appear in the film.
Mohanlal reprised the role of Dr. Sunny Joseph, the protagonist in Manichithrathazhu. The production team were looking for a heroine; they shortlisted a few people from the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi film industries during pre-production in June 2015. Keerthi Suresh, daughter of veteran actress Menaka and producer Suresh Kumar was selected for her debut lead role; she has earlier appeared as a child artiste in films Pilots (2000), Achaneyanenikkishtam (2001), and Kuberan (2002), and in a tele-film by Suresh Krishna. Her father Kumar is a family friend of Mohanlal and Priyadarshan. Nishan K. P. Nanaiah was cast as Anoop, the fiancée of the character acted by Keerthy Suresh. Actor Innocent made a film comeback in Geethanjali after his cancer treatment, upon the insistence of Priyadarshan and Mohanlal. He allotted ten days for the shoot.
K. B. Ganesh Kumar was also signed in a role. Although Innocent and Ganesh appeared in Manichitrathazhu, they were acting two new characters. Swapna Menon was cast as the daughter of Thankappan (Innocent); her characterisation was similar to that of the female version of Sudheesh's character Chanthu in Manichithrathazhu. Late actor-director Cochin Haneefa's twin daughters Safa and Marwa played Geetha and Anjali as children. They have no dialogue and are only seen in a song sequence. Suresh Gopi reprised his role as Nakulan in a cameo appearance. It was the first time Priyadarshan worked with veteran actors Madhu, Siddique, and Harisree Ashokan.
In June 2013, Mohanlal announced in his social networking sites that the film will start shooting in July. Principal photography commenced on 6 July at Trivandrum. Director Priyadarshan began initial filming with two units; one at Kovalam and another on a set at the Pothencode Palace. He tried to finish the shoot by 20 August, which left three weeks to complete post-production. The film was shot on locations in and around Thiruvananthapuram and Chitranjali Studio. Ninety percent of it was shot in Thiruvananthapuram and the remaining ten percent was shot in Dubai and New Delhi. In early September, Mohanlal announced he had completed shooting and had moved on to another film.
The film's producers had planned to use a 3D holographic technique in the film but this was abandoned because of the cost of production, the technology was time-consuming and filming would take much longer than planned. Priyadarshan also intended to use the Auro sound format, but no theatre in Kerala was equipped with that technology at that time, so he abandoned that idea too. Geethanjali was made at a production cost of ₹80 million (US$1.2 million), invested by Seven Arts. Tirru was selected as the Director of Photography. The music department was handled by Vidyasagar; lyrics were written by O. N. V. Kurup. The film was edited by T. S. Suresh. Lalgudi N. Ilaiyaraja, who won the National Film Award for Best Production Design in 2012 for the Tamil film Vishwaroopam, handled the art department.
Geethaanjali was awarded U/A certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification. The film's theatrical release, which was earlier planned for October, was postponed until 14 November because of a delay to graphical works. Geethanjali was released in over 300 theatres worldwide on 14 November 2013, by Seven Arts Release in India, including 90 theatres in Kerala. PJ Entertainments bought the distribution rights for Europe; they released in the United Kingdom in 61 theatres, Austria, Finland, Germany, Sweden, and Italy. The release in Singapore was dlayed until 16 November; there it was distributed by Singapore Coliseum. The film also had a release in Japan. The television satellite rights were purchased by Asianet before release.
Veeyen of Nowrunning.com rated the film two stars out of five, and said, "Very rarely does the film rise above the conventions of a horror film that seem to be stuck on its back like a duct tape. No amount of incredible performances or stunning cinematography by Thiru can save 'Geethanjali' from collapsing into another cluttered film that bites the dust". He also said the story is similar to that of Chaarulatha (2012). Sify.com criticised the film's similarity to the 2007 Thai film Alone and its Kannada-Tamil bilingual remake film Chaarulatha (2012). Sify.com also said, "Even if you haven't watched the original, this film is badly written and is barely engaging". Paresh C. Palicha of Rediff.com awarded it two stars out of five stars; he said the story is borrowed from many sources including the Thai film Alone and its Indian adaptation Chaarulatha, and also noted a "striking" similarity to the 2007 Malayalam film Nadiya Kollappetta Rathri. Ajin Krishna of Filmibeat.com awarded two stars out of five, he appreciated Mohanlal's performance and the cinematography, he said, "Geethanjali fails to entertain and horrify, even by following the same path of the usual horror movies. Priyadarshan could have worked better on this movie, at least to do justice to the tagline of a horror movie."
Aswin J. Kumar of The Times of India gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of five, and stated, "Geethanjali plays around a script that is constantly unsteady, giving away hints far too quickly or getting immersed in trifles just for the purpose of stretching the narrative. Even without comparisons, the movie never attains the arresting enigma of a psychological narrative." IndiaGlitz.com rated it four-and-a-half stars out of ten, and said it is a "rip-off" of Alone, Chaarulatha, and Nadiya Kollapetta Rathri; he said, "'Geethanjali' stands on a weak script, which scares and shocks in bits and spurts. The film rides on Mohanlal's brand value, but its writing plays the spoilsport." however, the reviewer gave a special mention to the makeup and prosthetics. Raj Vikram of MetroMatinee.com gave a mixed review, saying, "The script of Abhilash Nair has loopholes dime a dozen but the directorial experience of Priyadarshan supported by some excellent camera work by Tirru and well crafted graphics do make the movie a watchable one", and, "As a standalone horror thriller 'Geethanjali' has its moments and Dr.Sunny's presence indeed may prove to be its backbone!".
Geethanjaly was released in around 300 theatres worldwide on 14 November. Seven Arts Release distributed the film in India. The film collected ₹10.5 million (US$160,000) on the opening day in Kerala; it grossed ₹30.8 million (US$460,000) from Kerala and ₹12 million (US$180,000) from other Indian states within four days of its release, totalling ₹42.8 million (US$640,000) gross from four days in India. In the UK, Geethanjaly grossed £14,403; considering the theatrical revenue, it was unsuccessful at the box office in its final run. In 2016, the film was dubbed into Tamil as Vennila Minnala, with the makers hoping to gain revenue from Keerthy Suresh's new-found popularity in the Tamil film industry.
Geethanjali was mentioned in an online article published by International Business Times in 2014 which described that the film was partially inspired by the detective novel Elephants Can Remember written by Agatha Christie.The screenplay of Geethaanjali was criticised for its similarity to the films Alone (2007), Chaarulatha (2012), and Nadiya Kollappetta Rathri (2007), all of which almost shared the same plot. The Kannada-Tamil bilingual film Chaarulatha was released in 2012 as an official remake of the 2007 Thai film Alone. Both Alone and Nadiya Kollappetta Rathri, released in the same year, were loosely based on Elephants Can Remember, which was published in 1972.
|Soundtrack album by Vidyasagar|
|Released||16 June 2014|
|Recorded||Varsha Vallaki Studios|
|Genre||Feature Film Soundtrack|
|Label||East Coast Audios|
The film's soundtrack was composed by Vidyasagar, with lyrics written by O. N. V. Kurup. The tracks "Koodilla Kuyilamme" and "Pavizha Munthiri" were revisions of "Jaana Hai Tujhko" and "Maine Hawa Ke Paron" from Priyadarshan's 2008 Hindi film Mere Baap Pehle Aap. The original soundtrack album of the film was officially released at a function held at Dreams Hotel, Kochi, in November 2013.
|1.||"Koodilla Kuyilamme"||M. G. Sreekumar, Shweta Mohan||05:05|
|2.||"Doore Doore (Female Vocals)"||Rajalakshmy||04:25|
|3.||"Pavizhamunthiri Then"||M. G. Sreekumar, Jyotsna Radhakrishnan||04:57|
|4.||"Doore Doore (Male Vocals)"||M. G. Sreekumar||04:25|
|5.||"Madhumathi Poovirinjuvo"||Abhirami Ajai, Ajmal, Srivardhini||04:35|
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