It was none other than “Pazhassi Raja”. Had been reading about it before the release of the movie from fellow bloggers who in turn led me to others.
Pazhassi Raja (Theatrical release name in Kerala: Keralavarma Pazhassiraja) is a Indian multilingual biopic magnum opus film directed by T. Hariharan, and written by M.T. Vasudevan Nair. It stars megastar Mammootty in the title role, and R. Sarathkumar, Thilakan, Kanika Subramaniam, Padmapriya, Manoj K. Jayan, Peter Handley Evans, Harry Key, Linda Arsenio and Jagathi Sreekumar in other major roles. The film's music score and soundtrack are done by Illayaraja. A part of the score was produced at the Hungarian National Philharmonic (Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra), Budapest. The sound designing is done by Academy Award winner Resul Pookutty. Originally filmed in the Malayalam language, the film is dubbed in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The film released on 16 October 2009 across Kerala with a record 130 prints.Crtsy: Wiki
Think this is the first time that I have sat through such a long movie (3 hr 20 minutes) without being aware of the time. The sound (Oscar fame Resul Pookutty) and the cinematography were brilliant.
Mamooty’s acting was good and had his usual style and maturity. (His performance in “Loudspeaker” was also very good and the actor still has much to give the audience if only the directors and producers would let him and I also believe he is at a stage where he can be choosy if needed)
But in my opinion the actor who stole the show was Saratkumar. His portrayal of the character Edachena Kunkan, Pazhassi Raja's army chief was superb.
(Searched low and wide for a photo of Sarath Kumar and this was the only one I could find)
Manoj Kumar and Padmapriya (one of my favourite heroine) also acted well.
Every movie will have its flaw and one was in the portrayal of those playing the Brits.
I also believe that this movie will evoke an interest in history. At least it did in my household! As soon as we returned home, hubby and the children were more interested in satisfying their curiosity than their hunger. They googled and yahooed and passed bit and pieces of interesting information. Son also wanted to know why he is not studying the great Raja and the other heroes in his history classes and I heard him muttering the same in his sleep too.
Hats off to all those who worked for this movie!
Hail to those great warriors who laid down their lives for the soil. May the memories of their valor and sacrifice echo forever.
For more reading:
http://malabardays.blogspot.com/2009/10/pazhassi-raja-film-opens.html ( by blogger Nick Balmer - My interest in these events started about a decade ago when I first read the tale of Thomas Baber tracking down and killing of the Rajah on the 30th of November 1805. Thomas Baber was my great great great great uncle)