Movies with political content either does a stage drama i.e., being preachy or they convey it as a sub text. I would rather prefer the second one anytime,any day. Remember watching a Marathi movie called ‘Court’ in theatre, some time back. An out and out political movie speaking about the debacles of the system in place as a premise. But largely dealing with the problems of Dalits through the trails of the folk singer and manual scavenging as its subtext. It was pure and unadulterated piece of art and was wondering about a pure dalit cinema to happen down south, exploring the problems and give a perfect reflection on the lives of those termed ‘Dalits’. Here is Kammattipadam as an answer.
It was an out and out gangster flick with the song played during the title card sets you up for it ,(“From worms to tigers, from insects to eagles, from elephant seals to all other creatures of wild; and different Gods from different times along with us the Polayars lead a wretched life, we all struggle alike and die in this world, my beloved son.”) as a premise though.
But the movie on the whole was about the evolution of Kammattipadam, the suburb locale where the dalits dwell across the Ernakulam village and how they are forced out of it with the evolution of Ernakulam as a city. Accompanied with the evolution of an henchman called Balan and his group, their journey.
Vinayakan as Ganga, brother of the henchman Balan was the show stealer. The character by itself was so very well written, got elevated through his stellar performance. The way he carried himself, as short tempered and the possessiveness towards Anita, (relative to him) and the eventual rift with Krishna (for his love towards Anita) was enacted so beautifully.
The movie’s main strength was its characters evolution showcased with near authentication and one could easily associate with its development through the years.
Image Courtesy: Quora
Having been a great fan of his previous work,Annayum Rasoolum. Rajeev Ravi affirms and stamps as the craftsman from south india to look for,with respect to direction through Kammattipadam. (Though handful, yet influential.)
There are some movies, which enriches your movie experience, makes you feel proud to be an avid movie watcher, makes you nub, makes you go deep into your mind palace and wonder about the movie by itself and its characters. Kammattipadam is one such classic.