A Blessy film is always special. Moving on with his exceptional penchant of creating worthy movies centred on human relationships, 'Pranayam' is one that matches the qualities of his previous endeavours. You need to hand it to him for picking up stories from a novel territory that defy stereotype and tell it with this sport of purity and simplicity that can win you over. And it also makes him undoubtedly, the best of the storytellers to have emerged in Mollywood, after late Padmarajan.
The movie opens with the scenes of Achutha Menon (Anupam Kher), who had recently survived a heart attack, now trying to find right powered specs from a city eye hospital. He is currently living in a city apartment with his only son Suresh's (Anoop Menon) family. In the very same day while returning to the flat with the help of his granddaughter, he gets the glance of his ex wife named Grace (Jayapradha) in the elevator and faints down.
Grace, after the divorce from Achuthamenon is married to Mathews (Mohanlal), a retired philosophy professor who is partly paralysed after a stroke and is at present left in a wheel chair.Now staying in the same flat with their daughter Asha (Dhanya Mary), the couples share an honest and chaste relationship, confiding the smallest of incident to one another. But this chance acquaintance with Achutha Menon after forty years, offer the three to walk down their memory lanes and to blossom the rarest of the relationships, ever to have portrayed on the Molly wood screen.
This unique story is translated beautifully on celluloid, thanks to the director's deft handling of a finest script, creating a world that's so simple and relatable. There have been very few films in the past that have captured the relationship between man and woman with this kind of sensitivity. Of course, a story like this unwinds at a unhurried pace, but there's no denying that the proceedings keep you engrossed for most parts, as the complex relationships, their motives and the culmination is peeled off layer by layer. The climax, of course, takes the viewer by surprise and was the best way out to culminate the story.
Casting the best available talent of Mohanlal and Anupam Kher for two pivotal parts and doing complete justice to their roles is tough. But the ease with which Blessy handles the tense moments, the considerate dialogues between the lead players and also the emotional finale shows his expertise as a master narrator.
Blessy's choice of actors is perfect. And the characters they portray are real adorable, so close to life or so inspiring. Mohanlal and Anupam Kher comes up with scintillating performances, with loads of emotional precision in each of the heavy sequences. But the star of the show is definitely Jayapradha, who had enlivened the central role to such perfection that to state that she is exceptional would be an understatement. She as a charming, mid aged lady is flawless and a treat to watch that it will definitely be her role of a lifetime. Anoop Menon also uses his limited space to craft an unforgettable character, while all others in the cast are appropriate in their roles.
The technical side of 'Pranayam' is topnotch with Satheesh Kurup supplementing beautiful visuals aptly matching the poetic ambiance of the narratives. RajaMuhammed in editing also has gone for the right cuts to build in real emotions, all along. And there is a killer title track and a few good songs by M Jayachandran in the lyrics by ONV Kurup.
'Pranayam' is for the family. It is well acted, deftly written, entertaining and broadly appealing drama. Watch it with someone you love!