Friday, February 23, 2007


Paithrukam (1993) : This Malayalam movie directed by Jayraj can be called as one of the classic of Malayalam cinema. The movie is about the conflict between ideologies and beliefs. The movie has a awesome screenplay, excellent music and acting.
Let me give out the story in brief (Warning : Spoilers ). The movie revolves around namboodari family where Narendra Prasad is a respected head priest who performs poojas and yagas. He is survived by his wife and two sons - Soma dattan (Suresh Gopi) and Bhanu (Jayaram). Both these son are extremely opposite in character. Somadattan is a atheistic journalist with Times of India at Delhi. He is against the age-old blind beliefs and customs in Brahmin families. Bhanu is staying with his father and is a priest at the village temple. He follows his fathers footsteps and he is also a poet.
Somadattan comes back to his hometown. He is a communist and atheist and he wants people to fight back against the blind beliefs and customs. And in this process he turns up against his father. The rivalry between Narendra prasad and somadattan increases. Meanwhile Somadattan leaves the house and marries Geetha who is also a atheist. Both of them starts living in a nearby illam which is vaccant since a long time because as per Narendra Prasad the house is haunted by ghosts and the one who lives in that house will not have child. Somadattan and his group takes this as a challenge and starts living in that house. He destroys the 'sarpakkavu' near the house.
In the meantime, Bhanu falls in love with a girl and says that to his mother. Narendra Prasad rejects the marriage plan and says that Bhanu can only think of marriage once he become 27 yrs. Bhanu and his friend secretly takes his jathakam (Horoscope) to another priest who informs that he will die before reaching the age of 27 yrs, so it is better not to marry and spoil the life of a girl. And in the same way Bhanu dies before he becomes 27 yrs.
Somadattan hold his father responsible for Bhanu's death because it was he who made him afraid by saying that he will die before the age of 27.
Meanwhile Somadattan's wife suffers an abortion and she starts feeling that it might be the curse of the Sarpa that is responsible for the abortion. When she is pregnant for the second time, she revolts against Somadattan and goes back to Narendra Prasad's house saying getting a child is more important for her than the beliefs. Narendra Prasad and his wife take care of Geetha and she delivers a baby boy.
There is heavy drought in the village and the villagers comes to Narendra Prasad and request him to conduct 'Athiratram' (a yaga to cause rain). Narendra Prasad agrees but Somadattan and his group revolts against this yaga. He tells Narendra Prasad that causing rain by yaga is nonsense and challenges him that if it doesn't rain after the yaga is he ready to become a atheist. Narendra Prasad accepts the challenge. The yaga begins, Somadattan and his friends shouts slogans against this activity. On the last day of the yaga, clouds gather in sky and it rains. Somadattan is stunned and could not believe. He realizes the power of his father belief and returns to his house to ask for pardon from father. But on returning home Somadattan finds his father immolating himself. The movie ends showing Somadattan also becomming a priest and performing a yaga.
Now why did Narendra Prasad immolate himself? I think the reason is that all his life he has been trying to be a good father as well as a person who is bound with beliefs. But in the end he cant see his son losing because of the rain and so he kills himself.
The highlight of the movie is Narendra Prasad. This as per me is the best role of his life. He won the state award for best supporting actor that year for this movie. Some of the most memorable scenes in this movie are :When his son Somadattan and Geetha get married and he comes to know about this through Bhanu. In the next scene we see him sitting in front of his dinner and with heavy heart and swollen eyes he keeps on crushing the rice but does not eat. The facial expression conveys the pain that he is undergoing.In another scene when Somadattan's wife delivers a child and Narendra Prasad and Somadattan have a arguement on how to bring up his child, Somadattan tells that he wants his son to follow his path and ideologies and belief. Narendra Prasad replies " Ente makan enne pole aakanamennu njan vaashi pidichillaallo !!!!.” And Suresh Gopi is speechless.
The Story by Prof George Vattom and Screenplay by Kaloor dennis is good. The cinematography by S Kumar is brilliant. The whole film is shot in a Yellowish green effect and this gives it a nostalgic effect. The movie was a box office failure but the songs were a great hit. SP Venkatesh have composed them brilliantly. the movie has some of the evergreen songs of Malayalam, such as ‘Vaalkkannezhuthiya Makara Nilaavil’ ,‘Neelanjana Poovin’ and ‘Seethaa Kalyaana Vaibhogame’. The background song ‘Sivam Sivada gana’, while the Athirathram is taking place during the final moments of the movie, is simply superb. You can check out these songs here.
Jayaraj should be appreciated for packaging and presenting this brilliant stuff. This movie was made in his early years of direction and I still feel that this is one of his best as compared to the one that he is making nowdays.


Blogger mukesh said...

hi sudhi, the character played by Narendra Prasad was "Chemmathirippadu".

i'd like to know more about this movie.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Sudhi said...

Thanks Mukesh

12:36 PM  
Blogger coolarun82 said...

Have you ever wondered that there is a rational explanation behind the occurrence of rains at the end of 'athirathram'?
It could be because of the fact that soot particulates produced during yaga floated to the upper atmosphere where they expedited the condensation of vapor into rain drops.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our over-logical and over-rational minds have seemingly clear explanations based on perceived and observed reality. I encourage everyone to take a course in quantum physics or at least review experiments on observed phenomena. Ancient vedic rituals and earth wisdom practices dwell in realms that the average so-called human beings cannot comprehend. The message in this movie was exactly about this. This movie was beautifully done, without too much overdramatic soporific acting and all the actors were phenomenal and convincing and natural. Compared to today's malayalam cinema this is indeed a treat.

1:18 PM  
Blogger SUJESH G NAIR said...

can anybody tell me what is the name of the actress who portrayed the role of jayaram's lover?

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jayarams lover is not credited for anywhere. Wonder who she is

2:14 PM  
Blogger aneesh... said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:57 PM  
Blogger aneesh... said...

Need to know the actress who played the role played jayarams lover?

8:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Site Counter
Free Counters