Language : Malayalam.
Director : Rajeev Ravi.
Writers : Ajithkumar, P. Balachandran, Jay.K, G. Sethunath.
Cast : Vinayakan, Manikandan R Achary, Dulquer Salman, Shaun Romy.
Genre : Action, Drama.
Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
We live in a pretty flawed society! Having an upper-caste surname is considered a pride, a privilege, and more importantly, it plays an important role in giving out a false sense of superiority. Look around and you could find an innumerable amount of people with caste surnames and people holding pride in it.
Ever considered thinking the other way round? We also live in a society that considers “Pulayadi mon” which translates to something as simple as Pulayan’s son (Pulayar is a Dalit community in Kerala) to be a swear word. If you can now see the deep-rooted casteist culture that we have cultivated in our society, Kammattipadam is a movie that would further unravel it.
Ernakulam was a small town, and during the first communist government of EMS Namboodiripad in 1957, small tracts of farmland were given to the landless, mainly from the Dalit community, under the Land Reforms Ordinance Act.
But following the Economic Liberalisation of 1991, Kochi boomed into a metro city, and real estate skyrocketed. The then government set up Greater Cochin Development Authority, which helped the real estate boom, all the while paddy fields were converted to housing boards, luxury villas, and apartments.
Rajeev Ravi shows us how the Dalits were forced to sell out their lands to upper caste real estate sharks. The land mafia uses dark-skinned Dalit gangs mainly from the Pulaya community to usurp real estate. We see the story through the eyes of a middle-class man named Krishnan (Dulquer), who grew up in the slums along with his best friend Ganga (Vinayakan) and his thuggish brother Balan (Manikandan), who mentors them into a life of crime and violence.
In short, Kammattipadam can be viewed from various angles! For the minorities, this could be a visual documentation of their life! The downfall of a community damned from the beginning of time.
For the privileged, this could be a chance to introspect and more importantly a reality check on the city that they live in and how it was built.
For any other average movie-goer, this is your chance to immerse yourselves into the lives of Krishnan and his friends for the next 3 hours.
Verdict – 5/7 stars
- An extended version of the movie (Director’s cut) is expected to be released with more than 1.15hrs of extra footage than the theatrical version.
- Both the actors Vinayakan(Ganga) and Manikandan(Balan) received Kerala State Film Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively.
- According to the director Rajeev Ravi “The censors wanted all caste references, especially the word Pulayan in a background song to be removed, along with a lot of dialogues. Finally, they reluctantly cleared the film with an A certificate with cuts, saying there is a lot of violence in the film.”
- The song “Puzhu Pulikal” is composed and sung by actor Vinayakan, who also plays one of the lead roles in the movie.