‘Oru Kuprasidha Payyan’ review: a courtroom drama with integral content

A promotional poster of ‘Oru Kuprasidha Payyan’. Photo: Twitter/@ttovino

A promotional poster of ‘Oru Kuprasidha Payyan’. Photo: Twitter/@ttovino  

Physically, Ajayan is powerful than the average human being. We see him stopping an out-of-control buffalo and taking on a group of goons single-handedly. Yet, mentally, he is more vulnerable than the average human being, for, at the back of his mind he knows that there would not be anyone to lend him a hand, if he falls down. Ajayan is an orphan without an identity card. He could be branded with another name one fine day, and crimes foisted on him.

That is exactly what happens to Ajayan (Tovino Thomas), the titular character of Oru Kuprasidha Payyan. But, he is not notorious by any means. Rather, his existence is even ignored, except by a handful of people. One of them, Chembakammal (Sharanya), who is almost like a mother to him, is murdered. The police, under pressure to find the culprit, chances upon their perfect catch - the orphan without an identity card.

Director Madhupal draws on a real-life incident in Kozhikode a few years back as material for his latest film, which expands on concerns explored in his previous films, on the interactions of individuals, especially the vulnerable ones, with the law. A good part of this film is set in the court room, where the scenes at times slips into dramatic mode. Any courtroom drama made after the classic Marathi film Court is bound to be compared to that film, which was notable for its hyper-realistic recreation of the weary court proceedings.

Oru Kuprasidha Payyan
  • Director: Madhupal
  • Starring: Tovino Thomas, Nimisha Sajayan, Anusithara, Sharanya

The script by Jeevan Job Thomas, slowly builds the characters and the drama, but even though the film remains engaging all through, it fails to take you by surprise at any point. It is clear that the movie was not meant to be a thriller. In the second half, the movie shifts its focus from Ajayan to Hannah (Nimisha Sajayan), a rookie lawyer, who is appointed by the court to defend Ajayan. She brings out the nervousness of the first-timer effectively, when pitted against her senior, with her stuttering arguments.

The politics that the film talks about, part of which was touched upon in Vetrimaaran’s Visaranai, is worth pondering over. The law enforcement, it appears, is skewed against particular sections, and even those have specific names. But one wishes that it was not spelt out in so many words, especially as a reading out of statistics in a courtroom exchange, rather hinted at or weaved into the script in subtle ways. The infusing of a few commercial elements, absent in Madhupal’s earlier works, also did not gel well.

Yet, for all those negatives, Oru Kuprasidha Payyan has enough integrity in its content, which makes it one of the better releases from the industry this year.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2020 1:19:12 AM |

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