Despite its issues, Vinayan’s ‘Pathonpatham Noottandu’, starring a terrific Siju Wilson, holds your attention

Posted on September 9, 2022


Spoilers ahead…

The film is a ‘biopic’ of the 19th century. It is also a biopic of Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, who fought for the oppressed.

Vinayan’s Pathonpatham Noottandu, set in Travancore, is two kinds of biopic. Firstly, it is a “biopic” of the time period of the title, the 19th century. We get the legend of Nangeli (Kayadu Lohar), who cut off her breasts in order to protest against the “breast tax”, which was imposed on oppressed-caste women who dared to cover their chest. We have Chemban Vinod Jose as Kayamkulam Kochunni, the Robin Hood-like outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. We learn how bad it was for even dominant-caste women, who were sometimes forced to marry very old men. One such woman approaches the powerful Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, played by Siju Wilson. She wants his help. But he says his focus is on helping oppressed-caste people like him. He cannot help Nair women, too. Also, if he does this, the king of Travancore might turn against him, and so far, the ruler has been a kind benefactor.

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