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Oct 7, 2007


Pakal is the first movie of the producer turned director M.A.Nishad. Before I go postal on the movie with an acerbic review, let me confess it is one of the true to life, watchable movies that had been made in Malayalam in the recent years. Wonder why all of them has Prithviraj as the hero? Although to tell the truth that point shouldn't cause much wonder, because lately he is the only believable hero in Malayalam.

Pakal takes up a contemporary social issue - the suicide of farmers trapped in debt, an issue that has caught national media attention. Prithviraj has the role of a TV journalist who has taken up the cause of bringing public attention of the plight of poor desperate farmers in the hill-district of Wayanad in Kerala. T.G.Ravi acts as a debt ridden farmer whose family's story becomes the central plot of the movie. Jagadish has a very different role as a unscrupulous money lender, a role he handles with panache. The main female characters in the movie, the farmer(T.G.Ravi)'s daughters are played by Sreeja and Jyothirmayi, who do justice to their roles.

What disturbs me about the movie is that, the anger it exemplifies is the blood-boiling-rage of the youth and it is shown that this anger does finally bring results, bring down the bastilles of the establishment. Knowing the political pandemonium in India it is hard to believe that truth is going to triumph this easily. In a way the movie gives an idealistic solution, which is hardly the case ever.

Then there is the usual resort of Malayalam filmdom to win the ladies' votes - send them a truckload of tears and get them over to your side. Maybe the subject matter of the film will justify the presence of sentimentality.

For a first time director it is a not-so-bad film, exceptional if you consider the current state of Malayalam movie industry and thankfully M.A.Nishad's direction is not as cliche-ridden as Blessy's - the other director who is driving the social cause-current issue bus in Malayalam.

A watchable movie, which is a rare treat in Malayalam these days.