Photographer Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2006
Oct 26, 2006 By Unni Nair

If you have the patience to sit through Ranjan Pramod’s directorial debut Photographer, you would finally ask yourself: “Well! What was this film about?” That’s what you feel after seeing Photographer, perhaps the worst Mohanlal-starrer till date. It leaves you befuddled, thoroughly confused and totally exhausted.

Photographer takes us into the life of Dijo John, a professional wild-life photographer. He has married Satya, a Brahmin girl, against stiff opposition from both their families and is now living with his wife and their son Sharan. He ekes a living out of photography, for which he has some kind of a passion (the intensity of which, unfortunately, neither the director nor the actor succeeds in making us feel). Once, while on a photographic mission to the forests of Wyanad (because this photographer, who lives in a big, well-furnished house and carries a laptop with him, needs money to buy a saree for his wife who has to attend a wedding shortly!?), he happens to save an adivasi boy, Thammi, from the hands of the Police, who had resorted to uncontrolled brutal force to curb an adivasi agitation for land (a reference to the Muthanga issue).

He saves Thammi from the hands of a cruel Police Officer (Manoj.K.Jayan) and even takes a photograph of the Officer getting ready to shoot the unarmed harmless boy. He rushes with the child to the State Forest Minister, who is a friend and classmate of his and shows him the photograph too. The minister advises him against making it an issue and assures him the boy will be protected. Thammi is lodged in a juvenile home and Dijo returns home to his family. He visits Thammi in the juvenile home frequently. But one day Thammi is found missing and Dijo goes back to Wyanad in search of the boy. He is in an agitated mood since he finds that even his friend, the minister has been playing foul with him. But Dijo too goes missing. Then his twin brother Joy, who is a writer of pulp fiction and also the owner of a publication, tries to trace him down, but to no avail. What follows forms the climax of Photographer. .

What irritates you is the pace at which the film moves, and that too without somewhere to arrive at. I wonder why Ranjan Pramod, who till date had scripted good films like Randaam Bhaavam, Meesha Madhavan, Manassinakkare, Achuvinte Amma and Naran, embarked on this venture in the first place. It is mostly the fans of an actor who make it to the first shows of a new release. To find such an audience booing or yawning or even snoring a few minutes from the start of the film speaks for the shoddiness of it all.

The main problem with the film is that Ranjan, who himself scripted the film, faltered in the script department itself. Even the dialogues are unbearable at times. As for direction, the less said, the better. The acting department too falls flat. The director obviously didn’t pay much attention to that, perhaps taking it for granted that the presence of the superstar would ensure good acting. The fact is, even Mohanlal’s double role cannot salvage the film. The only saving grace is Azhagappan’s cinematography, which alone however, cannot attract people to the theatres. In short, Photographer is a film that will not appeal to any section of the Malayalam film viewing public and would better have not been made. It’s no doubt one of the most insufferable movies made in Malayalam in recent times.

Unni Nair