Praavu Malayalam Movie
This is a purpose-driven film that advances with unwavering commitment. Based on a short story by the late P Padmarajan, "Praavu" unfolds the tragic tale of a teenage girl who becomes a victim of gang rape in a resort located adjacent to a forest. What sets this film apart from others with a similar theme is its exploration of the lasting trauma experienced by both the victim and the perpetrators. While writer-director Navaz K Ali's narration may lack some impact initially, the film eventually regains its strength, captivating the audience.
Primarily featuring newcomers in its cast, there are moments when the film seems to lose its way in the process of introducing its characters. However, the second half of the film becomes notably compelling as it brings together characters from various social backgrounds, igniting the central conflict. Media professional Aravindan, portrayed by Amith Chakalakkal, cinema production controller Kamalasanan (Sabumon Abdusamad), lawyer Manoharan (Manoj KU), and astrologer Chendamangalam Hari (Rajasekharan Thakazhi) are close friends who even maintain a common WhatsApp group for scheduling their drinking parties.
During their intoxicated gatherings, their discussions often veer towards spending time with women, leading Kamalasanan to invite a serial actress to a staged inauguration. However, their plans are thwarted by the wives of Kamalasanan and Manoharan. Aravindan, the soft-spoken member of the group, stands in contrast to the others' aggressive behavior. There are moments when one might question the direction of the story as repeated drinking parties seem to lead "Praavu" nowhere.
In a parallel storyline, Fine Arts College student Vivek Viswanathan (Adarsh Raja) and his friend Charutha Thomas (Yami Sona) find themselves stranded near a forest at night while returning home after attending their friend Aparna's (Jamsheena Jamal) registered marriage. It is during this ill-fated night that the four-member gang crosses paths with the teenagers. "Praavu" delves into themes of male chauvinism and the mental trauma experienced by victims in such cases, while also raising questions about true masculinity. The script gives the impression that it takes a while to reach the heart of the conflict.
Manoj delivers a consistent performance, while Sabumon thoughtfully portrays his character. Yami Sona is well-suited for the central role, and Adarsh Raja effectively captures the volatility of his character. Overall, the film's theme seamlessly aligns with contemporary societal events, highlighting the enduring relevance and freshness of a short story written years ago. Despite some presentation flaws, the film's evocative and emotional core allows it to smartly come into its own by the end.