By: By Moviebuzz
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Monday 25 January 2010
Prithviraj, Samvritha Sunil
Director Raj Nair's Punyam Aham has been made in the so-called conventional ?art-film? format. With a storyline that is perhaps a tad too philosophical even to sit-through its running time and clich?d to the core, the film looks a bit outdated for the current times.
Narayanan Unni (Prithviraj) is on a journey to find his roots and comes to a Kuttanadan village from a Valluvanadan territory. He is an escapist by nature, just like his father, who was a revolutionary. He soon starts staying in a Brahmin home, where Jayasree (Samvritha Sunil) lives with her ailing mother, played by KPAC Lalitha. Things are pretty bad for her and Jayasree even sleeps with her uncle Eswaran Namboodiri (Nedumudi Venu), to earn some money.
There are a few characters in the area like Pappanassari (M R Gopakumar), who lives with the anguish that his land is to be taken away by the railway, Georgekutty (Nishanth Sagar), the rich youth who loves Jayasree, Pankan (Sreejith Ravi) and Pachan (Krishnan). The usual outcry in this genre of films against globalization is there, though most of the villagers have mobile phones and even have access to the Internet.
Prithviraj looks visibly uncomfortable playing the docile Brahmin youth, who keeps on mentioning at several instances that his Brahmin father had married his mother, who belonged to a lower caste! He tries a bit too hard to look convincing, but the problem is when his efforts in vain are known to the viewer.
Samvritha Sunil looks her usual self and repeats her mannerisms and accent just like every role of hers, regardless of the difference in the nature of her characters. The highlight of the film could be the sterling performance of Nedumudi Venu as a wily old man, who won't dare to do anything for his own benefit. The rest of the characters are the stereotyped ones in the ?serious? movies.
Now, there is no problem about someone attempting a cinema in a conventional pattern. But films with an irritatingly sluggish pace, melodramatic dialogues, trite situations and inapt themes, which have been often made in the guise of serious cinema, has alienated the viewers from going for those ones. It is again a journey in the same track, without anything new to offer and made in the old formula.
Malayalam cinema has always been known for brilliant movies with serious themes, but half-baked ones which have been made to look like them, have worked against the genre itself. Of course, Punyam Aham puts forward certain relevant issues and in between, has some nice moments as well. But sadly, the way it has been told is a letdown.
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