Thiruvananthapuram: The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) 2023 paid homage to 'Ramji Rao Speaking' on the fourth day of the week-long festival. The crowd assembled to watch the film, which was screened at the New Screen 3 theatre in the Homage section, was a testament to the adulation the film continues to receive.
Many were vocal about how they miss the humour that was part of Malayalam movies in the past and opined that political correctness has affected the movie-viewing experience in present-day Malayalam cinema. They also shared their love for the late director Siddique and films of the Siddique-Lal duo.
"These are films that have a lot of repeat value. I had watched 'Ramji Rao Speaking' several times on TV and had wanted to watch it on the big screen. Also, the kind of humour that existed then was different. Today, comedy films are made differently, almost like the humour is forced. Films like 'Ramji Rao Speaking' should be restored and kept," said Vignesh from Palakkad.
Sooraj, who hails from Malappuram, said it was the appreciation for vintage humour that compelled him to watch the movie at IFFK. "I watched the film when I was a child and I wanted to see it on the big screen. I laugh a lot whenever I see those phone call scenes. Even the Mukesh and Sai Kumar combo was excellent," he said.
Shyam, a journalism student, pointed out that Mukesh in a recent interview revealed how Siddique and Lal were able to craft such timeless classic humour. "They would allow actors to improvise dialogues only if it stood a notch above what was in the script. The comedy meter that the actors maintained was also exceptional," he said.
Meanwhile, Ashish Nera, a Haryana-based film student who had watched the Hindi remake of 'RRS' (Hera Pheri) by Priyadarshan, said he came to the IFFK venue on Monday just to watch the original film by the Siddique-Lal combo.