Renjith is on a roll, and 2009 seems to be good year for Malayalam cinema. As per the reviews, what makes Palery Manikyam: Oru Pathirakkolapathakathinte Katha a winner is Mammootty, screenplay and direction. Movie got released in just 40 centers, which is half the number of usual super star guerrilla attack releases. We’ll have to wait for some more time to see if good cinema translates to good collections.
On the whole, Palery Manikyam: Oru Pathirakkolapathakathinte Katha is a very intriguing watch. It might not be liked by the common mass audience. But for people who like watching interesting stories and ideas and good cinema, without the trappings of usual commercial cinema, this film would be very interesting. Ranjith is slowly turning into a new-age Padmarajan of sorts. He is trying bold, mature and interesting themes (Thirakkatha, Kaiyyoppu) and daring experiments (Kerala Cafe) and his storytelling skill is intact in this new movie also. The movie is not suitable for children as it handles an adult theme and has certain scenes which may not be suitable for children to watch, even though they are done very aesthetically and effectively. Mammootty gives some neat performances in his different roles. It is great to have the actor in him back through movies like Loudspeaker, Pazhassiraja and this one now after a series of duds. Ranjith has delivered a fine film with a minor hiccup in the climax (not that it was bad, just that it didnt come up to the standard set by the whole movie). The movie has taken a good opening and it was great to see all kinds of people, including a lot of ladies, watching the movie on second day. With the help of some good marketing, this movie should end up being a success.
Palery Manickyam could easily boast of its remarkable cast that has none of the big names in business, barring a few. The film brings to the forefront a bevy of real talented actors from theatre, and resourcefully draws out astonishing performances from all of them. Leading this cast is none other than Mammootty himself who puts in a hypnotic act as Ahmed Haji, yet another pitch perfect feat from the actor this year. Equally proficient is the incomparable Shwetha Menon who is gradually carving a niche for herself with daring performances in markedly different films.
Ranjith’s Manickyam is a rarity of a film that exceeds expectations and offers a psychedelic high for the viewer. There would be no surprise if it ignites some sort of a controversy for the boldness that it displays. For the discerning viewer though, this might perhaps be one of the best films to have come out this year.
I would refuse to attribute the art house flavour to it. Rather, it’s an uncompromising film that grabs you by your throat and simply refuses to let go.
It is with absolute awe that one would come out of the theatres, especially for Ranjith, who has made perhaps one of the finest films in Malayalam history, based on Rajeevan’s brilliant novel. There are flaws and scope for further improvement for sure, but the writer-director’s ability to handle such an intricate tale needs to be appreciated wholeheartedly.
With a spectacular performance that can leave you spellbound, Mammootty underlines why he is easily regarded among the best actors in the country. His charisma, screen presence and style give an altogether different meaning to the characters and his portrayal of Ahmed Haji will remain as one of the best to have happened in Malayalam films, ever.
Very rarely does a film satisfy our expectations. But director Ranjith’s latest Malayalam film Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Katha does.
The film is near perfect with minor ignorable blemishes. It is based on T P Rajeevan’s novel of the same name. It tells the story of a private detective, who returns to his birthplace to solve a murder mystery that occurred on the same night he was born.
Dectective Haridas (Mammootty) takes up a case just to satisfy his curiosity, not to find or punish the culprit, as all the suspects in the case are dead. His purpose, which seems vague in the beginning, achieves clarity only halfway through the story.
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