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Review Malayalam

Cinestaan Curates: Pettikkada Madhavan delves into starry-eyed dreams

Release Date: 26 Jan 2021 / 10min

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Reese Thomas’s short Malayalam film is an ode to our love for the movies and the yearning of unfulfilled dreams.

As children, many of us held our dreams close to our hearts, believing with all our might that no matter how improbable, they would come true. But life usually has other plans and amid its twists and turns, our dreams lie forgotten by the wayside. Reese Thomas’s short Malayalam film Pettikkada Madhavan is a charming contemplation of unfulfilled dreams that were once held dear.

Madhavan (KTS Padannayil, popularly known as Padanna) owns a small shop selling sundry goods. But as a small-time yesteryear actor, he holds his audience captive with stories about the glamorous world of cinema and film stars like Mammootty and Mohanlal, with whom he acted once upon a time.

Such is the love for cinema that the people hang on to his every word. As one customer says, “We are lucky to have Madhavan Chettan in our village.” A young boy fuelled by Madhavan’s stories aspires to become a big star one day, but life takes him on a different path.

An ode to the movie business and the love for cinema, Reese’s film is a reflection on life, which nudges us to enjoy the smaller things instead of harbouring regrets about what did not pan out as planned. It also allows us to imagine the lives of innumerable people who aspire to become artistes but are unable to make it. Fittingly, Pettikkada Madhavan ends with a quote from Cinema Paradiso (1988), “Life isn’t like in the movies, life... is much harder.”

Aside from Padanna, the short film features actor Vavachan. Both were prominent supporting actors who were seen in several Malayalam films in the 1990s and 2000s. The short film can be viewed on the Kaumudy YouTube channel.

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Cinestaan Curates YouTube

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