Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oru Indian Pranayakatha (2013)

Director: Sathyan Anthikad
Writer:   Ikbal Kuttipuram
Cast:      Fahad Dazil, Amala Paul, Innocent
Language: Malayalam

A Khadar donning youth congress leader (Fahad Fazil), after being denied an assembly ticket in a bi-election, takes up the role of  a helper for a Canadian-Indian girl (Amala Paul) who is making a documentary about orphans and orphanages.

I have always believed in the theory that when it comes to Malayalam cinema during its golden age in late 80s and early 90s, it was the writers who made the biggest difference and not the directors. The only way we can test this is by following the works of these directors without their writing partners in the subsequent years and a strong case can be built based on this. Sathyan Anthikad without Sreenivasan, Sibi Malayil without Lohitadas and Siddique without Lal have been quite crap. Padmarajan was unique in the sense that he was a writer-director, a rare breed in Malayalam cinema, and he didn't live long enough to see whether he would have also taken a bad turn when he aged. I stopped watching Sathyan Anthikad films after Rasathantram which he wrote himself. This particular film was forced upon me by the Kallada bus people as I traveled in one of them multi-axle volvos. 

I was pleasantly surprised initially by the film as there were many laugh out loud moments. Fahad Fazil's Siddharatan is initially shown as a pragmatic youth leader playing the games that need to be played to get ahead in what is presumably congress party. But he gets played by the high command who opts for nepotism as is the wont for that party. He then takes a leave from the party to help the girl from Canada for a daily wage of 2000. The problems with the film starts from there. The character suddenly becomes idiotic and stupid from there on which is quite a big change from how he is portrayed initially. After the interval it goes all melodramatic on us as it becomes a quest for finding the parents of the Candian-Indian girl who was originally adopted by her Canadian parents from an orphanage in India. It might have been bit more engaging if the characters she finds along the way were a bit more interesting. There are several cringe-worthy song and dance routines along the way. As it is the film has a good initial 45 minutes and the rest is forgettable.

Rating: 2.5/5