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Naalu Pennungal Review

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Naalu Pennungal
Cast:Padmapriya, Geethu Mohandas, Manju Pillai, Nandita Das, Kavya Madhavan, Sreejith, Nandu, Murali, Mukesh, Ravi Vallathol, Ashokan, M.R.Gopakumar, KPAC Lalitha, Ramya Nambeeshan, Sona Nair, Babu Namboothiri, P.Sreekumar, Aliyar
Direction:Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Production:Benzy Martin, Adoor Gopalakrishnan
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Naalu Pennungal Review - The power of making it simple

IndiaGlitz  [Monday, November 05, 2007]
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Being with the parallel stream of film making meant to many, to create complicated, sluggish films that rarely attract the general masses. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, the most hailed film maker from Kerala, on the other hand, is the rare name among the group whose films always depended on unsophisticated narratives to tell powerful themes. And so, his films always told uncomplicated, sensible plots, minus melodrama, clichés and an alternative non glamorous overkill which kept amusing enough to keep you in splits throughout. His latest flick 'Naalu Pennungal' also is continuing with his tradition of telling powerful theme structured with simplicity. It accounts the journey of womanhood across variegated backdrops; a classic translation of literature to the most possible movie narratives that splendidly stretches across frames and times. This film was premiered in Toronto and was shown in London to rave reviews .It has also been selected for the Indian panorama (International Film Festival of India) and for the competition section of International Film Festival of Kerala

Told poetically and uncompromisingly by most renounced director from Malayalam, 'Naalu Pennungal' is a based on four simple tales written in the early sixties by Thakazhy Siva Sankara Pillai. In this tribute to the great writer, Adoor recreates the sixties without leaving anything and tells the tale of four women, each coming from a different social stratum.

The amazing  director has done once again  something many veterans can't achieve -- he has followed one enduring story after another to  deliver a dark but humanistic, sometimes sad, gripping and life-illumining film, of no parallels. Many would rate it as one of the year's best.

The first story titled 'Oru Niyamalankhanathinte Kadha' /The Prostitute' is grounded in the early independence period. Here the young prostitute Kunju Pennu (Padmapriya) who takes to prostitution for a living is suddenly able to change profession as Pappukutty (Sreejith Ravi) who falls in love with her decides to marry her. They  tries their best to keep up with the societal norms of being a married couple but very soon find themselves caught up in an ironic violation of civil laws, as their claims as a married couple gets rejected on the grounds that Kunju Pennu was a women with ''loose morals''. What they realize in a short term of married life is that it is hard to change social reputations even if you try hard to present yourself more with a new face. Even in the court to prove themselves, the heroine here  stands motionless, eyes down, allowing her husband to speak in her name as per the social norms of the time  and supporting him with the  warmth and the sense of togetherness  even  as they stand convicted in the fragile borders of morality.

The heroine in 'The Virgin' Kumari (Geethu Mohandas) is a young woman who looks after her parents, by working in the farmlands. Her parents arrange a match, with a man, Narayanan (Nandhu) whose reputation in earning and preserving money by running a shop is equal to her. ] As everyone expects a very good family life for the couple, Narayanan's business skills    and obsession with food with little liking for everything else including his wife, leaves Kumari in dire streets. Once left back to her home, Kumari starts life afresh, passing off her marriage as an unpleasant interlude that never did happened. Even though the character has very less dialogues,   she is strong enough to be in par with the other female protagonists of the film.

In 'Chinnu amma/The Housewife' a loving married couple (Manju Pillai and Murali) has come to terms with the loss of their children to early deaths, both thinking each other as the reason for the untimely losses. Chinnu amma now in her thirties doesn't care for it any

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