Malayalam Cinema Pakal

Cast : Prithviraj, Jyothirmayi, Sudhish,Ibrahim Vengara, Sreeja chandran, Seema G. Nair, Swetha Menon, Mayaviswanath, Senath
Director : M.A.Nishaad
Music Director : Gireesh Puthancheery / M.G.Raadhakrishnan
Producer :

Pakal – the debut directorial venture of M.A. Nishad, delves into a very relevant and serious issue and offers solutions too, but there are certain things that don’t seem to have worked out well in the realization of the theme, speaking on cinematic terms.

Pakal takes us into the world of the hapless peasants of Wyanad District of Kerala, who are forced to commit suicide following financial problems. Nandakumar, who is a reporter of the television channel Kerala Today, and his friend and cameraman Abu are sent to Pannakamkudi to do a regular series on the plight of the farmers of the area. Crop failure, low prices for agricultural produce, inability to repay loans issued by banks, cut-throat interest rates charged by private financiers and above all the red-tapism that is inherent in government procedures – all these have been driving peasants of this area to commit suicide in large numbers. It is to probe this situation that Nandakumar and Abu have set out.

At the outset they meet old Kunjappan, who has been holding a dharna for 14 years to get justice from the authorities. And then they meet Thenginthottathil Joseph and his family members, who are in the grip of severe financial problems and on the brink of desperation and even suicide. Joseph’s eldest daughter Merlin is working in a private firm whereas his second daughter Celine is a medical student. It is on Celine that they pin all their hopes. The probe conducted by Nandakumar and Abu disrupts the sleep of many, including the shrewd and heartless moneylender Ummachchan. In the meantime certain untoward happenings take place in Joseph’s family. What all follows forms the plot of Pakal.

The makers of the film should be appreciated for their bold attempt to look into a sensitive issue. But at the same time the pace of the film and the treatment it is given tend to be akin to that of a documentary, and that makes the film rather unappealing to the masses.

Prithviraj as Nandakumar, Jyothirmayi as Celine, Sudheesh as Abu, Thilakan as Kunjappan and T.G.Ravi as Joseph have done full justice to their respective roles. And so has Jagadeesh as Ummachchan. The others in the cast too have performed well. Cinematography by Vipin Mohan, editing by P.C. Mohanan and art-direction by Mahesh Sridhar are in tune with the theme. The songs penned by Gireesh Puthencherry and set to tune by M.G. Radhakrishnan are good but may not catch much attention, this being a low-profile film. The scenarist and the director could have worked better on the subject and should have made it more appealing to the viewers.

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