Pulimada, the new Joju George starrer written, directed, and edited by AK Sajan, starts off very interestingly as the rage of the central character keeps it in a space that will sort of create curiosity in our heads. But when the character played by Aishwarya Rajesh enters the scene, things start to look predictable. Even though AK Sajan has tweaked it here and there to make it less predictable, the feel-good kind of closure they gave to the movie was, in a way, cutting down the movie’s scope to explore the character in-depth.
Vincent is our hero, and he is in the police. His childhood was pretty traumatic as he lost his mother at a very young age, and she was a mentally challenged person. Vincent fears that the traits of his mother’s psychological issues are there in him and that speculation has resulted in his wedding getting called off many times. What we see in Pulimada is about one such night when Vincent loses it completely after his marriage gets called off at the last minute.
AK Sajan wants to address many issues in the movie, even when the story is limited to the events happening over one night. Even though the movie empathizes with the character for his loner life and desperation to find a partner, the film also shows him as a product of patriarchy. In a way, it is that formulaic thriller where this patriarchal man, who thinks it is normal to keep an educated wife as a housewife, realizes his wrong way of thinking after an intoxicated night. The mystery of what really happened that night drove the movie’s third act, and even though it was on the lighter side, it felt like a letdown as we were made to anticipate something intriguing.
Joju George shuttles between extreme naivety and animalistic ferociousness to pull off this character. Even though the initial transformation scene at the church was a bit synthetic, the performance showed consistency in the latter portions. And I must say that the earnestness in his portrayal in the final act makes the movie watchable when it enters that feel-good kind of space. As the mystery girl, Mahishmathi, Aishwarya Rajesh presents the character with the level of confidence that would make that character believable on screen, and it was actually a character in which we haven’t seen her much. Chemban Vinod Jose is there as a close friend of Vincent with his usual mannerisms. Jaffar Idukki, Johny Antony, Lijomol Jose, Jeo Baby, Balachandra Menon, Krishnaprabha, etc., are also part of the cast.
AK Sajan is trying to add some uniqueness to the story by opting for a terrain that depicts the emotional state of his hero. A man living alone on top of a rocky mountain is a cinematically appealing idea. In the initial stages of the writing, that setting gives us hope that something atmospheric and nuanced will happen in this story. When the Aishwarya Rajesh character enters the plot, a sense of familiarity about what could possibly happen kicks in. The hallucination angle given to the story was also somewhat predictable, but the tweak given to that possibility was interesting. As I already said, the way Pulimada takes a complete shift in mood in the climax was slightly underwhelming, and the last-minute twist was something the audience could guess just before that twist. Anil Johnson’s background score felt a bit old school and loud in places.
Pulimada gives you hope that it will be another intricate character study like Iratta, another Joju George starrer released this year. But the film starts to feel a bit generic in terms of plot development somewhere around the middle. With performances keeping us occupied in this guessable chain of events, Pulimada is a passable genre film that sort of played it safe in the end.
With performances keeping us occupied in this guessable chain of events, Pulimada is a passable genre film that sort of played it safe in the end.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended