Malayalam film Palthu Janwar has both animal welfare and human interest at its heart
Thirteen years ago, Rajkumar Hirani’s highly acclaimed film 3 Idiots shocked the younger generation with an interesting message. The film showed us that nothing is more important than following your dream job, and nothing is more disastrous than landing a job that doesn’t interest you. The Malayalam film Palthu Janwar, directed by debutant Sangeeth P Rajan, somehow preaches the opposite. Even if you do not have the required qualities, you must learn to adapt. The idea behind it is that if you give something enough time, you will become proficient.
The story of the film released on September 2 centers on a young man named Prasoon (Basil Joseph) who, after the death of his father, is forced to accept a job as a livestock inspector. He is sent to a panchayat where it seems that almost every household raises cattle. He is reluctant for the job, believing he is not suitable.
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The main conflict of the novel is how he struggles to survive the many obstacles he faces. It might initially seem like a feel-good story with little desire to manipulate our emotions. But as the film continues, it becomes clear that his goals are much higher.
These digs at certain naïve ideas in society include the veterinary doctor (Shammi Thilakan) who treats his profession as a sideline and the priest (Dileesh Pothen) who survives on the piety of peasants.
Malayalam actor Indrans playing the role of a member of the panchayat who frequently seems to neglect his duties on purpose is a symbol of the people’s representatives’ disregard for their responsibilities.
Palthu Janwar is not only a story of Prasoon’s dilemmas but also a heartwarming story of the warm bond between his pets and his master. The film shares the idea that even a small creature’s life is precious. Some questions raised in the first half, especially just before intermission, remain unanswered in the second half, with the film following different leads.
Basil Joseph demonstrates once again how comfortable he is in front of and behind the camera. And Johny Antony, who for a change gets a serious character, is equally impressive.
Palthu Janwar can be seen as a film presented through very simple scenarios with animal rights in mind.