Puzhu Movie Review
It’s literally amazing to see Mammootty’s unique avatars in CBI 5 and then ‘Puzhu’, which has so much relevance. While the ‘Iyer’ character in the CBI franchise strongly endorses the phenomenal qualities of a Brahmin, we find the same actor, enacting a character of the same caste confined to the inhumane abyss. ‘Puzhu’, directed by debut filmmaker Ratheena speaks out loud about a man of the Brahmin community Kuttan (Mammootty), who has retired from his police job after being shot, which has almost cost him his life. He is now confined to his apartment house and gets appalled to see his younger sister Bharathi (Parvathi) occupying a house on the same premise. The flashback reveals that Bharathi forsook her family and community after falling in love with Kuttappan, a stage play artiste from the SC community, Kuttan has broken all the bonds. While this looks like the tip of the iceberg, a mystery breaks into the picture, when mysterious murder is attempted on Kuttan. Who’s the culprit behind these attempts? With the question leaving Kuttan restless, he even gets suspicious about his innocent son.
The word ‘Puzhu’ has its significance in the movie, right from the first frame in different layers. The first shot itself speaks about it through a stage play, where a King does into hiding to prevent, refrain from succumbing to a curse, but then, eventually buckles under the fate through a Puzhu (Worm). Apparently, Mammootty plays a callous person, whose aversion for people from few communities doesn’t fade anywhere. It gets very much evident with his aversive facial expressions, while dining with his brother-in-law, or when his son innocuously plays with Ameer, a boy from the Islamic community. There are moments, where he looks wedged between his good-hearted nature and the evil avatar, which is induced heavily by the people around him. The audience will hate this character of Kuttan, but then, feel empathetic for him as well. Although the cold-hearted father, who has always treated his son like a prisoner might disappoint you, he brings a smile to your face and you’ll feel pity for him during the moments when he tries to reconcile with his son. Such a cruel man with an aversion for his brother-in-law cracking silly jokes with his son leaves you perplexed indeed (There is a scene, where the son has turned rebellious against his father, and in turn, Kuttan, tries to crack a joke saying, “Do you know what’s the oldest animal in the world? Zebra! It’s because of Black and White color”). To hear such lame jokes from a drumbeater like him is surprising. While the screenplay looks slow and too dramatic, it looks like filmmaker Ratheena hurriedly wanted to wind up the story.
If not for the best cinematography, the film would have lost its impact halfway through the film. The aversion and annoyance of Kuttan’s character and even its innocence have been perfectly exhibited by the cinematography. Parvathy doesn’t get a major prominence in this movie, and, so are the other actors.
Overall, Puzhu is a hard-hitting tale that brings up a harsh and cold-hearted avatar of a man, who is nurtured by evil thoughts inclined toward his respective communal ideologies. You’ll understand the turmoil and complexities of Kuttan If you can patiently travel with his character.
Puzhu Movie Review
Verdict: A Hard-hitting tale that reveals a bitter and harsh truth of man’s communal complexity