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Paradesi - Review

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Years after our country gained independence, when India is moving towards becoming a fully-developed country, can we imagine that there were still several people suffering the plight of partition? Filmmaker Kunju Mohammed brings to light the story of an Indian who returns to India from Karachi but is still a Paradesi!

The movie tells the story of a Muslim Indian, Valiyakathu Moosa, who moved to Karachi before partition with the hope of earning a good living but never thought that this very decision could make him an alien in his own country. The film uncovers the trials and tribulations which Moosa had to undergo during his life from the age of 35 to 85.

Mohanlal plays Valiyakathu Moosa, who moves to Karachi leaving behind his family in search of a good job; he was not alone while moving to Karachi, several people from Kerala villages went to Karachi and Mumbai during the British rule in search of jobs. But after independence, partition brought in disastrous changes in the lives of these young men. Some people died, while others managed to return to their country they loved, only to be treated as foreigners.

Valiyakathu Moosa, now back in his own country (he thinks India to be his country but Indians do not treat him as Indian) has to hide himself from the cruel cops who are in search of such people. The local police (Cochin Hannefa, Bava) are in search of Moosa as they come to know that he is staying in India even after his extended passport has expired and suspect him to be a spy. The only support he gets is from his wife Ameena (Shwetha Menon). He is often caught by the police and is left at the border. He repeatedly returns to his family by obtaining a government permit or by bribing corrupt cops.

A journalist named Usha (Padmapriya), who is making a report on such people, happens to meet Moosa. On meeting Moosa and his wife, she comes to know that Moosa is not the only man who is leading a miserable life in his own village. Even his old friends, Abdul Rahman (Jagathy), Usman (T.G. Ravi), Mustafa (Siddique) and his first love Khadeeja (Lakshmi Gopalasamy) are facing similar situations.

The movie showcases Moosa's different stages of life, his 35's, 60's and 80's. Mohanlal has given an outstanding performance. He considers the role to be his best ever role. His lively performance makes the audiences realize the feelings of such people who are being treated as foreigners in their own country. He plays the different stages of life of the protagonist in the most splendid way. Shwetha Menon has given a remarkable performance as Ameena. Jagathy Sreekumar excels in his role of Abdul Rahman. Padmapriya has also done a wonderful job. T.G. Ravi, Siddique and Lakshmi Gopalasamy have done their roles with perfection.

Music by Ramesh Narayanan and Shahbaz Aman is good. The songs 'Thattam Pidichchu' and 'Ya dhuni dhuni' are good. The movie however moves at a very slow pace and the makeup at times is very heavy. It is a must-see movie, but its prospects at the box office are quite low.

Cast: Mohanlal, Shwetha Menon, Lakshmi Gopalaswami, Jagathy Sreekumar, Siddique, Cochin Hannefa, Padmapriya

Banner: Aashirvad Films

Producer: Antony Preumbavoor

Director: P.T. Kunju Mohammed

Music: Ramesh Narayanan, Shahbaz Aman

Cinematography: K.G. Jayan

Art: Gireesh Menon

Editor: Don Maxx

Lyrics: Rafeeq Ahmed

Screenplay: P.T. Kunhu Mohammed

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