Sopanam ★★★½

approaches the sankarabharanam genre (with same lead actor!) without the same sharpness of attack or brittle montage of k. viswanath's original, but gains a very deep sense of color and light and almost aquarium sense of movement that at its best starts to anticipate vanaprastham (even though those two films are in completely different leagues).

jayaraj has one of those long, busy and diffuse careers made all the more frustrating by the fact that many of his most famous movies aren't available in english. this is his debut; the textured lighting and geography are more or less expected from this very strong period of malayalam popular film but the very intense dedication to music cut across discontinuous montage and shadows on closeups with moving camera is really different, as is (i think) the full out emotiveness of the final scenes.