Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Punyam Aham

Medium : Malayalam
Starring : Prithviraj, Nedumudi Venu, Nishanth Sagar, Samvritha, KPAC Lalitha
Director : Raj Nair

Music : Issac Kottukappally

For any actor to maintain the tough position of a stardom, he has to act in a separate category of movies, which is so called the 'parallel movies'. Mammootty started such a journey t
hrough 'Anandaram' with Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mohanlal has done Aravindan's 'Vasthuhara', Jayaram did 'Sesham' by TK Rajivkumar, Dileep has got 'Kathavaseshan' to his credit from TV Chandran and now Prithviraj has decided to join the race through the film 'Punyam Aham', directed by Raj Nair, grand son of great writer Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai.

The film starts by showing the unnatural behavior of Narayanan (Prithviraj), who belongs to the brahmin family. This unemployed guy is frustrated always. He is blaming the system and
his brahmin father who left the family earlier. His mother was a left party worker and she is from a lower caste also. One day he leaves to Kuttanad area. There he meets an old lady (KPAC Lalitha), who is not mentally stable. She takes him to the house and treats him as his son. Her daughter (Samvritha) is being sexually exploited (for money) by her own uncle (Nedumudi Venu), who is a Kathakali artist. Now when Narayanan stays in the house, he gets in affair with her.

'Punyam Aham' mainly deals with the poverty issues, effect of modernization and the nature of the humans to escape from the realities etc. The concept is good, but the film raises many questions. It is due to the problem in the narration of the film, which is not straight. An average viewer may find difficulty in understanding the facts. He may have doubts regarding the symbolic representations and unusual incomplete shots that happens in the middle of a scene, for which the director might only give the solution.

I don't understand the girl's character who stays with the hero's mother and sister in his h
ouse in the beginning area. The rich man role done by Nishanth Sagar looks like an odd one. The mental stability of characters like Prithviraj, KPAC Lalitha and MR Gopakumar changes from time to time. The usage of traditional arts like Kathakali and Theyyam to convey certain sequences in the story is different, but it is an escapism on the part of the director.

MJ Radhakrishnan, who is the favorite cinematographer of parallel films, has done a good work. Bina Paul is the editor. Background score by Issac Kottukappally is excellent. Nedumudi Venu and KPAC Lalitha had done good with their experience. This is a different role for Prithviraj; in the beginning frames he is over acting, but later on he has adjusted himself to be in the track.

Usually, I don't like the classification of mainstream movies and parallel movies. But after watching this, I felt that such a process is unavoidable. The movie that is not presented straightly and if it raises many questions, then such movies should certainly come under 'parallel stream' section, like 'Punyam Aham'.

'Punyam Aham' discusses some serious issues. As the presentation of the film is complex and shabby, it is not a promotable one.

Rating : 3.5 / 10

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