Malayalam film Purusha Pretham review
The director Krishand’s previous film was Aavasavyuham: The Arbit Documentation of An Amphibian Hunt. I must confess that I decided to watch the film (on an OTT platform), fascinated mostly by the dazzling title for a Malayalam film.
Before watching the film, I did not know what genre it would belong to. After watching the movie, I was still clueless about its genre. The film defied easy slotting. It was a part documentary and part zany humour. These two are an unlikely combination, but it was tied together with many other ingredients.
So, I approached Purusha Pretham movie review with the same kind of puzzled excitement. Krishand didn’t disappoint in this one either, as Pursuha Pretham could be anything: a dark comedy or a horror story or a police procedural or a suspense thriller or a social drama or a spoof. It manages to be all of these without trying too much or confusing the audience. It takes a special talent to pull this off, and director Krishand seems to possess that. The match has a natural flair for telling a story on screen without any pretensions.
The story, if you can call it one, is built around a missing corpse. It takes off around the cop Sebastian (Prasanth Alexander), known as ‘Super’ Sebastian. There are plenty of stories about his valour. The villagers and the fellow cops cannot stop talking about him and his spunk. But alas, most of those spiels are just urban legends built up for fun. The man is otherwise a run-of-the-mill policeman. He’s no Bharathchandran IPs. But one who has the eponymous Bharatchandran’s tune as his mobile ringtone.
Sebastian and his team of cops are alerted to a dead body found floating on the river. The police are forced into the absurd situation of burying the body as there is no room in the mortuary. Amidst this ridiculously chaotic environment arrives Susanna (Darshan Rajendran) with the complaint that her husband is missing. She thinks that the dead person could be her husband. But Sebastian is convinced it is not the case. But before the issue can be resolved, a new problem emerges – the body disappears.
All hell breaks loose as the film keeps changing its character in a trice. Apart from finding who the person is, the police also have to find out where his body is. The police investigation and the war of attrition between Sebastian and Susanna take many intriguing twists.
Shoehorned into this are many subplots and sublayers. There is something about how patriarchy typically works. Then there is something about how the police have to fight enormous systemic odds to keep the legal machinery moving.
The dystopian world one will be forced to inhabit if one loses one’s basic documents is also brought up seamlessly. There is also a socio-politico commentary on caste and how it exists in the police department. Even when the film makes a serious point, it manages to keep its metaphorical tongue firmly in its cheek. The fun element is never lost.
Prasanth Alexander, who was mainly seen in side actor roles previously, gets a meaty one here, and he has used the opportunity well. The man is in his element in the early segments. Darshan Rajendran, fresh off the success of Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey, gets an intro worthy of a mass star. Her character seems a bit underwritten; however, she is fantastic at keeping the suspense going. The director Jeo Baby is cast as one of the policemen, and he has some zingers that will keep you guffawing for long. Jagadish is adequate as the cop working under Sebastian.
Purusha Pretham Malayalam movie humour would have been enhanced if the run time had been shorter with tighter editing. But Krishand doesn’t allow the proceedings to falter for long. In the end, you come out with a smile on your face. But you also wonder what the smile was all about.
Date Created: 2023-03-25 21:43
An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.