Sunday, July 26, 2009

Puthiya Mukham

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Prithviraj, Bala, Saikumar, Jagathi, Priyamani, Meera Nandan
Direction : Deepan
Music : Deepak Dev

‘Puthiya Mukham’ is familiar for us, since it is the name of a tamil film acted by Revathi and her husband Suresh Menon, released 17years before. Though the film didn’t do well, the songs were popular, it was AR Rahman’s second film in tamil. Now, with the same name, a film acted by Prithviraj happens in malayalam also. It has created big expectation even before release, as the song “Pichavacha Naal…” sung by Shankar Mahadevan in his style is already a hit by the visuals promoted through mini screen. Other notable thing is that the hero had sung a title song also for the film.

The film is directed by Diphan (titled so in the credits given). Don’t misunderstand him as a north Indian; this is director Deepan’s new name as per numerology. Deepan (s/o Anandavalli, dubbing artist) was an associate to director Shaji Kailas for years and he has directed a film called ‘Leader’ before. It was a political based action subject acted by Vijayakumar, Saikumar etc. Sindhuraj, who wrote films like ‘Pattanathil Sundaran’, ‘Jalolsavam’ and ‘Mulla’ is the script writer for ‘Puthiya Mukham’. It is produced by Anil Mathew and Murugan (two busy production controllers) and distributed by Time Ads.

The hero, Kicha alias Krishnakumar (Prithviraj) is a percussion expert who belongs to a Kalpathi Brahmin family (Nedumudi Veni and Sobha did the role of parents). He is being engaged to his lover (Meera Nandan). He got an admission in the city based Engineering College. He becomes a hero in the college through his extra curricular skills. His classmate’s (Priyamani) marriage is being fixed with their senior student (Bala). The latter one is very rich (Saikumar and Shammi Thilakan played his brother’s role) and he is notorious through his negative activities also. Though she doesn’t like him, she kept silent, since her family forced her for the marriage. Heroine’s attitude towards Kicha creates an enmity between the villain and the hero. Kicha is being brutally beaten and tortured; also he is being warned to stop studies by the villain. As per his father’s advice, he reaches the college after a gap. Now he takes his new face (Puthiya Mukham) and fought against the villains. The issues happening for the hero, his lover, his calssmates, villains etc are all discussed in the second half.

The theme of ‘Puthiya Mugham’ has got the flavor of films like ‘Kandu Kandarinju’ (malayalam film in later 80’s acted by Rahman, Mammootty etc) and Student No. 1 (telugu film acted by Junior NTR). There also the hero is a soft guy in the beginning who takes his violent character under pressure. Anal Arasu, the fight master has got more jobs to do here. The fight scenes are good compared to a usual malayalam film. But it doesn’t come near a telugu-tamil style in quality. The use of wide angle lenses, fewer strings and unlimited slow-fast mix motions created an uncertainty situation in the action scenes in some areas. Bharani K Dharan, who worked for mega projects in telugu like ‘Dubai Seenu’, ‘Devadasu’, ‘Sidham’ etc is the cinematographer. His work is good, but it is not extraordinary here. Samjith is notable through the excellent cuts done by him for ‘Red Chillies’. But he has also not done anything special on the editing side here. Deepak Dev’s background score is not the best, but it is a relief from the usual noisy bg-score. In general, the film needs big improvement in the making side. Even in the middle of certain hurdles, director Deepan had presented the film without giving much boring feel. Prithviraj, the 45+ films old actor is still not being accepted as a star. He has done the role well; this film can also be used as a stepping stone for his career. Amir Khan's walking style in 'Gajini' is imitated by him in some areas.

It is a fact that irrespective of the language, people always love to watch villains being destroyed by the heroes, if the situation demands. Here also the same thing happens. So why don’t we welcome a malayalam film, if we are ready to accept anything similar from our neighboring states. A change is inevitable…

Don’t anticipate much from ‘Puthiya Mugham’. It is a time pass - action film done by an young actor, who can be a tomorrow’s star also. (His career graph and the busy current projects provoked me to say so).

Rating : 7 / 10 (revised)

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