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Paradeshi: A film to be experienced
Paresh C Palicha | October 15, 2007 14:46 IST
There are two basic necessities of human beings -- one, the need to belong to a place (to possess a piece of land) and two, to be loved for who they are.
And what happens when they are dispossessed of their land just because a piece of paper claims them to be aliens? Well, this scenario is vividly captured on the celluloid by P T Kunhi Mohammed in his film Paradeshi starring Mohanlal.
There was much hype surrounding the fact that Mohanlal was portraying a man of 35 going on 80, which he does so with finesse. The way he has imbued the traits of different age groups is a rarity that we may come across only once in a while. He has gone above and beyond a mere showcasing of talent.
The other thing that makes this film touching is that the director brings into focus the seemingly peripheral issues into focus. It is not just a political dispute between two nations at loggerheads, but how it affects the individuals who are caught in this whirlwind.
If we take the case of Valiyakkathu Moosa (Mohanlal), the octogenarian has a lifetime of experience being hit like a ping pong ball from both sides. It has made him weary. He has also been marginalised by his own children fearing trouble from the powers that be. Living in fear of law can be one thing if you have the support of the close ones; it is another thing when you have to be floating in the fear with a lonely heart.
The director adopts an intelligent technique to unfold this torrid tale; it is shown as a freelance journalist researching the subject so we get different perspectives. But they are mainly from the victims' point of view. It would have helped if there an effort made to gather the thoughts of law enforcers' that would have made the subject more holistic. Here the police and lawyers are just an abusive lot trying to fleece the poor souls.
The only problem with this film (if we want to look at it that way) is that it is made with a technique that was entrenched in the 80s (the way films were made by the students of Film Institutes) with unnatural dialogue delivery and long pauses that feels jaded.
The other victims shown in this film that include Jagathy Sreekuar, T G Ravi and Siddique are just mentally deranged with varying degrees. Only Moosa remains fiery and conscious of his faculties.
Mohanlal lives up to the hype created around his get-up. It is just amazing to see how he transforms himself at different stages of Moosa's life. He nearly touches the performance of Iruvar, a landmark film in the actor's career.
Paradeshi is a film to be experienced and pondered about and not just to be watched and forgotten.
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