Pranayam means “Love” . I am not going to speak about my love life or the lack of it or anyone else’s for that matter. This is about a movie, “pranayam”. Roughly around a year and a half a friend suggested me this movie. Since he had only praise for the director and the movie and the way he went on and on about it, I downloaded it immediately. I can understand a bit of malayalam, not entirely. So I downloaded its subtitles as well. I started watching and the subtitles did not sync. I got pretty annoyed because so much of emotion was there in the script, I mean one can literally sense it and I was not able to follow it word by word. So I stopped watching it abruptly. And eventually forgot about this movie. Today, for some reason I watched it from where i left off without the subtitle of course.
The movie is a beautiful love story of three people who are well past their prime.One immediately tends to think its a love triangle, not quite so. Most Indian cinema does not experiment with old age love story. For some reason they tend to shy away about the love life of old people. It has always been the privilege of the young to be in love and of course anything sexual on screen of old couple has mostly been shunned or considered lewd. This movie has a different kind of perspective. The kind of matured love. The protagonist has a successful and a much fulfilled marriage, meeting her first love (in this case the ex-husband) brings back memories from her past which she remembers with pleasure. That kind of guilt free, unashamed love is rare to find in movies these days. The over flow of emotions and the cinematography and the entire mood that it captured was beautiful.I have only words of praise for this movie. Zilch vulgarity. No detailed flashback to go to. He kept it simple, all the while explaining to us that love is just not about physical attraction and breaking the age barrier of love without apprehension
Mohanlal, (as mathews ) had a great role, the best in the movie I must say (or maybe I like him a lot and I am biased) and he could have easily overplayed it. He kept it down and perfect balanced his role. Being paralyzed and also being a professor in philosophy, the director has given him superb lines. The way he is supportive of his wife, the way he understands her and comforts her, it definitely makes me jealous (every girl deserves a guy like that). Thinking about it, I feel its the kind of comfort and understanding that he gives her, that makes her tell everything she feels, to him. It is that sort of a relationship one yearns for as time rolls by.
The first half of the movie explains about her relationship with her family and husband and the way she feels meeting her ex-husband by chance and he ends up in the hospital with a heart attack (of all the time, he can have a heart attack, he chose then) The second half is when mathews, grace and achu form a sort of friendship which is looked dirty and the neighborhood and grace’s own daughter finds it obscene and distasteful. Mathews helps her again by being her support system. The end, however, I expected. It was a typical malyalam movie, were a negative ending is as much appreciated as a happy ending (That is one thing I really like about the early mallu movies)
I loved a lot of scenes, made me cry. I am just giving one example here, throwing a stone, anupam kher (the ex husband) says the second stone always reaches much farther than the first, because one tries a lot harder the second time. Probably, my writing is not as emotional as how they say it. But few scenes like this spoke volumes of their underlying relationship and what it meant to each one of them. And after so many years I cried for a movie.Bawled my eyes out.
P.S For all my friends who think I cannot appreciate love stories and do not have a romantic side, please know that I do too conditionally. Movies like this are the love stories one should appreciate and feel good about. Not the other kind of cliched love story. No I have never liked them and never will.