A.K.Sajan isn’t someone specifically one would associate when you talk of the better lot of Malayalam filmmakers. In my opinion he hasn’t really made any film that one will look back with a lot of pride over time. Hence it was a little surprising for me when I heard of his new film ‘Puthiya Niyamam’ when it was launched. After all considering that he managed to bring on board the successful lead pair of Mammootty and Nayantara there must have been something in the screenplay perhaps which convinced them despite his not so great track record.
Puthiya Niyamam is based around a small family in Cochin comprising of Louis Pothen Narimadan (Mammootty), his wife Vasuki Iyer (Nayantara) and their daughter. Louis is an all-rounder of sorts, a film critic and cinema journalist on T.V, an artist as well as a divorce lawyer. Vasuki is a Kathakali artist and theirs was an inter religious love marriage, against the wishes of their families. As the film starts we get to see Vasuki remaining a little cold, aloof and scared of sorts, in short an introvert of late, something totally unlike what she was in general till an incident went on to bring about the transformation. What was the incident that caused this turnaround? How does she manage to go about handling the same? What happens in the relationship between Vasuki and Louis are all questions that get answered as the film chugs along.
At the core Puthiya Niyamam is revenge tale that’s been seen for a long time, the difference being the fact that it has been given a contemporary touch and is thankfully not dependent on violence. Writer S.N.Swamy is seen playing an important character while Rachana Narayanankutty appears a little silly as the TV journalist with a crush on Louis. Sheelu Abraham as the female senior cop tries hard to fit into the character but ends up as a pale imitation of Lena. The film totally rests on the able shoulders of Nayantara and Mammootty. Nayantara continues her excellent form and essays the slightly complex role very well. Mammootty sportingly plays second fiddle to Nayantara for a major part of the film but while the twist towards the end might please his fans, the similarity with Drishyam in terms of conveying the same is a little too strange.
All in all this is A.K.Sajan’s best film till date and is quite watchable thanks to the lead pair.