The movie 1921: Puzha Muthal Puzha Vare was announced when Aashiq Abu revealed the title poster of Variyamkunnan starring Prithviraj Sukumaran as the title character. Then Ali Akbar, now Ramasimhan, pitched this project almost like a political counterattack. The agenda is pretty simple here. Spread blatant hatred towards Muslims and also destroy whatever good image is there for Variyamkunnan by making him look like a joker. If you have the pre-requisite hatred towards a community, then I guess this B-grade hate porn will give you that orgasm.
The movie is narrated as a flashback story by a man named Chathan, who used to work for the upper-class Hindus during the 1921 riots. He is now living with his wife, Savitri, who was his landlord’s daughter back in the day. The movie shows what he saw in 1921 during the Malabar Rebellion.
Let me just tell you how Ali Akbar, aka Ramasimhan, depicted Variyamkunnan in this movie. Variyamkunnan appears in the movie almost at the midway point. He is shown as a sneaky opportunist who decided to take the gun and lead the rebellion when he knew the railway tracks were destroyed and the British won’t reach the Malabar region any time soon. During one gunfire, he runs away from the scene seeing a tiny drop of blood on his face. He decides to marry a young girl after he gains power during the riot. But because of his inefficiency in satisfying the girl physically, she runs away with Variyamkunnan’s younger brother. Remember, Ali Akbar decided to make this movie claiming Aashiq Abu would distort history. In the end, Ramasimhan created a movie that even his supporters won’t take seriously because of the goofy characterization.
Usually, propaganda films will work for a particular category of the audience who are rooting for the movie’s politics. Looking at the outright attacking mentality of 1921: Puzha Muthal Puzha Vare, even though the production quality is shoddy and the craft is tacky, the crowd that funded this movie is actually scarier than the film. From the caricature-like characterizations of Muslim characters who invade, kill and convert people, it is very evident that Ali Akbar is playing it for the gallery that wants to consume hate. The bizarre thing is that in his attempt to whitewash the Hindus of that era, he glorifies the social hierarchy. There is a scene where Chathan tells Savitri that he gets this kind of respect only from this family. And the next moment, she asks him to come to the backside to have the food. Wah! Kya scene hei!
RLV Ramakrishnan somewhat tries to mimic his brother Kalabhavan Mani to become this Karumadi Kuttan-inspired Chathan. Thalaivasal Vijay is given the job of making Variyamkunnan a joker, and he has given his best shot. Agna Suresh, as Savitri, is forgettable. Dinesh Pancker as the Collector was a hilarious choice with that wannabe English accent. Vijay Menon, Joy Mathew, Santhosh K Nair, Kozhikode Narayanan Nair, Shobi Thilakan, etc., are some of the popular names in the movie’s cast.
There is a scene in the movie where a Muslim man who did no wrong during the time is getting punished in the aftermath of the movement. And Ramasimhan makes him say lines like, “I deserve it because I remained silent when the Hindus were getting assaulted.” Thanks to the budget constraints of this movie, the combat sequences were the only relief where I laughed my heart out. You can literally see artists double-checking those fake blood balloons.
If you have the pre-requisite hatred towards a community, then I guess this B-grade hate porn will give you that orgasm.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended