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Paathira Pattu (1967)



(story & screenpaly)



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25 June 2015 | by (Kerala,India) – See all my reviews

It's the time of wee hours in Kerala and it's raining outside in Thiruvananthapuram. What can be the better situation to write a review of this movie which begins with the scene of heavy rainfall and that scene itself lends momentum to the mystery of the movie ? The opening scene picturized upon Indira Thambi and Prem Nazir in heavy rainfall is itself so impressive that the viewer gets compelled to watch the full movie. Perhaps in no other Indian suspense-thriller, the opening scene is that much impressive. Prem Nazir driving home in heavy rainfall finds Indira Thambi standing in the middle of the road, wearing a white saari and getting drenched without apparently unaffected by this fact. Mysterous dialogues take place between them and finally Prem Nazir drops her near a graveyard with spellbound to see her disappearing in it with a highly melodious song echoing inside - Anuraagakshethrathil. The spellbinding suspense starts now for the next two and a half hours.

Paathiraappaattu (Song in the midnight) is a black and white movie released in 1967 starring Prem Nazir and Indira Thambi. It is still considered a classic mystery. In fact the fact of its being black and white is a plus point of this movie as the mystery appears to be deeper with the characters appearing on the screen looking more mysterious than they actually are. The great music composed by Vijayabhaskar rendered further strength to the suspense and thrill of the movie and Indira Thambi in the heroine role delivered a splendid performance to make the movie as spellbinding for the viewers.

I have already discussed the highly impactful opening scene. The story moves quickly with the fact coming out that our hero, Prem Nazir is a soldier, working in the Indian army and having a love affair with Sheela. Shortly Sheela gets murdered and the mysterious woman, Indhira Thambi who had disappeared in the graveyard in the beginning reappears before him in a further mysterious fashion only to disappear even more suspensefully. His mother gets him married to a girl of her choice but you can guess that when he sees her face on the first night of their conjugal life (yes, there were times in India in which the bride and the groom of an arranged marriage were able to see each other's faces for the first time on that night only), he is taken aback to see the same girl, now as his wife. Then several twists and turn keep on coming in the narrative taking the story to Eranakulam and the suspense is finally revealed in the climax. The story is just very very good and N.Prakash was an able director of his time who directed classic suspense movies like Kaayalkkarayil and Shiksha too. He has handled the plot very well. The problem is with the revelation of the suspense in the climax in which the police officer, K.P Ummar delivers a long speech regarding the mystery and despite that leaves many significant questions unanswered. If you ignore that fact, you won't find any fault with the movie which contains comedy, romance and melodious music alongwith the gripping mystery. The very first scene grips you like a powerful clamp and then you are so engrossed in the narrative that you can leave the movie after seeing its climax only, not before that.

Indhira Thambilooks so gorgeous in the movie that it's better for you to watch her instead of reading my narration about her. And acting ? She has delivered a highly admirable performance in the pivotal role. Prem Nazir is OK. The supporting cast includes Sheela, Nellikkodu Bhaskaran, C.R Lakshmi, G.K Pillai, Mala Aravindhan, K.P Ummar, P.S Parvathi etc and all of them have performed their roles pretty well.

Technically also the movie is perfect. The aura of suspense is maintained throughout. The cinematographer has ably captured the beauty of Eranakulam.

The discussion of Paathirappattu cannot be complete without its music. Vijayabhaskar has composed immortal music for the movie with the classic songs of K.J Yeshudas like Anuraagakshethrathil, Nizhalay ninte pinnil and Poomaalakal. The other song of the movie viz. Shokabashpasagaram (B.Vasantha), is also very melodious and a treat to listen. No suspense-thriller fan should miss this movie.

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