'Prabhuvinte Makkal' is without doubt, one of the most thought provoking films of the year that tells an almost instructive story.
'Prabhuvinte Makkal' is a confrontational enquiry into one of the greatest mysteries that has accompanied the evolution of mankind - God! In doing so, the film throws open several dark closets out of which tumble down hordes of skeletons of beliefs and superstitions that have been stashed away hurriedly in them by believers across the ages.
The two brothers in the film Sidharth (Vinay Fort) and Mani (Jijoy) grow up to be as different from each other as chalk and cheese. While Jijoy ends up questioning the very existence of a super power that supposedly resides in the heavens, Sidharth renounces his possessions that includes a childhood sweetheart (Swasika) and sets forth for the Himalayas, seeking a higher state of being and eventually salvation.
Eleven years later, Sidhu returns home a changed man, and joins hands with his brother to spread his atheistic ideals. The 'truth' has been discovered up in the Himalayas, and he reveals that after several long years of celibacy as proposed by his Guru (Arun), it isn't easy finding the Guru himself having a great time with a disciple in bed.
Not long after, the bothers decide to take on Haripanchanan Baba (Prakash Bare), whom they believe has murdered their dad (Madhu). They unleash a torrent of strategies through which they render the ploys of the Baba unmasked. Offering a scientific elucidation for the outwardly incredible feats of the Godman, the brothers pin him down in no time, thereby toppling his empire.
It does require some real verve to sand by one's convictions and Sajeevan his film has it in abundance. 'Prabhuvinte Makkal' is undoubtedly one of the most thought provoking films of the year that tells an almost instructive story. No doubt, it deals with a theme that deserves further explorations, and yet the film succeeds in having made a thumping start in the direction of productive discourses and discussions in the days to come.
The screenplay, penned by the director himself is matter-of-fact, though it does offer opportunities for the time-honored cinematic indulgences to creep in. The romantic subplot and the entry of the compassionate police officer (Kalabhavan Mani) towards the climax are two such instances that could have been done away with. Which is why it remains that the film is perhaps a bit too long, and could have done even better had it been crisper.
Vinay Fort has always been an actor to look out for, and he further impresses with his convincing portrayal of Sidhu, in 'Prabhuvinte Makkal'. Jijoy is remarkably good too, and together these young actors bring in the vigor that a film as this drastically needs. The musical score is striking as well.
Sajeevan Anthikkad's film does manage to keep the attention of an agnostic viewer like me focused on what he has to tell, for the entire running time of the film. I wouldn't agree with Robert Wilson that belief is the death of intelligence, but I do admire tremendously Sajeevan's efforts in making a daringly different film like 'Prabhuvinte Makkal'.
PS: I had to drive back disappointed once when I was told the screening was cancelled with barely a few people having arrived to watch the late night show. While walking to the parking lot, an elderly man who must have been in a similar predicament as myself stood shaking his head in disbelief. He whispered to me as I passed by, "this is what happens when you make a film that claims there isn't a God!"
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Okay
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good