In Pookkaalam, a Malayalam comedy, Director Ganesh Raj takes on the challenge of telling a humorous story about a centenarian and his nonagenarian wife who get into a marital dispute. The film succeeds in balancing humour with pathos, and the result is a heartwarming and thought-provoking film that will appeal to audiences of all ages. He has crafted a whimsical film that tackles sensitive topics with grace, never letting them dominate the narrative. Overall a good cinema and gets a Ripe from Mangoidiots.
The film’s lead couple, Vijayaraghavan and K P A C Leela, are both excellent in their roles. Vijayaraghavan brings a sense of warmth and humour to the role of the ageing patriarch, while Leela brings a quiet dignity to the role of his wife. The supporting cast is also strong, with Vineeth Sreenivasan and Basil Joseph both providing memorable performances. The film’s screenplay is well-crafted, and it deftly handles a variety of emotions, including humour, romance, grief, addiction, love, affection, forgiveness, and gratitude. The film never feels preachy or heavy-handed, and it ultimately leaves the viewer with a sense of hope and optimism.
It is not easy to reconstruct what happened fifty years back in the private life of a nonagenarian as you are unlikely to find anyone with the knowledge still alive, and how do you picturise this search in visual media? A challenge the director has handled remarkably. The film shows us how life can be unpredictable and surprising at any age, and how we can find joy and meaning in the most unexpected events.
The only drawback of the film is that it drags a bit in the second half and has too many characters to keep track of. The film could have been tighter and sharper with some editing and trimming. However, these are minor flaws in an otherwise enjoyable and heartwarming film that celebrates life and love in all its forms.