Main Cast: Dileep,Gopika
Script: Kalavoor Ravikumar
Producer: Madhu Warrier and P.Sukumar
Director: P. Sukumar
‘Swa Le’, as the name itself suggests is the story of a newspaper reporter (‘Swa Le’ is the short for ‘Swantham Lekhakan’, meaning ‘Staff Correspondent’) and is set at a time when there was no mobile phone and other modern technologies.
Unni Madhavan (Dileep) works as the staff correspondent to a newspaper named ‘Janachintha’.
He works hard day and night and in fact gets a meagre salary and finds it really hard to make both ends meet.
He is not even able to take care of his wife, Vimala (Gopika), who is pregnant. His news editor Kaimal (Innocent) behaves rather harshly to him at times and doesn’t give him peace for even a single hour, always sending him on assignments, one after the other.
In the meantime, an eminent writer Palazhi Sivasankara Pillai (Nedumudi Venu), who is a Jnanpith recipient and one of the doyens of Malayalam literature, is reported to be critically ill and expected to die any time.
Unni Madhavan is sent to report the developments from the writer’s house and he spends most of his time there, with many other journalists, all of them waiting for the writer to breathe his last. Anyway, for Unni Madhavan, it’s different.
He prays for the writer’s long life as he has been close to him even as a child and it was Palazhi Sivasankara Pillai who had taught him to love letters.
At the same time, Unni Madhavan is torn between his duty as a journalist and his anxiety for his wife, who is all alone at their small rented house and that too by a river, a house where one can reach only by crossing a river. It’s from this point that the story develops.
On the one hand ‘Swa Le’ presents before us the story of a young, struggling journalist and his hapless wife.
At the same time, on the other hand, with some strokes of satire, it also etches the apathy shown by the media to the sorrows and sufferings of the mass of humanity surrounding them.
The way people tend to commercialise the imminent death of an eminent writer too is presented in a rather satirical manner.
The way the film ends, portraying the protagonist too eventually turning part of the mad race after news, is good, though it may not impress average viewers much and could definitely have been handled better.
‘Swa Le’ is a welcome change from the many meaningless movies that are churned out by many other directors and should also be appreciated for having in it things that reflect our lives and our social set-up. It’s rooted in our soil and is a real ‘Malayalam film’, in essence.
Hats off to P.Sukumar and crew for coming up with a good film, which may not appeal to the average viewers of today who are after star oriented films rather than subject-oriented ones.
It may also not appeal much to erudite critics who may prefer a more intellectual kind of treatment for the subject.
But it cannot be denied that ‘Swa Le’ is a good movie that conveys many things and is good for being viewed with the family.