Movie Recco: Pazhassi Raja

22 Sep

I saw the Malayalam movie Pazhassi Raja (well-directed by Hariharan) recently after many months of planning and it was a case of better late then never. To begin with, I found the movie literally flawless and giving a pretty realistic portrayal of an unsung freedom warrior. Here are a few reasons why you should not miss Pazhassi Raja:

  • There are no unnecessary deviations in the story (like romantic angles, too many songs etc.) and it is an engaging account of a king who was courageous to revolt against the British empire.
  • The acting was stupendous and each character fitted the respective roles perfectly. Notable mentions were the normally-typecast Sharath Kumar, who was a revelation in his role (as the deputy of Mammotty) and Padmapriya was brilliant as a strong woman who has learnt the traditional fights and fought for Pazhassi’s army. Even the foreign actors who acted in this movie have done their roles extremely well.
  • Needless to say, Mammotty was all class and elegance in the main role as Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja. His body language and dialogue delivery is seen-to-be-believed. Not once did he look like an actor in his 50’s!
  • The cinematography and locations were fresh and appropriately suited to the time in which the movie is set. Even the traditional ethnic costumes of the actors looked so natural amidst the backdrops.
  • Ilaiyaraja has bagged the National Award for best background score for this movie and the Maestro’s subdued BGM’s further elevate the scenes to another level. The songs in the movie too, were picturized beautifully and no song seemed out-of-place.

I would rate this movie as good as The Legend of Bhagat Singh, which in my opinion is one of the best movies on India’s freedom struggle. Any story about India’s freedom struggle is not easy to make and these 2 movies have set benchmarks in this unique genre. Credit should go to the whole team and especially the directors who dared to take up such themes and come out victorious!

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