Renjith had been the most happening writer-director of Mollywood for a couple of years, with his last attempts like ‘Palery Manickyam’ and ‘Kerala Cafe’ earning grand reviews and accolades from every sphere of filmdom. The director is for the season returning with an even more powerful but simple movie, ‘Prachiyettan and the Saint’, a satire on the contemporary Kerala society and its hankering for status and recognition.
Teaming up with Mammootty, who once again displays his finesse in judging and selecting roles of content, the movie remains as one of the best in recent times in terms of the characterisation of the protagonist and the use of fine narrative techniques. Basically the movie is the story of Chirammal Eanashu Francis, a self made affluent rice merchant, who is always insecure about his societal status due to his low education and nickname ‘Aripraanchy’ that followed him throughout his life.
He makes a number of blunders in his life to see whether his large earned money can get him the status that he yearns for, thus erasing his branded nickname. Following his trusted aides including Vasu Menon, Bahuleyan, Subrahmani, Uthuppu and Co, he makes attempts on this by buying a ‘Padmashree’ for himself, starting a jewellery shop, contesting the elections for the president-ship of an aristocratic club, and even sponsoring every local events where he can show off his splendour.
It is after a lot of failed attempts on making it big that he meets Padmashree, an interior designer and Poly, a 15 year old, who makes a valuable turns in his life.
It is not just the story lines that holds our interest in ‘Pranchiyettan’ but the way it unleashes on screen. Told in flashbacks as narrated to the Saint Francis of Assisi (Jesse Fox Allen), the plot succeeds majorly with funny dialogues that pack in loads of quality humour and observations. The Thrissur slang that is employed throughout adds a certain likeability to the movie, though certain episodes of Pranchy’s life are told in such detail that it tends to appear trivial and drags a little.
Mammootty convincingly display his histrionic skills in natural comic situations of the movie, never resorting to any elements of slapstick tracks that he had been to recently. The middle aged character who likes to take his every failure with a tinge of humour is also backed with one of the most positive on screen writing by Renjith, whose dialogues are simply awesome.
Among the supporting cast, Innocent is back to his vintage best portraying Vasu Menon. Priyamani as Padmashree and Kushboo as Omana, Pranchy’s childhood sweetheart also are convincing, while Master Ganapathy as Poly also is in a memorable role. Ouseppachan in BG scores and Venu in camera also give apt support to Renjith in bringing out a memorable movie, which may equal his bests.
‘Pranchiyettan and the Saint’ is definitely prescribed for everyone who likes fresher themes and initiatives in Mollywood.