‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho is an international bestseller that has been widely translated and read across the world. In fact, it is one of those rare written pieces that have been globally read irrespective of whether one is a bibliophile or not. The Alchemist follows the life of a young shepherd, who is in search of a ‘treasure’ that appears in his dreams repetitively. The novel is a brilliant literature that guides the readers to embark on a journey and explore one’s destiny. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”, is a remarkable line that appears in the novel, often used by most public speakers in their speeches to motivate/ inspire the listeners.
A major Spoiler Alert, the novel ends with the shepherd realizing that the treasure was hidden under where he initially dreamt at the start of the story. The allegorical idea of the novel is to find one’s treasure within oneself after identifying their destinies. A number of Malayalam movies have explored stories similar to this concept of finding the treasure from where it all began. Since most movies proclaim the ‘treasure’ towards the climax, this article greatly comprises of spoilers. So you might want to read the subheads first. Also, do not guess now, because I’m taking the pains to list a few for you.
Tessa, played by Parvathy Thiruvothu, throughout the movie is in search of her treasure, that being ‘Charlie’ (Dulquer Salmaan) himself. She embarks on a journey to find him and the movie follows her journey towards him. Little did she know, that it was Charlie himself, who offered her ride in the genesis of the movie, as revealed in the climax. This is a brilliant yet subtle take on having the treasure within her hand’s reach.
In this feel-good drama, Antony played by Sreenath Bhasi, is in search of his treasure; ‘inspiration’. Antony wants to write a proper climax for his movie but is unable to do so and returns home. He gets inspiration from his father ‘Oliver Twist’ (Indrans), whom he least expected to be his inspiration. Antony’s realization of his treasure in his father is a perfect ‘The Alchemist’ concept.
This is quite obvious, right. The movie is a journey of George (Nivin Pauly) and his search for the right partner. Finally, he marries Celin (Madonna Sebastian), who third-wheeled Mary (Anupama Parameswaran), George’s earliest crush. Though in this context, George would have been ridiculed if he dated Celin in their school days with statements similar to “Ayee, naanamilleda… nee pedo aano” and so on.
This movie was the earliest of its kind of Prithviraj Sukumaran saving money and bringing twists by being both the protagonist and antagonist. The movie is about a search for Aryan John (Jayasurya)’s killer, and that objective is the ‘treasure’ of the movie. The very idea of the killer as a protagonist is a subtle similarity to the concept of the novel.
This is literally and figuratively the best example for this entire article. The treasure of the movie is the ‘body of Varun Prabhakar (Roshan Basheer)’ and where it was found; buried under the police station. The brilliance of Jeethu Joseph has to be mentioned here, as Georgekutty’s (Mohanlal) first shot is at the very same police station. The movie’s genesis is from the police station that housed the treasure, yet the movie is constantly in search of the same.
This is a non-exhaustive list and comment below on other Malayalam movies following the concept of ‘The Alchemist’.