Tiyaan movie cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Indrajith Sukumaran, Murali Gopy
Tiyaan movie director: Jiyen Krishnakumar
Tiyaan movie rating: 2.5 stars
The vast desert plains of North India has provided the filmmakers of Tiyaan with a good canvas to paint an intense and thought-provoking drama with a lot of reference to current social and political events in the country. The story is set in a remote village, about 600 km away from Badrinath called Shankar Ghat. For years people of different religion, caste, culture and class have been living in peace and harmony. The lives and the livelihood of the villagers face a serious threat after land sharks lay their eyes on their lands.
Pattabhiramagiri (Indrajith Sukumaran) owns an ancestral property and a water well that’s the only source of good water in the village, whose water bodies are polluted with toxic waste from the factories nearby. He crosses paths with Remakant Mahashay (Murali Gopy), a self-proclaimed Godman when his property comes under the radar of land grabbers. (Murali Gopy has also penned the story, screenplay and dialogues for the film) Mahashay has a huge following across the country and multi-national corporations and politicians use his popularity to commit crimes with impunity. Pattabhiramagiri, however, refuses to sell his land and that opens a can of worms for him and his close ones. Aslan Mohammad (Prithviraj) comes to his rescue eventually but slowly.
The land sharks begin to take over the village by targeting members of a minority community in the village and they turn others into followers of Mahashay by tricking them into believing that he has some special powers. The beauty of Tiyaan lies in the screenplay and the direction, which requires the audience to pay close attention to the narration. The film shows how we are enslaved by our superiority complex and prejudice that stems from one’s caste and religion. Jayanthan Nair’s (Suraj Venjaramoodu) life and livelihood under the threat in the village. He had to rename his shop as Nayyar Stores, just to make others believe that he is a member of powerful Punjabi community. But, despite being condemned to hide his true identity fearing the members of other communities, Jayanthan advises Pattabhiramagiri against allowing a Dalit family to draw water from his well.
In one scene, a cop, who is also a follower of Mahashay, locks up his own son in the police station and beats him up for consuming beef. The Sub-Inspector of the station later set him free, after making him repeat a few lines of Sanskrit verses to atone the sin for his choice. But, at the same time, officials at The Mahashay ashram enjoy a beef delicacy. There are many such scenarios embedded in the narration that expose the God-fearing nature of our society, that helps frauds like Mahashay thrive.
Tiyaan questions the people’s need for a Godman to better their lives but at the same time suggest there are, indeed, messengers of God that walk the earth among us.
Prithviraj has been generous in letting his brother Indrajith take the majority of the screen time and space. Although he plays the titular role, his character feels like an extended cameo. Director Jiyen Krishnakumar has mostly shown Prithviraj walking in slow motion, fighting in slow-motion or either sitting or standing in front of a campfire.
The cinematography exploring the vast sunny and dusty terrains of North India adds to the sophisticated visual presentation of the film. The background score and music by Gopi Sunder is a big plus. But, unless you have a stomach for a serious socio-political drama that unfolds for nearly 2 hours 50 minutes, you may not find Tiyaan entertaining.