Mammootty is spectacular in Ratheena’s ‘Puzhu’ (SonyLIV), the rare film where a man from a dominant caste is depicted as a victim

Posted on May 19, 2022


Spoilers ahead…

The filmmaking is solid, but the writing does not match up. The excessive focus on the protagonist leaves the  other characters stranded. 


In an early scene in Ratheena’s Puzhu, a young boy reads aloud pages from a textbook. These pages are about the “toilet-cleaning community” and how Gandhiji opposed this. Many decades later, little seems to have changed. Some people from these communities may not be actually cleaning toilets anymore, but in the minds of the dominant castes, they might as well be. Mammootty’s sister, Parvathy, has married one such man and Mammootty’s every body cell screams in disgust that his Brahmin house, his Brahmin family, has been polluted by a “toilet-cleaner”. Can you see body cells scream on screen? This great, great actor proves that you can. Internalised emotion is the most difficult to externalise in front of a camera, and Mammootty does this consistently in this film, and extraordinarily. His eyes, his clenched jaw, his posture – everything recoils from the “pollution” his sister brought into the family.

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