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Vietnam Colony - Malayalam. Nice movie. Entertaining.

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dear raghy,

thank you for introducing us to this wonderful movie.

this is categorized as a comedy, folks. so, there should be no fear of bringing a bucket to store the usual copious tears we expect from malayalam movies :)

this is a story of a pattar, who wears his poonal proudly, boasts his brahminness, and more than that, proves that he is a kind and gentle human first.

my term of endearment, for that great actor mohanlal, is kozhakatta vaayan (KV) for short. he pulls off a brilliant charecterization of a palghat pattar, starting with religious chanting and bent on laziness.

an unbelievable job literally lands on his lap, but like all unbelievable good things, there are hidden catches. that is the story of this movie, how KV beats them all out, but also, continually stumped and won over by a theeya girl, gleefully portrayed by kanaka.

throughout the movie, KV is addressed as saami, which is a respectful address of a brahmin or any respected person, in kerala. it appears so natural, and KV takes it in his stride, and naturally, as the poonal, that hangs across his shoulders, and which is shown almost in every other scene :)

the prejudice of the palghat brahmins is brought out, whether be it in his mother's fears, about her son behaving unbrahminlike when he is out of her sight; or when his family sees him being a pall bearer, of a muslim.

the canny match making of kpac lalitha, of her daughter, to the saami, is so humourous, especially considering the caste factor, which everybody knows and acknowledges, albeit from different viewpoints. for kpac marrying a brahmin, is a step up from her theeya hood. for KM's mother it would be a disaster.

it is funny how realistically KV responds to the advances of the coquetish kanaka. it is one of fear - fear of being violated, manwise, castewise, and every'wise'. ultimately he loses ofcourse.

hiding these romances, is the bigger story of exploitation. of large companies, against the little people. of goondas taking over living colonies of people, terrorizing them and also using living quarters as places for drug dealings and other such stuff.

the movie also shows how individuals, are seldom worried about society and what happens to their neighbourhood, unless their own living arrangements are threatened. fear appears to be a prime uniter of folks under a common umbrella, and provides the motivation to fight evil.

the movie has its share of fights (KV is terrible trying to dishoom dishoom his opponents); of its demonstrations (any malayali society should have the zindabad scene), and above all comical romantic scenes. the movie is full of hindus, muslims, christians, all of them intermingling like they do, day to day, in kerala. there are good in every community. and bad too. no one is spared.

but the ultimate good man, is the brahmin who saves them all :) that the fact, he is a liberal, kind hearted and ultimately ends up being the victim of a spunky theeyya girl, should not prevent die hard brahmins, from seeing this movie (free of cost on youtube) and cheer a pattar, as he fights the bad guys, and ensures that dharma ultimately prevails.

4 :)
This seems to be in complete contrast to how Brahmins are usually protrayed in Tamil films I must say! hmmmm...interesting.
pattar traditions are different. they are considered part of the malayali crowd, even though they speak talayalam at home, and are a bit stand offish.

one reason could be, is that they did not or never dominated kerala life like the way tambrams did in tamil nadu.

they were visitors either via palghat to malabar, or southern tamilnadu to travancore cochin. in both instances there were other established communities starting from namboodris, nairs, syrian christians and moplahs - all well entrenched and developed cultures in their own way.

also from late 1800s, the huge conversion of christians, and the next generation of high achieving malayali christians, paled whatever excellence to education or scholarship, the pattars could claim.

the communist govt of 1959 deprived the landlords of huge landholdings and made the lazy one pauper, or seek employment. all this has had a healthy levelling effect. today i have 3 relatives married to nairs, and not an eye brow was raised on each occassion.

welcome change, i guess.
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