The story is mainly focused on the life of Karthi (Sharbani Mukherji), who belongs to the prestigious Meleppullara tharavadu. The karanavar there, Sanku mama (Thampi Antony), knew certain impending happenings that will decide the fate of the family from her jathakam (horoscope), soon after her birth itself. She grows up into a sensuous young girl and shares a peculiar relationship with Sanku mama.
Sometime later, Karthi falls in love with Maamootty (Prakash Bare), a Muslim trader who came to their place for business. She elopes with him to his place and she gets converted to Islamic faith. But she soon realizes that it is never too easy to give up her original beliefs and traditions.
Karthi builds a temple and starts worshipping there, of course with the consent of Maamootty. This creates communal tensions in their area and soon, Maamootty is feeling the panic as well. Things get more serious from then on.
This is a period film and it is quite curious to realize that the mindsets of the people around us and the beliefs that we all have followed, have not changed much over the years.
Priyanandanan, the director of award winning films like Neythukaran and Punlijanmam, handles this rather volatile theme with maturity and panache. Of course, he has adopted a conventional format and not gone for much experiment, but it is perhaps needed as such so that a mood could be created to make the situations more effective.
K P Ramanunni’s novel handles the theme in a realistic manner and he has scripted the film in a lucid format. K G Jayan’s visuals and Mohan Sithara’s music too helps to take you to a different period altogether, in a beautiful way.
Sharbani Mukherji (remember her in the Hindi film Border as Sunil Shetty’s just-married wife?), adds sexuality and charm to Karthi in a remarkable way. Prakash Bare, as Maamootty, looks handsome and authentic. His character goes through several phases and he has handled it all like a seasoned performer.
Thampi Antony looks perfect for the role with his build and has done his part in an impressive manner. Jagathy Sreekumar shows why he is regarded among the finest actors in Malayalam, playing his character Avaru Musaliar to perfection. The rest of cast including Babu Antony, Vineeth Kumar, Irshad, Indrans and Samvritha Sunil have done their roles quite well.
Sufi Paranja Katha is generally devoid of the usual clichés and excruciating pace that are usually synonymous with a certain group of serious films in Malayalam. Though its makers have presented it in the traditional format of narration, it easily qualifies as an engaging watch that could prompt you to think about the psyche of our society. The sincerity with which it has been made and its topical value are perhaps the highlights. Watch this one!