Cocktail of Raw Gritty Gutsy Rampage!
How often do we come across a stubborn female character in a mass-oriented commercial flick? If so, how long did it flourish as such in the movie? Cut to 1989, we had Rajamma (Seema) in Mahayanam, a lady with lion-heart and distant dream for all the womanizers in her village; the same question again, for how long? The moment when Chandran (Mammooty) tightly holds her hand and shoots a manly dialogue, Rajamma melted and became the typical heroin material penned by Lohithadas. A few years later the prolific writer came up with another strong woman character of the decade named Bhanu (Manju Warrior) from Kanmadam. Here as well the heroin’s devil-may-care attitude perished at the moment Vishwanathan (Mohanlal) kissed her! Likewise, we had numerous lady characters popping out now and then, claiming to be a pillar at first and further turned out to be a pillow for the masculine stars to dominate the screen. In this context, Alappattu Mariam Varghese is way ahead of all the shadow characters witnessed till date. A money-lender by profession, she is a nightmare for all the traders in the market with her daring and carefree attitude. She turned furious towards the guy who misbehaved and punishes him instantly and warns to stay away from her. In another scene, she stops the car at midnight and lashes out at the gangsters with a weapon and challenges them to come forward in a vigorous manner which is unlikely to occur in mainstream cinema. Nyla Usha as Mariam might be far from perfect but the writing here is spot on, kudos to debutant writer Abhilash in shaping the female part to a commendable material. Breaking all conventional tracks cemented on heroin over the years, Mariam is an exception and a rare breed by all possible means; She drinks occasionally, smokes and dances amidst crowd like a HERO…sounds bizarre?? but Joshiy’s Porinju Mariam Jose has it all in stock!!!
Kattalan Porinju (Joju George) is a spin-off from Joshiy’s decade-old dashing hero materials and by casting Jogu as the titular character, the veteran director succeeded in erasing the mass hero template stamped on viewer’s mind to a certain extent. Even though feels clichéd, the love angle between Porinju and Mariam was delightful and convincing. Among the three lead casts, Puthanpally Jose (Chemban Vinod) stands out, and here as well the scriptwriter induced some freshness in narrating the friendship tale of Jose and Mariam. Apart from being a friend and well-wisher for Porinju –Mariyam union, Jose shares an intense rapport with Mariam as he is solely invited for a drink along with her and also shown sharing a cigar from him during the church procession. Similarly, there are few bubbles of creativity and innovative storytelling which makes Porinju Mariam Jose a decent entertainer populated with energetic supporting casts namely Babu (Sudhi Koppa), Joy (Salim Kumar) and Antony (T G Ravi). Another notable character, Iype (Vijayaraghavan) and his bonding with Porinju deserves special mention. Having been a loyal comrade to Iype, Porinju is deeply attached to him and beckons his son’s enmity and vengeance. Even after getting hurt from his dearest ‘Iypettan’ as fondly called by Porinju, the gesture shown towards Iype sounds unique even if the movie ends on a sad note. The climax might not be appealing to a large section but justified considering the fact that Porinju’s hands are soaked with the blood of half a dozen people.
Malayalam scriptwriters are nurturing in such a way that we can see the diverging concept of hero-heroin clashes with each passing decade. In one hand we have Mangalassery Neelakandan (Mohanlal) from Devasuram admiring Bhanumathi (Revathi) by saying, ‘This is a real woman, whoever I met earlier was useless corpses’. On the other hand, there is Nadan Pennum Natupramaniyum protagonist Govindan (Jayaram) who mocks at Gayathri (Samyuktha Varma) and utters, ‘You are just a woman and cannot reach the same level of a man at any cost’. Last but not least, it is Mariam’s turn who gifts a weapon to Porinju and murmurs the bold statement, ‘Make sure that you are alive’! The beauty of the film is that the character of Mariam and her attire, attitude, and attributes remain unchanged, unchallenged and unabashed from inception till conclusion….