Mobile phones, text messaging, e-mail, fax et al have long elbowed out letters as a form of communication.
Writing letters and relying on the Indian Postal Service to have them delivered would seem a waste of time for most people when contact can be established in a jiffy.
But in the not-so-distant past, which you definitely were a part of, letters were what people wrote to be in touch.
Cheran’s Pokkisham is about a romance between a couple ( in 1971), who are miles apart and whose only means of communication are letters. The tagline says it all. Nee Enukku Ezhuthiya Kadhal Kadhingal Thaan En Pokkisham (The love letters you wrote to me are my treasures).
Imagine a postman stopping by your gate and dropping mail into your letterbox. Indolently you walk upto it and check them out. The brown envelope that catches your eye makes it pop out of its sockets.
You go crazy with excitement if the mail is from your beloved. With shaky hands, you tear open the envelope and pull out the letter. The ritual of receiving your beloved’s letter by post and reading it over and over again was not without its share of excitement.
In Pokkisham produced by Hithesh Jhabhak, Cheran has attempted to recreate the magic of that past which contrasts today’s fast-paced world driven by technology. It begins almost like a classic movie, offbeat and intense. The sense of deja vu which the scenes evoke just gets more difficult to shrug off.
A young lad Mahesh (Aryan Rajesh) stumbles upon his father’s love life and impressed by the dignity involved in the romance, he sets out to meet his father’s ex-lover.
A bunch of letters written by a young Hindu boy Lenin (Cheran) from Kolkata to Nadhira (Padmapriya), who hails from a conservative Muslim family in Nagoor, is what the movie revolves around.
What starts as ‘pen friendship’ slowly blossoms into romance. But there’s is an unrequited love. In the end it is for Mahesh to give their love a fitting conclusion. He sets out to find Nadhira and hand over the letters written by his dad but not delivered to her.
The pace is Pokkisham’s major problem. The progression of the plot is so slow that it tests the patience of the audience at many places. Cheran’s screenplay has little to excite the masses.
Art direction by Vairabalan deserves a mention. The trams, huge post offices and post boxes of Kolkata are a treat to the eyes . Rajesh Yadav captures the flashback scenes with a clever change of tone. Sabesh Murali’s background score is good.
Cheran sticks to playing a mild mannered youth, who romances and narrates poems. A tailor-made role for him. Cheran is better off as an actor than a filmmaker. Padmapriya as Nadhira is apt for the role. Her expressions are spontaneous and good.
If only Cheran had managed to infuse a bit more pace into the proceedings, Pokkisham would have been the treasure it was thought out to be.