Sep 20, 2010

Movie Review - Pranchiyettan and the Saint

I was in two minds today as to what to share with you - a wonderful movie or a great book. The movie wins for the day.

Before reading: The following is written by a huge fan of Ranjith, the director. All excesses may be excused. Please turn away if you are not a rabid fan :-)

Ranjith has done it again - you have to hand it to him. We saw what he can do with fantasy in Nandanam. He's done it again in Pranchiyettan and the Saint. I hadn't read any pre-release news of this movie and my first intro to it was a poster on the wayside with the picture Mammootty in a fluorescent purple jubba, horrible gold framed eye-glasses with folded hands held up. I checked the title:  Pranchiyettan... what the h*** does that mean??? was my first reaction. I certainly thought it was just another mafia movie of sorts and laughed at the horrific name. Two days later, I came to know that it was by Ranjith and heard that it might be worth watching. So this weekend, we went to book tickets for the first show Saturday evening, only to know that all reservation seats were already over. But, we were just in time to get middle class tickets for the matinee and before we knew it, we had tripped and trampled over 8 or 10 college guys to get the last three seats near the wall and were safely ensconced for a treat.

Let me take away the suspense about the name: Pranchiyettan is a local corruption of the lovely name Francis chettan. Pranchiyettan is the sole survivor of a prosperous family in Thrissur. His family business was selling rice, so he has this nickname "Arippranchi" which is his nemesis. The movie centers around the efforts our hero makes to get his name glorified somehow. And all his efforts are hilarious. Where does the saint come in? Well the movie starts off when Pranchi visits a church at a crisis in his life and his namesake St. Francis of Assissi appears in the flesh before him and serves as a receptacle for all his grievances. From there onwards the laughter and the wistfulness start us on a roller coaster ride that lasts till the end of the movie. I will not divulge the plot details here - one, because there is no plot as such and two, you really do need to see this movie!

Ranjith, you too are hunting whales in the ocean with Aamir and Hirani!!!

Next time you meet me don't be surprised if I bang you on the back with an "Enthootanta ishta viseshangal?" - so fell in love with Thrissur Bhaasha all over again!

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