Oru Cheru Punchiri
M T Vasudevan Nair's dissenting note on problems of old age!
The problems of old age are numerous. As it is the final phase of survival, its inherent nature is not the freshness of dawn but the lost feeling of dusk. The bewilderment of alienation, the fear of approaching death some routine sentiments, all worsen the situation. It becomes pathetic, horrid and frightening at the same time. But in India, at the southern tip of Kerala, a literary giant, director, M T Vasudevan Nair write a dissenting note to this problem, with his film Oru Cheru Punchiri. The director's opinion about his own film is thus:
'Oru Cheru Punchiri is a celebration of life, of old age.'
By narrating the story of Krishna Kurupu at his mid seventies and Ammalukutty in her mid sixties continuing their married life in a honeymoon mood, MT tries to concretise the above statement. This couple wake up to a romantic morning dense with sweet herbal aroma with the melodious music of birds as the background. They spend their time engaged in games of mischief and even some social activities that they could manage. They make it clear that they would never surrender to the threats of their children coated in love, to sell the ancestral property in the village and move to cities with them. The film ends with Ammalukutty's decision to continue with this celebration of life even after the death of Krishna Kurupu.
Frankly speaking, this film gives us some sort of satisfaction, the satisfaction that we get when somebody tickles us unexpectedly from behind. Beyond that, the hype this film received and the criteria for this film to be selected to Indian Panorama are nothing but just celebrity worship. When Gyanpeeth award winner and the missiah of Malayalam literature and cinema, MT make a film what else could we expect, flood it with maximum possible awards and recognition.
This criticism of the film is based on its ideological level. While the alienation of the old aged people become one of the greatest social problem in nuclearised Malayalee society, MT tries to over-simplify this problem by narrating a story which is far from reality. There may be exceptions to all common laws, but it is highly irresponsible and ridiculous to project this and generalise it, so that we forget the ground reality.