Sunday, July 3, 2016

കള്ളൻ പവിത്രൻ (Kallan Pavithran) (1981)

Director: Padmarajan
Writer:    Padmarajan
Cinematographer: Vipin Das
Cast:         Nedumudi Venu, Bharat Gopi, Adoor Bhasi, Beena
Language: Malayalam

Pavithran (Nedumudi Venu) is a small time thief with two families, one with his official wife and another with his mistress. A rich mill owner (Bharat Gopi) accuses him of stealing some utensils from his home. As he starts to snoops around Pavithran's mistress' home, he begins a relationship with her. Meanwhile, Pavithran meets a mysterious merchant from town while trying to sell the utensils who shows him his huge utensils warehouse which he doesn't care to lock because of the notoriety of snakes in there. Affected by this meeting, Pavithran moves back in with his official wife but slowly his fortunes starts turning with him becoming rich and driving his nemesis' business down to the ground.

The film is an adaptation of Padmarajan's short story with the same name and it is the first commercial hit of his career as a director. Film is basically about the base instincts of male and female genders, which is largely driven by evolutionary factors. Sex doesn't cost males much and it is the opposite for women. So males tend to think with their dick while females place a lot of importance to financial security. People can complain and wallow about this or this stereotyping but that is how we're predisposed to behave. All the main characters in this film behave in this manner and Adoor Bhasi's character can be seen as The God in the proverbial biblical sense. He gives Pavithran the complete freewill by showing him the warehouse lacking solid security and hanging it like the Apple from Eden. Or maybe he is the devil but it doesn't matter. Anyway it is unabashedly a morality tale with a surreal twist. Padmarajan even puts the moral message in text format at the end in a light fashion.

It is a great watch with very raw characters. Performances are excellent and Bharat Gopi is cast against his type. You would normally expect Gopi and Venu to switch places in such a story. It seems the early Padmarajan films and the ones he wrote for other directors primarily dealt with base human desires.

Rating: 4.5/5