A Blog on Cinema

Review Roundup: Naalu Pennungal


Only fools analyze movies like Immini Nalloral and Pulival Kalyanam. Some others dump the story and write a few lines, “actor x did well, camera was good, costumes were good etc.” Real reviewers don’t write pages of story, but offer some sort of analysis which enhances the knowledge of the reader. The worst ones are who just copy reviews from other sites and pass it off as their own.

It is hard to analyze Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s movies because it requires some perspective of the world and some familiarity with literature (stuff from Ma magazines and mediocre blog posts don’t qualify as literature). As we do a review roundup of Adoor’s Naalu Pennungal we see that there are just a few good reviewers around and lot of mediocre ones.

The first one is our copy cat friend at IndiaGlitz who has one again copied the Movie Mazaa review featured here at varnachitram. Let us first look at some lines from the Movie Mazaa review.

Adoor’s women remain engraved in conformist stones, never ever even marginally moving away from the firm frontiers that have been intricately drawn around them.

Back home, she starts life afresh, the marriage having passed off as an unpleasant interlude that never really took off.

Here is the review from IndiaGlitz and pay attention to the words in bold.

Even as the stories are set 60 years ago, Adoor’s women remain fixed with establishmentarian attitude, never trying marginally to move away from the firm boundaries that have been complicatedly drawn around them by the society.

Once left back to her home, Kumari starts life afresh, passing off her marriage as an unpleasant interlude that never did happened.

Paresh Palicha writes the story in detail in Rediff, but offers no perspective.

Unni Nair writes

The helplessness and vulnerability of the fairer sex, the inherent strength they have, and the vicissitudes of Fate to which women often fall prey in a male dominated society are some of the issues that get discussed in Naalu Pennungal. A very important aspect of the film is that even seemingly minor characters are portrayed with due importance given to them, for example the character played by Sona Nair in the first story and the character played by Ramya Nambeeshan in the fourth one.

Surprisingly, the film, which speaks volumes about women in general, doesn’t seem to have cut much ice with the womenfolk in Kerala (who obviously are trapped in the mesmerism of tear-jerkers on the small screen), whereas reports say that women constituted the majority of the viewers when the film was screened at the Toronto Festival. Can the makers not do something to get the film across to such an audience which ought to have been the prime target of the film?


  1. why dont you raise this issue with the Indiaglitz folks?

  2. This issue was raised at the time the Ore Kadal review was published. After a couple of emails that met with no response, I finally received an explanation from Indiaglitz that then proceeded to remove the review in question.

    However this issue continued when the next review was published – that of Chocolate, and now Naalu Pennungal.

    The totally irresponsible response of the Indiaglitz editors who conveniently passed the buck on to some freelancer who provides their content is apalling to say the least.

  3. 4 pennungal seems to be doing good – the show was about 70% full on a week day matinee, last week

  4. Pingback: varnachitram » Blog Archive » Review roundup: Rock n Roll

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