Prakasan review: Simple story of a tribal's tryst with city life

Release Date: 17 Oct 2017 / 01hr 24min

Cinestaan Rating

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Suparna Thombare

Bash tries to juxtapose two different lifestyles and portray the dilemma in the protagonist's heart, bringing a lot of joy and emotion to the film.

Director Bash Mohammed's Prakasan is a simple and sweet story of a tribal man from a tiny village in Kerala's Wayanad forest, who migrates to Kochi to work in a government health care program.

The director creates a beautiful picture of Prakasan's (Dinesh Prabhakar) simple life in the natural surroundings of the jungle and his loving relationships with his mother, sister, fiance and friends.

The bright greens of the forest stretched over miles, pure waters, organic food and natural methods of survival create a beautiful portrait of the life of the tribal community.

Their life, completely removed from the rest of the world, though, is more of creative liberty than absolute reality.

Cinematographer Papino makes the most of Kerala's natural beauty and indulges in wide drone shots of trees, rivers, lakes and mountains. Close-up shots of fresh vegetables collected from the trees and fresh fish caught from the rivers, cooked in the simplest manner, signify Prakasan and the family's closeness to the offerings of nature.

The closely-knit community is obviously sad that Prakasan has chosen to leave this beautiful life, and them, behind to start a new life in an urban jungle.

As expected, life is far from easy when Prakasan lands in Kochi. His job as a health care worker, distributing condoms and spreading sexual awareness amongst prostitutes, is something he almost finds impossible to wrap his head around.

Writer Rajeev Nair writes very simple scenes with succinct dialogues to portray how someone like Prakasan would find it difficult to cope when put into surroundings far removed from what he understands as life.

His difficulty in understanding why people are constantly in a hurry and coming to terms with the filth of the city slums are weaved in nicely.

The fact that Prakasan is completely clueless about life in a city and the use of technology, also creates some funny moments.

Nair stays away from portraying the underbelly or the dark aspects of a city. Prakasan mostly meets decent people during his early days in the city, which is heartwarming. The story could have gone in a compeltely different direction had he met some nasty people.

Even though Prakasan is the story of a tribal man, anybody who has left a small town or village to realise their dreams in a big city will be able to relate to it. People who have left their homes in pursuit of happiness will feel for the character.

Prakasan wouldn't have been half as enjoyable if not for the soothing background score, which also includes a touching melody on flute.

The film has many good moments. In one scene, having almost lost heart, a sudden downpour of rain reminds Prakasan of his home. He joyfully gets soaked in the rain and hugs a tree on the street reminiscing of his lover back home. In another scene, Prakasan gets told by a salesman at a store that the vegetables he is looking at are very expensive.

In another pivotal scene, a hospital-ridden Prakasan, who has lost all hopes of making it in the big city, eats rice from.a restaurant, while reminiscing about the freshly cooked tubours and fish by his mother.

These moments juxtapose two different lifestyles and portray the dilemma in Prakasan's heart, bringing a lot of joy and emotion to the film.

And Dinesh Prabhakar's embodiment of his part as an innocent man out in the big bad world is spot on.

Mohammed has chosen a very simple subject and storyline, and it works because its all heart.