Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Veetilekyula Vazhi - A selfless journey for the sake of humanity

The way to a destination, chosen by many, that brings together the lines of meet. When the journey begins with a Doctor having to fulfill his patient's last wish, there begins the tryst with destiny that could change many people's lives altogether. But, let me be more concise. Prithviraj, the doctor, takes up the momentous responsibility of taking a little boy all the way to his father, an alleged terrorist. How he does it is what this movie is all about. Basking though the glory of the very famous Pushkar Mela in Rajasthan to the ice tingling snowcapped hills of Ladakh, they have been beautifully captured through the lens.

This elongated search begins with the little boy being recklessly handed over to the doctor, whose vision is too unrealistic but at the same time too determined to have its way. I love the way the boy bids a simple goodbye to the little institution that took care of him till now. Though he may be a little skeptical of what the future has for him, he seemed to be very confident or rather too ignorant about his migration. Amidst his journey, his little habits and mannerisms were what enticed me into falling in love with him. He would watch Tom and Jerry with a lot of curiosity, being a freedom he was getting for the first time. Initially, there was a scene where the doctor had gone to inquire about his father's whereabouts and the boy had just got off on his own doing his own little thing .Later on, quite sheepishly he would always clung onto the doctor's hands , somewhere worried about being left alone, a moment of accountability. Unaware of his past and future, and unaware of the outcome of this intentional quest... he is just comfortable with a little aeroplane or a little ball, or anything that can distract his mind and can keep him occupied. Towards the end there is even a moment when he asks the doctor if it is necessary for him to face his father. Such is the innocence of a 6 year old, beauty of childhood.

I am liking this toned down look and presentation of Prithviraj's character in the movie. He doesn't sound loud or doesn't even make me, as an audience; feel like he is a superstar or whatever. There is certain honesty in his eyes, his biggest asset. At one scene when they were at a terrorist hideout, unprepared for what was about to happen; he looked unhappy while witnessing the making of bombs hidden inside the disguise of a beach ball. He kept looking, not knowing how he should react. It is one of those times when we don't know if we should just stick to what we are doing or should care of our surroundings. Somehow, none of this mattered to him. Though, he did try to strike a small arguement with Indrajith, another Jihadi, it seemed to go nowhere. He knew he couldn't change their motives and he just wanted to give his mission a full stop. In fact, in another scene (which was shown in the trailer), he says that there are several routes that lead to home. Whichever route one chooses, he finds it to be the correct path. Though it may not seem right for the other, one cannot choose for another.

Dr. Biju has incessantly stressed on a selfless element throughout. A doctor who decides to give life to an opportunity which includes people, who took away his zest for living, is a beautiful portray of how one perceives life. There is never a selfless deed, isn't it? Even a philanthropist gains satisfaction after losing his wealth intentionally to charity. But, here, it was a selfless moment, deed, a selfless fight for what was asked for. At several points the doctor is asked the same question again and again... why this selfless journey for someone who is not your’s? Some commendable moments are how he had brought a shade of calmness in most of the terrorists' characters. Terrorists in this movie are calm and composed, and sometimes even have a good heart. There was this loud and happy Punjabi driver who happened to give doctor and the boy a lift. The driver was shown speaking his Hindi in typical Punjab style. This was followed by some typical bhangda music. Another funny moment was when he refers to the doctor as a 'madrasi' on realizing that he is from the South. The plight of South Indians! Whether you speak Telugu, or Kannada, or Malayalam or even 'Manglish'... you'll always be known as a madrasi for most of them up north :)) Such amazing musical forms have been depicted through the sandy deserts of Rajasthan. I also got to hear some real Sufi music along with a small ghazal piece. They all have been so aptly synced with most of the scenes. The only fictitious thing in the whole movie was how easily the doctor could break through into the terrorist circle. The rest is for you to see and judge. The use of other languages has been timed perfectly with the characters and situations that it doesn't make one feel out of place while watching it.

Veetilekyula Vazhi for me is a journey towards finding one's selflessness, an irreplaceable emotion from hugging the bigger cause -humanity.


Sastha Prakash. said...

A very honest review ma'am. You have done justice to the movie and its characters. This trait of reviewing is very rare. Keep writing. I think you and Rima Kallingal have revived my passion of movies and to watch them in theatres. :)

Neha S. Nair said...

Thank You Sastha and you can avoid the ma'am :)

Thomas Viruvelil said...

Earlier for Chappa kurish you wrote down the whole story possibly with a wrong notion that writing a review is like telling the story of the film to your friends after seeing a film.Here also that trait continues though to a limited extent.
Acting of Prithvi in this film looked below average.Every moment of the film,I could see only the actor Prithvi and not the character.Even Indrajith has not transformed to the character.
But look at that truck driver.I just cannot believe even now that he is not the truck driver but an actor!
That is how an actor should act.His role may be short.But he is the only good actor in that film.
Director must have guided the kid well so that he gives you feeling of being the kid even though face of the kid never shows any emotion either happiness,curiosity or fear.

In the beginning for treating that woman and for treating the dying man it appeared that same shots,conversations were used.It appeared some what odd!
You have to improve a lot on your review writing even though your language is good

Neha S. Nair said...

We certainly have different opinion when it comes to Prithviraj & Indrajith's performance. I was also able to receive the emotions given out by the little child.

Anyhow, you have clearly not understood the beginning and climax. The movie begins with the scene where he is brought blindfolded to a place where another man shouts 'Doctor chahiye'. That depicts the present in the film and then they take us back to the past ..where the scene is cut and then they show the dying woman. After the story progresses they get back to the exact initial point..and continue what happens afterward.

Thomas Viruvelil said...

What about attending on to the dying woman initially?
As an attempt of different type of film,I think it is notable
especially in the Mal context where meaningless films with unnecessary songs,characters holding pistols which I never see even in my travels any where and stories which test intelligence level of viewers.
Without adequate promotion not many are seeing the film.
Even though u seem to say that the hero is trying to do selfless service for the boy,I think he wants to do something to change heart of terrorists and that drives him.But this story line is unbelievable as no doctor is likely to do anything like this searching for a terrorist and even that dying woman may not have expected him to search for a non traceable terrorist to hand over the boy.
Such a teerorist gang leader eloping is also not practical as terrorists in general do not bother about falling in love

Neha S. Nair said...

1. I didn't understand your problem with the dying woman.

2.I agree .They should have marketed a little more but it's a national award winner and yet we need marketing schemes for the movie to gain more attention.

3. The whole point is that an unexpected person leading a possibly busy routine as a doctor did take that step forward for the sake of humanity. It is humanity and his belief in the power of relationships that instigated his motive.

the wanderer said...

the deluge of comments and counter comments fail to mention two important aspects in the film. one about the spirit of the film and another about the journey itself.

1) the protagonist is always addressed as 'doctor'. he is deliberately not given a name. he is a commoner and yet is able to gain access to classified information about a terror group.
i hope u figured something out of that

2)the little story that the protagonist narrates to the child one night is a passage taken and slightly modified form the classic malayalam novel 'khasakhinte ithihasam'. it places the narrative of the film in its theme in a simple yet very powerful way.

if u haven't figured that out and are yet debating on dying woman and punjabi driver i don't think its even worth the keystrokes spent in writing all the stuff accumulated above.

Peace and light
Eric Paul

Neha S. Nair said...

Don't worry Eric. My friend here had a completely different issue which we sorted out via emailing. :)

the wanderer said...

My worry was more about the way the film was trivialised..