Balyakalasakhi is a 2014 Malayalam language film adaptation of the famous novel of the same name by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. The romantic musical drama film was written and directed by debutante Pramod Payyannur and stars Mammootty, Isha Talwar, Meena, Seema Biswas, KPAC Lalitha and Mamukkoya in lead roles. The film was a flop at the box office
The story revolves around childhood sweethearts Majeed (Mammootty) and Suhra (Isha Talwar). Born to rich parents, Majeed falls in love with his not-so-affluent neighbour Suhra. After her father's death, when Suhra struggles to make both ends meet, Majeed pleads with his father to sponsor her education. Refused, he wanders off to distant lands. Some of the other characters created by Basheer such as Ettukali Mammoonju and Ottakannan Pokker also appear in the film.
The film has lyrics and music created by several leading masters including P. Bhaskaran, K. Raghavan, K. T. Muhammed, O. N. V. Kurup, Kavalam Narayana Panicker, Sreekumaran Thampi, and Basheer himself. The launch of the film edition of the novel Balyakalasakhi was done by Leela Menon who handed over the book to Fabi Basheer, wife of Vaikom Muhammed Basheer.
Mammootty - Majeed and Majeed's Father
Isha Talwar - Suhara
Meena - Majeed’s Mother
Seema Biswas - Selvi
Tanushree Ghosh - Shabnam
Sunil Sukhada - Avuran
Sashi Kumar - Ameen Sahib
Mamukkoya - Narayanan Master
Priam Shaikh - Praful
Kavitha Nair as Suhara's Mother
Prakash Bare as Beeran, Suhara's father
Master Abhijith - Majeed (childhood)
Gouri Shankar- Majeed (childhood)
Shane Nigam - Majeed (childhood)
Saniya Iyappan - Suhara (childhood)
Nidhi - Suhara (childhood)
Nayana Josan - Suhara (childhood)
GK - Beeran
Nilambur Ayisha - Jinnumma
Moly Kannamaly- Kadathukari Kunjali
Aneesh G Menon - Thoma
Pramod Payyannur, a familiar name in Malayalam theatre and television, made his debut on the big screen with the film. Mammootty was chosen to play the lead in film by Pramod Payyannur. He said in an interview with Malayala Manorama, "Vaikom is the home of the writer Basheer, the character Majeed and also the actor Mammootty. Only a person who knew that place closely could imbibe that character in both looks and expressions. That search ended in Mammootty."
On being quizzed about the inspiration to choose Kolkata as the location of the film, when Vaikom Muhammed Basheer has not referred to any specific city in the novel, Pramod says that Kolkata is perhaps the only Indian metro that still retains its old world charm and that it perfectly matched the setting of the film’s backdrop. Besides, Basheer is believed to have written Balyakalasakhi during his brief stay at a house in Lower Chitpur Road in Kolkata, he explains.
Two seasons were shot in Kerala and Kolkata, West Bengal. The team began shooting in August, 2013 at Perumbalam near Vaikom. Mammootty began filming for Balyakalasakhi at Kolkata in October, 2013. The 18-day schedule included various places such as Victoria Memorial, Chhote Lal Ghat, in front of Town Hall.
The film has received positive reviews from critics, although was not a great success commercially. Metromatinee.com said "even if it has some limits, it is a timeless and exciting classic, Mammootty as lovelorn Majeed is impressive but a lack of good chemistry with Isha Talwar is a letdown". Deccan Chronicle said that Mammootty exceled in double role as Majeed and as Majeed's father.
The film has lyrics and music composed by several leading masters in the field while the background score was composed by Bijibal. The first line of the song "Thaamara Poonkaavanathil Thaamasikkunnoley" has been mentioned in the novel by Basheer himself. An oral traditional song of the Muslims in Kerala, the song’s lines were supplemented with lyrics penned by K. T. Muhammed. It has been sung by legendary singer K. J. Yesudas. "Kaalam Parakkanu", the second song composed by Raghavan Master, which has Pramod’s lyrics, has been sung by Raghavan Master's disciple V. T. Murali. P. Bhaskaran's poem "Ente Thoolika" has been adapted for a song composed on the lines of Rabindra Sangeet. It is the title song and has a mix of Urdu lyrics and Baul music too. It has been sung by Shahabaz Aman. The entire song signifies a journey. The Urdu portion has been sung by Ustad Faiyaz Khan. Sreekumaran Thampi’s lyrics for the film has been sung by K. S. Chithra and Vijay Yesudas as a duet while O. N. V. Kurup’s poem "Vaaghdatta Bhoomi" has been translated into Bengali and sung by Bengali singer Raghav Chatterjee. Kavalam Narayana Panikkar has composed a song in the folk music tradition that makes use of Basheer's idioms and words. It has been sung by Shahabaz.
Mammootty officially launched the music on 6 January 2014 by handing over the CD to late music director Raghavan Master's family. The soundtrack consists of six songs and four karaoke versions.Kashmir International Film Festival - Mammootty got Lifetime Achievement Award and Director Pramod Payyannur got Special Jury Award