After watching an Adoor Gopalakrishnan movie, it’s difficult to distance yourself from the important questions the movie raises. Alas then, Pinneyum (Again) — the legendary director’s latest work — stays firmly behind in the theatre as you walk out, primarily because it gets stuck in the cause-and-effect reasoning of why things happen in this world.
One of the original sins, greed, is the crux of Pinneyum. In a dysfunctional Nair family, a man is struggling to find his place in the world while his wife earns to run the household. Adoor’s films revolve around these familiar themes and thanks to his keen understanding of human mind and signature cynicism, his works have a touch of authenticity. However, in Pinneyum, the script is oddly theatrical and seems to be detached from the characters.
Purushothaman Pillai (Dileep) is an unemployed man in his thirties who is used to accepting all kinds of barbs with meek docility. He finally steps out to prove himself when his wife (Kavya Madhavan) also hurts his self-esteem. But the necessity to prove himself soon turns into greed and he does something that will lead to a catastrophe.
It all unfolds in a dramatic and linear narrative. The setting and dialogues are reminiscent of Shyamaprasad’s movie Arike, also a Dileep-starrer, which had a dramatic tone than a cinematic one. The dialogues expressing Purushothaman’s love for his wife and Devi’s denial of the same are overemphasised in Pinneyum and yet that as a plot line is not explored enough. The dialogues remain peripheral to the story and sound silly when repeated.
Shallowness in dialogue delivery by some supporting actors accentuated the film’s melodramatic atmosphere, which starts feeling comic after a while. Srinda who plays Purushothaman Pillai’s sister and the actress who plays his daughter in the latter part of the film are particularly disappointing.
The conversation between the interview board members in the opening scene and a police enquiry scene at Pillai’s house lack the cinematic perfection we would expect from a filmmaker like Adoor. The veteran director also seems to sympathise with upper castes who fail to get jobs due to caste-based reservations.
Kavya’s character Devi is supposed to be a woman who is living her miserable life in silence. But Adoor shows that Purushothaman’s downfall begins because Devi changes her attitude based on his fortune. Adoor, thereby, impresses the age-old notion that a woman pushes a man into evil or as the sexist saying in Malayalam goes, “Kanaham moolam, Kamini moolam, kalaham palavidham ulakil sulabham (Owing to wealth and women, the world is full of conflict).”
Both Dileep and Kavya give satisfying performances as do Vijayaraghavan, Nedumudi Venu and Indrans. Bijibal’s background score is intense and heightens the tension as the movie nears the climax.
Pinneyum is certainly not Adoor’s best visual expedition, but like his earlier works, the film tries to explore the human psyche through a very ordinary narrative technique.