"It's me who will decide who should touch my body," says Madhuri, the character played Manju Warrier, in a scene in 'Prathi Poovankozhi' directed by Rosshan Andrrews and that turns out to be the essence of the movie.
The story pitches a subject that is ever-buoyant and less addressed with cliched premises. However, the matter is trumpeted vociferously and aloud, so that some might get a hack of why outraging the modesty of woman, no matter how silly or serious the act is, remains so abominable.
Even as a society, in general, tries to insinuate a woman who undergoes abuse to turn a blind eye to the bitter experience and avoid confrontation fearing ugly consequences, Madhuri evolves into to a fire-spewing chimera who will accept nothing short of a fitting revenge. Maybe Madhuri doesn't sum up the mindset of the whole womanhood. But she represents the magnitude of distress and agony a woman who is made a victim deliberately to satiate the lust of overbearing male chauvinists.
The narrative is beset in the modest setting on the outskirts of Kottayam with a major chunk of the first half of the story consumed by the lead character Madhuri played by Manju Warrier and Gopi played by Alencier. The stage establishes the troubles and tribulations the characters are mired in. The drama gains momentum with Antappan's (Rosshan Andrrews) appearance and the conflicts thereafter.
Madhuri is an effervescent woman, the sole breadwinner in the family with only her mother as the other member. Gopi, a fatherly figure in the neighbourhood, is the only other person who has a say in Madhuri's life. Madhuri and her friend, played by Anuseree, work as salesgirls in a textile showroom and it's during their routine bus journey that the former encounters a bitter experience, which changes the course of her life altogether. The plot follows the events and fallouts unleashed by a resolute Madhuri who canters overall barriers and challenges to drive her point home.
Anil Pankchuran's lyrics and Gopi Sundar's music creates a perfect blend that lends a rustic charm to the song rendered by M Jayachandran. The background score runs along with the characters and events. However, at times it stands out jarring. The camera of G Balamurugan has captured the robust and lust locales in and around Kottayam.
A simple storyline, the effervescence of the lead character played by Manju Warrier, Alencier's modest portrayal of Gopi and a jolly good ride by Rosshan Andrrews as a fierce and grimy felon and captivating suspense makes the movie engaging. But the artificiality takes a toll on the course early on. Anusree's uptick in her performance through subtle nuances is a plus. Saiju Kurup excels in his role of a police officer but leaves nothing fresh. The story seems to end abruptly with several loops unresolved.
Prathi Poovankozhi may not instil a sense of integrity among probable abusers, but will sure give them a fair idea about how a woman actually feels when she is objectified.