Scottish Parliamentarian Martyn Day heaps praise on Pazhassi Raja
Ace filmmaker Hariharan’s 2009 movie Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, based on the life of the Kerala king who fought against the British, is considered as one of the best historical flicks to have ever been made in Malayalam cinema. The legendary MT Vasudevan Nair scripted the movie which had Mammootty playing the role of Pazhassi Raja. The movie was a huge success, both critically and commercially. It bagged four awards at the National level and eight at the State level.
Even after a decade, Pazhassi Raja is still considered a benchmark for period films in Malayalam cinema. Recently, Scottish Parliamenterian Martyn Day happened to watch the movie and wrote an interesting note about it in Facebook page. The movie was recommended to Day by P. Sreeramakrishnan, speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, during one of their recent discussions.
Here’s what Martyn Day has written about the movie in his Facebook page,
Yesterday I watched https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0887769/ about the struggles of Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja against the British East India Company, a little known part of our history.
The lead role of the early Indian freedom fighter is played by Mammootty, a giant of Malayalam film making. I had previously watched his film about Dr Ambedkar who along with Gandhi was a founding father of Independent India.
The film Pazhassi Raja was recommended to me last month by P. Sreeramakrishnan, speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, during a discussion we had about nations histories where I had mentioned the story of Wallace.
Scots will find the film worth watching, and will notice the many parallels with William Wallace. The fight against a powerful foreign power and the use of guerrilla tactics, betrayal and ultimately death, while leaving an inspirational legacy for future generations.
Having checked my general histories of Wellington about Pazhassi Raja this morning, sadly I found no reference to this heroic opponent, so now looking for an English language biography about him.
All in all a worthy historical drama, and how fortunate the Keralites are to have a thriving film industry making such movies starring their own film stars.
I am sure to be watching more Mammootty films soon, and until I learn more Malayalam am grateful for online subtitles.