Jalam releases today and I got a chance to watch it at the All Lights India International Film Festival a few months back. Sharing my review that was posted then.
Discussing a very strong subject and passing a very good message to the society, director M. Padmakumar’s “JALAM” is a touching movie that makes for a compelling watch.
Conveying a thought provoking subject with very huge relevance in a developing place like Kerala especially Kochi, Jalam is one movie where Padmakumar has gone one step ahead with his presentation compared to all his previous flicks. Still it hasn’t reached the level of Vasthavam which is my personal favourite of the director.
Before further digging more into Jalam, let me first salute the makers who have come up with a Charity film. If the information I have is correct, then this is the first of a kind for Indian movie industry. The hot topic of discussion in Jalam is landless people and all the revenue that is to be generated through the film will be used for the rehabilitation of landless peope.
What the film portray through an intense and powerful presentation of the story is about two couples who receive a small piece of land near Aluva as part of ‘Pattayam’ issued by the State Government. They dream of making a small house of their own but to their utter dismay find that the survey number through which the land has been issued belong to someone else. In other words, they have no rights whatsoever to this land and are left helpless.
Now the two of them doesn’t give up but situation changes when the husband of the girl travels to his homeland Chengara to sort everything.
In the name of development, people’s land is acquired but no one cares for their rehabilitation. Jalam discuss this topic. Same way, common man faces lot of hardship when it comes to approaching Govt offices and agencies for obtaining approvals and licenses. This is another issue shown in an honest manner. Chengara Land struggles that created big media attention and furore few years back is also playing a part here.
S.Suresh Babu is the screenplay writer of Jalam and he has written a convincing screenplay touching many issues that we face and come across in our daily life and that happen on a very frequent basis. Kudos to him and his director to come up with such a powerful film presented in a simple way.
Priyanka portray a character that has a very big screen presence right from the start till the very end. She has come up with great attitude in presenting that character doing total justice to it and ensuring that the faith shown by the makers in casting her doesn’t go wasted.
Jain Syriac as the husband was another actor who made his acting count. One scene that he made a mark and that is also a touching one is when he beg the Thahasildar to help him citing their dreams and the hardships they are facing currently. Sethulakshmi as usual did her part supported by Prakash Bare and P.Balachandran. Haresh Peradi looked less convincing this time in a role unsuited for him.
Neat cinematography by Vinod Illampally and backed by sharp edits from Ranjan Abraham. Ouseppachan did his part well on the music and BGM side as per the demands of the theme but more than the music, its the lyrics (original poetry) that stood out with some powerful lines that matched the situation and issues.
I was deeply moved by the film and its content. Though at times it had a preachy tone on a minimal level, cannot ignore the noble intentions behind this venture and its relevant theme. My rating for Jalam is four out of five and a thumbs up to Padmakumar this time.
Rating – 4 / 5
Reviewed by Chandra mohan gopinath