Paavada in Malayalam means Skirt (a part of women’s clothing) It has its metaphors. In the Mollywood Box Office, Paavada is a 2016 Malayalam film directed by G. Marthandan, produced by Maniyanpilla Raju starring Anup Menon and Prithviraj Sukumaran in lead roles of two drunkards who meet at a de-addiction centre.. As the tag lines in the trailer reveals “a friendship is forged in alcohol” in the first half.. to uncover “a truth buried in celluloid” .. in the second half. Although the film foregrounds two male characters, the film like the title suggests is about the life of a woman.. Here’s the trailer.
Although I felt the film is way too melodramatic, dramatic, and over the top in many many ways.. I should say here that Anup Menon and Prithviraj have given excellent performances. Anup Menon plays the role of a man almost double his age and has done it to the T, the disheveled but dignified look in salt and pepper hair and a stubble (He looks a lot better in these aging roles, like that other film Buddy, where he plays a father to a teenage boy)… Prithviraj with the added makeup of red eyeliners and dark circles has carried off the character of that innocent, playful, lovable alcoholic with ease.
But… if I had a voice I would have surely booed (I may have booed like 4 times in my entire life in a cinema hall) at the last scene along with all those people in the theatre during the climax, the very last bit.. (omg, seriously! uffo!). My lips are sealed for anybody who wants to watch this film.
For a film going Malayalee audience, this isn’t the first film on alcoholism in the backdrop of a de-addiction centre. There was Neena last year, there was Renjith-Mohanlal’s Spirit in 2012. This film works with this theme in the first to shift into the second part of the tag line.. a story unfortunately common in the film industry.. Although the film is themed on the life of two alcoholics, the story moves forward to a more serious plot in the second half. Siddique as usual makes a mark. I loved his get up as a Brahmin Iyer advocate, hair, makeup, diction.. 🙂
Paavada is a film within a film, the making of a film within a film, the making and failing of aspirations of people associated with a film. Paavada is a film Prof Babu Joseph (Anup Menon) produced during his younger days, a film that changes the course of his life, a film which gives him his annoying nickname Paavada, the film that becomes that reason that kick starts the de-addiction in Paavada Babu and Paambu Joy to stop drinking for the rest of their lives.. (it is also the source of their alcoholism to begin with)
Prithviraj plays Paambu Joy (Paambu is a general name of any snake in Malayalam. It is also a nickname given to alcoholics who have slithery speech and slithery movements like a snake after rounds of booze). The Joy Song is a peppy number that introduces Joy-Prithviraj and his life to the audience, in the line of how the character of Thilakan introduces the character of Mohanlal in Manichitrazharu ..(he is Raavan in Psychology… )
The script is predictable, as an audience, many of us could predict even the dialogues.. the film picks up pace after Paavada and Paambu meet at the centre.. their interactions become the source of the humour.. But I still can’t get over the last part! (shd I boo here! :P)
The film is a treat for a Shakespeare lover.. Prof Babu Joseph is a prof of English Drama who specilizes in Shakespeare.. if you know your Shakespeare well, you’ll know the lines, you’ll know the context.. because Prof Babu colours his conversation with Shakespearean lines..and shakespeare comes in not as an add on but as a part of life.. (I don’t know how to explain it to you.. it is like my oft loved way of sending a message on whatsapp to a friend who isn’t around by saying, “you said you were here, are you under the invisibility cloak?” if you get what I mean)
Like in the film Ennum Eppozhum, the film introduces its two main characters at different times in the order of plot. The narration begins with Anup Menon and his upside down world symbolized in an upside down television set, runs with the story of his life with his caretaker played by Nedumudi Venu and his advocate friend Maniyanpilla Raju for a while.. before introducing Prithviraj and his friend. However, the friend.. our Girirajan Kozhri from Premam fame goes missing completely in the second half.
One time watch, recommended.. Again, one of the films I went to watch without information about the cast/trailer/script..
I deviate from Pavada into that song Mazha Kondu Mathram sung by Vijay Yesudas in the film, Spirit. It fetched him the Kerala State Award for Best Playback Singer (Male).. is one of my favourites.
Gayathri has a cover for the same song for an episode of Music Mojo. This version is also something I listen to often too..
pictures and videos: google