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Swa Le Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Tuesday, November 3, 2009 • മലയാളം ]
Swa Le Review
Dileep, Gopika, Innocent, Jagathy Sreekumar, Salimkumar, Nedumudi Venu, K P A C Lalitha, Ashokan, Ganesh Kumar
P Sukumar
Biji Pal

It's late eighties - an era before the proliferation of twenty-four hour news channels and mobile phones. It was also the same period when the two big dailies of Malayalam started to fight over circulation, with each of their staff reporters trying to do something overboard to support something anew, exclusive for their news papers. The present day generation who are used to the technology jump that happened afterwards, will find it hard to digest the fate of many working with specific deadlines. Same was the case of the news man who had to really travel distances to fetch and create scoops and stories. `Swa.Le' is a look into the life of a local reporter of a modest daily of that times "Janachintha". With such a promising premise, the movie definitely opened to tons of interest and perhaps kept the proceedings moving in the first 90 minutes. But with no big twists happening and nothing more serious to convey than what was told by then, the movie meanders here and there to end up as an average fare.

`Swa.Le'- the first offering from Cinematographer turned director P.Sukumar has Dileep as Unnimadhavan, a humanist, and committed reporter of Janachintha, chasing for stories in his old bicycle, with an ill mannered part-time photographer Chandramohan (Salim Kumar). He has signed for a seven year bond with the small daily, which is in full throat activity to increase the circulation. With his meagre salary, Unnimadhavan finds the going tough. Moreover, he also struggles to find enough time to devote to his pregnant wife Vimala, who is staying in a rented house away from the city in a quiet village with no proper health facilities and transportation. Since they have married without the consent from their parents, there are none to help them.

Things gets to worse as Unni is fielded to report the affairs of famous writer and Gnanapeed award winner Palazhy Sivashankara Pillai (Nedumudi Venu) who is in his death bed with all his organs down, waiting for the final call. The acclaimed writer had spent some time with Unni when he was a child and was an inspiration for him. But as he is asked to stay at the writer's house daily till 3 am in the night, until the last edition is out, Unni is bombarded with agitative mindset, but has to keep all for himself due to fear about the impending bonds. The movie follows on to tell how his struggles with time and emotions, finally provide fruitful, making him a big name in the media business.

The movie told in a satirical way definitely has its moments. And the debutante director has succeeded to illicit some lighter chuckles all the way with his sensitive handling of the subject. P Sukumar and Kalavoor have opted for honest narratives with plenty of inside jokes about the industry of the period. Though a couple of scenes appear exaggerated, like the one where the reporters trespass into a house to gather the photographs, they definitely decipher the pain each of the staff reporters of the time took to deliver news in within deadlines, without any aid of technology.

Dileep makes a cake walk through the role of Unnimadhavan, depicting the struggles of the working journalist with flare. It is after a long time that we are getting a chance to witness the actor in Dileep with that characteristic ease, in a role that demands no heroism, though that mimicry in the final reels was unwarranted. Gopika makes a safe landing as Vimala and continues with the acting patterns that she had developed for the super hit `Veruthe Oru Bharya'. Nedumudi Venu, Ganesh Kumar, Ashokan and the group are apt in their roles as frontline journalists. But Innocent and Jagathy overdo their roles as the news editor and the tea stall owner, respectively. Salim Kumar once again succeeds in creating some good humour. Harishree Ashokan, after some time deliver some quality wits with Elaan and it is an interesting scene where he questions the credibility of journos, their claims about themselves being the sole reason for the `making and breaking' of  celebrities. Sprinkled with such lively humour all through and offering some thinking prepositions, `Swa. Le' is an interesting watch, most of the screen time.

In the technical front also, the movie is good. The cinematography by the director is excellent, as usual. The placement of the protagonist house away into a quiet serene hamlet, gives ample space for the cinematographer to etch out some beautiful sequences, which holds the movie with its liveliness. And also mentionable are the background scores and music by Bijibal.

All in all, `Swa.Le' is a good attempt which ended up as an average fare. Had the makers packed the second half with some more dramatic events, the movie could have been a much better offering.

Have a watch, as it definitely has some genuine moments that will interest you.

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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