11 March 2011 | nashh13
Satirical, thought provoking & a fun film to watch.
Pranchiyetten and the Saint is a satirical, surreal, thought provoking and a character driven movie that manages to draw us into its story, enjoy and cherish, the comical and eccentric adventures of Pranchiyettan in pursuit of fame. The whole story is narrated by Pranchi to the Saint as reply to his question "What is it that worries you?" Eenashu Cherammal Francis or Pranchiyettan or "Ari Pranchi" (Mamooty) is a wealthy businessman, who is quite unhappy with the way people call him "Ari Pranchi" referring to the business of his ancestors (rice vendors), without respect. He wants to earn respect of the people and his efforts to do so is so hilarious. Later in the film, he comes to the point of literally 'buying' respect. He is not well educated and therefore, obviously, suffers from an inferiority complex. He, in his pursuit for fame, is also used by others for their own profits. He never gets mentioned for anything he does (His company sponsored a ceremony for congratulating the achievements of the Oscar winning Malayali "Gaffur Chekutty". He was, quite politely, thrown out of the stage and thus losing his chance to become a well known person). He has a rival, who was his schoolmate (Siddique), to whom he lost his girlfriend (Kushboo) while at school, which leads to another complex he has. He is extremely bothered by certain failures in his personal life. Both the rival and his wife are 'well known' doctors in the city (which really bothers Pranchi a lot).
Ranjith(writer & director) is among the few film-makers in Malayalam film industry, who tries to do something unconventional. He has such films like Nandanam, Thirakatha, Paleri Mankiyam to his credit. Ranjith has created such a brilliant tale and narrated it almost flawlessly and quite stylishly that makes the film, a far cry from the usual, mediocre and clichéd stuffs that has been ruling the roost at the box office lately (a few exceptions of course). The humor here is simple and brilliant. Mamooty has breathed life in to Pranchiyettan. He literally lived as Pranchiyettan in every frame. Mamooty has been getting quite a few experimental roles lately (Kuttyshrank, Paleri Manikyam and this film). This is, in my opinion, one of those movies where his excellent acting skills have been really put to use. He has handled comedy so naturally rather than overdoing it like in Thuruppugulan. A few friends of mine, complained about the way he handled 'Thrissur' accent. But I've no such complaints as I was too busy enjoying the film. Priyamani makes a brief entrance as 'Padmasree' an artist, in the story who is another love interest of Pranchi. This part in the movie could've been a tad longer in my opinion, as the exit of the Padmasree from the story, lacked the intended punch (on me. I don't know about others). Master Ganapathy plays Pauli, a rebellious but intelligent kid whom Pranchi meets in the later parts of the film. (I am not going to reveal much about the role). The Saint is played by an Australian theater artist and I liked him. He was much better than the other foreign artists that show up in most other Malayalam films. Innocent plays Menon a close friend of Pranchi who gives the ideas to Pranchi to get famous. Everybody has done a nice job in the film.
The movie explores or at least touches superficially on a lot of things, which I noticed and which I don't think I am matured to enough to say. I am talking about humans & human relationships. This is so far the best film I've seen this year. In my opinion it will be future classic.