Is it true that the makers really copied Vertigo, or was it really original?
Manichitrathazhu story is influenced from a tragedy that happened in Alummoottil Tharavadu, a famous central Travancore family, in the 19th century. Here heroine suffers from personality disorder and some strange things happen, solves problem with exorcism and psychiatry.
Where as in Vertigo, a retired police detective suffering from acrophobia who is hired as a private investigator to follow the wife of an acquaintance to uncover the mystery of her peculiar behavior. This novel is written by Boileau-Narcejac. Hero suffers from acrophobia.
There might be few scenes borrowed from Vertigo.
I don't think Manichithrathazhu shares any similarities with Vertigo. To me, remakes often felt like the inaccurate description of Ganga's medical condition. Her anger often directed at the man who plays the lead character. Which I feel is a deliberate nonsensical approach to give more screen time to Hero.
Manichithrathazhu script is inspired by the case diaries of a Psychiatrist. The original portrays Ganga as a patient suffering from Dissociative identity disorder. Split personality / multiple personalities have its roots in childhood trauma. Sexual abuse and other trauma, including dejection to name few causes. Lonely childhood of Ganga has enough clues to establish roots of the disease. More importantly, Manichithrathazhu has filmed strong themes around the dejection from Nakulan. Which could have triggered Split personality in Ganga's adulthood?
Watch these two scenes again:
Ganga is in bed almost dozing off. She asks Nakulan to wake her up when he is ready to sleep. Nakulan without looking at her says yes and goes on to his work. Remember, Ganga and Nakulan are newlyweds. Her desire to spending the night with him goes unanswered.
In a different scene, Ganga passionately talks about opening Manichithrathazhu. Nakulan yet again at work desk. Nakulan nods his approval, without looking away from his computer screen.
Manichithrathazhu looks like a serious attempt to portray Dissociative identity disorder.
Happy to bump into this old thread and feel that I am not alone. I too noticed a lot of similarities between Vertigo and Chandramukhi (Manichithrathazhu). In vertigo the heroine, Mrs. Elster is supposed to be taken by the spirit of Carlotto Valdes (a Mexican lady who settled in US in previous century and was misused by her husband and finally died). Elster used to stare at the portrait of Valdes for hours daily, she used to look at the jewels of Valdes and fondle them carefully, etc..The story line of someone who suffered and died in the past influencing the lead female character of the movie is completely stolen from Vertigo. You have to see that movie to believe it. I'm both surprised and impressed that Alfred Hitchcock made this movie in 1958 and could come up with such fantastic original story line.
ChandraMukhi and Bhool Bhulayia are official remakes of Manichitrathazhu. However, these movies are not related to Vertigo. Some things are the same but that's co-incidence.