Cast: Prithviraj,Sukumaran,Javed Jaffrey,Ratheesh Vegha
Direction: Major Ravi
Production: M R Produtions
Music: Ratheesh Vegha
It is not often that a Major Ravi movie manages to live up to expectations. ‘Picket 43’ does just that and more. Unlike his previous war movies, this one is more of an anti-war movie. It exhorts for peace and celebrates camaraderie. In conveying this, the preachy and didactic tone does creep up time and again, which is quite a put off.
The movie opens with a voice-over by Mohanlal. The story revolves around Havildar Hareendran Nair, an ordinary youth, played by Prithviarj. The way the character is etched outis brilliant. He is being posted in the hostile terrains along the line of control, which is known for its frequent ceasefire violation. Renji Panicker plays the commanding officer. Hareendranrepeatedly pleads with him to avoid the posting, but to no avail. Hareedran’s life at theinfamous Picket 43 is what the story is all about.
Life at Picket 43 is quite extraordinary. A hamlet high up along the breathtaking Himalayas,just an army dog named Baccardi for company, life threatening violence time and again, zero communication with anyone, a tattered love life all adds to Hareendran’s woes. But in themidst of all this he strikes up an unlikely companionship with Pakistani soldier Musharaff played by Javed Jaffery. Their relationship then forms the crux of the narrative.
The story progress through the encounters the duo has. There is an element of the poesy intheir relationship as they find friendship in a hostile setting and trust in an unpredictable setting. The struggle to maintain peace in the time of war is surely heart-rending. The l and scape too echoes their emotions and countenance and the seasons change. This has been brilliantly captured by cinematographer Jomon. The framing and picturisation of this evolution is quite breath-taking. He does take the cake for giving the movie its unique feel.
There is hardly much dialogues or characters in the movie and hence there is a marked absence of the usual loudness, which is quite soothing. However the dialogues worshipping Mohanlal is quite over the top and could have been avoided. The usual jibes and typecasting is kept at a minimum. The music Rateesh Vega and background score is in tune with this vibe.
Since this a character oriented movie rather than an action oriented one, the lead actors have had the scope to bring out their talents. Prithviraj and Javed Jaffery have performed brilliantly. The myriad emotions that the duo portrays are never out of place or exaggerated. Even the subtle elements of humour have been fairly enacted. The female characters are without substance.
Major Ravi has definitely given us a watchable movie given his previous debacles. Along with brilliant character depictions, the technical brilliance is note worthy. Picket 43 is not an extraordinary movie, but it holds us with its emotional and thematic quotient.