Praise the Lord Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film
Paul Zacharia's 'Praise the Lord' put forward pertinent questions on faith, belief and love, and has been much discussed in literary circles for its sharp witticism. The cinematic version though, does not manage to transfer this allure on to the big screen, and merely manages to scrape through, with minimum damage incurred in the process.
Joy (Mammootty), a Pala based planter has been living a blissful life with his wife Ancy (Reenu Mathews) and their two kids. Until, Sunny (Mukesh), his best friend asks him for a favor. On Sunny's behest, Joy and Ancy agree to offer refuge to a young couple that has eloped from Delhi. When Samkutty (Ahmed Siddique) and Annie (Akanksha Puri) arrive, Joy is tremendously excited at having grabbed the opportunity to watch a real life romance in action.
The novelette 'Praise the Lord', as interesting as the insights that it provides, does not have the prerequisites of a full length feature film. At best, it could have been transformed into a sweet short film, with the messages in it delivered crunchy and crisp.
The film does have a few pleasant moments, but they are simply not enough to be stretched out into more than a couple of hours. Which is why, the initial build-up takes longer than usual in the film, and the end looks all too abrupt.
Joy is pictured as a man in his forties, who has perhaps stuck to the conventionalities that are expected of him as a devoted husband, who never ever has crossed those border lines of decorum. We get to see him trying hard to have a few private moments with his wife during daytime, and his Goa escapade further accentuates this fact.
'Praise the Lord' holds no surprises for the viewer, and even for those of you who have not actually gone through the literary work, the denouement should remain as obvious and clear as in broad daylight. Which reemphasizes the fact that it would always remain better in print.
All said and done, it should also be stated that 'Praise the Lord' is never a boring film; in fact, dull moments are indeed rare. However, it does lack that very special verve that makes you reach out to the characters in a film, which is why, it does not leave a lasting impression on the viewer's mind.
As funny as it may sound, Joy finds himself in a quandary aka the friends in the much lauded Tamil film 'Nadodigal'. The striking similarity in the theme that lies at the core of these works of art is plain apparent. The guardians of love, in both these cases, are left appalled as the love birds throw open the gates of their prison and fly away to glory, albeit in opposite directions.
Mammootty is adorable as Joy, and shares an amazing screen chemistry with Reenu Mathews. This is their second film after 'Emmanuel', and they do make a real good on-screen pair. Ahmed Siddique and Akanksha Puri offer a study in contrast with their respective portrayals of the young ones in love, and are up to the mark.
Shibu Gangadharan's 'Praise the Lord' is doubtlessly devoted to its material, and yet remains a lumbering affair. Almost inexplicably, it struggles to blow life into a few charming characters that had appeared so lively on print, and which surprisingly come across as bloated on screen.