Movie : Pranayam
Director : Blessy
Music : M Jayachandran
Cast : Mohanlal, Anupam Kher, Jayaprada
Director Blessy zooms in on the minds of a strikingly beautiful woman and two men, who came into her life at various junctures, in Pranayam (Love). It’s not so often that we think about the emotions of the older generation in our films and this could be the best thing about the film as well.
Achutha Menon (Anupam Kher), who has survived a heart attack before, is living in an apartment with his son Suresh’s (Anoop Menon) family. One day he is found unconscious in the elevator, soon after he meets a woman, Grace (Jayaprada).
As you learn in the next few scenes, Grace was once married to Achutha Menon and they got divorced after some misunderstandings, when Suresh was still a kid. She had then married Mathews (Mohanlal), a retired philosophy professor who was by now in a wheel chair, after a stroke that left him partly paralyzed.
They had come to stay with their daughter Asha (Dhanya Mary), who was staying in the same apartment.
Though things get a bit too melodramatic at times, Blessy succeeds in presenting the woes of the three protagonists and their families, in a competent way. There are some well crafted situations and hard hitting dialogues that make the film look eminently genuine.
If you analyze the journey of the script, it begins in a shaky way, gets stronger after a while and things get a bit boring towards the end. As the end credits start rolling, it wouldn’t be surprising if the viewer feels that the person who is the most honest and the one who went through the worst tragedies in his life was Achutha Menon.
And just like in the story, his feelings get neglected with limited focus in the film as well. Some of the clichéd scenes, dialogues and the philosophical ingredients which may have been added to make it all look serious eventually stand out from the rest in an annoying way.
If the younger generation feels that the film portrays them all as relatively immature and not so idealistic, well, you can’t blame them! Satheesh Kurup’s visuals are really good. The lyrics by ONV Kurup and the music by M Jayachandran are topnotch.
Mohanlal is there on screen for a limited period only but he unleashes sheer magic with a scintillating performance. His superb dialogue delivery and the subtle mannerisms that perfectly suit the ailing person that he has portrayed explain why he is regarded as one of the finest actors ever on Indian screen.
Bollywood actors Anupam Kher and Jayaprada look fine in their roles. Watch out for a brilliant acting by Anoop Menon who manages to make a mark of his own among the big names that he is sharing the screen with. The rest of the cast too have done their roles in a nice manner.
Pranayam is in an entirely different league, far above most films that we come across in Malayalam, but still it falls short of being a brilliant one. It has some fine moments, but you will need some patience to find those, in between!