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Pazhassi Raja – Review

Posted by Admin On November - 2 - 2009

For a Mollywood cinephile, there are quite a number of reasons to watch ‘Pazhassi Raja’. Not only that it is made in the biggest budget ever in Mollywood, it is also an offering from the masters of the media, including Mammootty, M T Vasudevan Nair and Hariharan. Moreover, there are a plenty of other great names including Resul Pookutty, Illayaraja, Sarath Kumar and a plenty of others whose credits itself demand interest. Above all, it is the first visual rendering of the most fascinating epoch making fight of the great leader, against tyranny and oppression of the British.

Expectations are obviously sky high. And the question is whether it has liven up to that? And the big answer is ‘Yes’. The movie is indeed a masterpiece made in a stellar scale, which grab your attention from the word go, taking the acceptable cinematic liberties to keep your attention all through, though in a story that everyone in the state knows very well. Set in the final years of seventeenth century, the brilliant writer in M T has taken extreme caution to avoid the complications in narrating history. He goes by the safer path, concentrating more on Pazhassi and his men and just giving out the necessary touches of historical facts. And thus the movie gallops over the first barricade of just being a realistic historical and fills itself with human emotions and  drama and gives routes for magnificently staged crafting of war sequences and powerful performances.

The movie begins with the Britisher’s decision to levy heavy takes from the local people under the rajahs. Pazhassi who belonged to the Kottayam Royal family of Thalassery region oppose this and becomes the first ruler from the state for British, to be branded as a big enemy to fight it out on battles. Pazhassi who is forced to flee from the his palace starts a carefully planned counter action, with the aid of his trusted lieutenant Edachena Kunkan, (Sarath Kumar)and Kaithery Ambu (Suresh Krishna). He gets the full fledged support from the kurichiers and tribals headed by Thalakkal Chandhu and Neeli who fights the Britishers with their sort of Guirella warfare, with tribal weapons. British face heavy setbacks in various confrontations and as many as five hundred from British army are killed in fight with Pazhassi. Though Pazhassi was able to surprise the British with his tactics and bravery, traitors like Pazhayaveedam Chandhu (Suman) helps the British to gain momentum in the later part of the warfare and capture each of Raja’s men.

The movie shows the grace of its great names in many a points and it is sure without an expert team of technicians like this, it’s just impossible to execute a movie of this magnitude. In terms of visual and creative terrain that this movie covers, the big salute must be given to Ramanath Shetty and Venu’s mind blowing Camerawork, Ravi Dewan’s action direction, splendid costume and art direction by N Muthuraj. The only aspect that could have been better include Illayaraja; music and background scores, though songs like ‘Kunnathe’ are gems which may once again give the desi  nightingale ”Chithra” another big accolade. And some seems to have craved for some more brilliant dialogues from M T, to be planted on the megastar’s title character

Coming to the performances, Mammootty has given a restrained performance as the graceful Raja, but his screen presence and body language is enough to carry the heavy character with ease. The director also seems to have decided to keep the central character more manly, without heroic built ups until the last reels. To Sarath Kumar comes up in a surprise package, with fantastic heroic  looks and emotes well and gives some great action sequences. It is definitely one of the best roles ever by the Tamil Star. Manoj K Jayan and Suresh Krishna, along with Padmapriya and Kaniha, makes the movie a treasure of performances with exhilarating presentations.

Overall, ‘Pazhassi Raja’ remains as a great movie with brilliant direction, solid performances and spectacular visuals. Never miss it, or you will be missing a classic rendition of splendidly spiced-up slice of history, a brilliant tribute to the first freedom fighters who fought a valorous battle realising the inherent death, but to safeguard their honour and their land.

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