Deccan Chronicle

Movie Review | Purusha Pretham' is a live-ly cop drama

Deccan Chronicle.| Ajit Andhare

Published on: March 25, 2023 | Updated on: March 25, 2023
Purusha Pretham' is not the usual cop drama where bravado forms the mainstay of the story. (Photo: Twitter)

Purusha Pretham' is not the usual cop drama where bravado forms the mainstay of the story. (Photo: Twitter)

Malayalam movies have been on a roll for some time now. Post-Drishyam 2’s direct release on OTT during the pandemic, they have found lovers far and wide. And the movies have lived up to the expectation.

Recently, we had ‘Iratta’, in which Joju George essayed the characters of two cops who are twins. Realistic portrayal of characters has been one of the hallmarks of such movies and SonyLiv’s latest offering ‘Purusha Pretham’ is no exception to it.

Believable characterisation even helps ‘Purusha Pretham’, directed by Krishand, stand out.

We first meet our protagonist, Super Sebastian (Prasanth Alexander), a sub-inspector, as a braggart who is regaling his colleagues with some cooked-up stories.  

But Super Sebastian is much more than that. He is a caring son, who diligently looks after his bedridden mother. He lives in a small, shabby 2BHK. He does a brilliant tightrope walk wherein he performs the dual role of a junior to his authorities and of a senior to his deputies. And whenever he is able to steal some me-time, he carries on with his dalliance with Sujatha (Devaki), who had registered a missing complaint of her husband with his police station.
Just like Joju George of ‘Iratta’, Prasanth Alexander too is convincing to the hilt. First of all unlike Hindi movies, even though he a cop, he necessarily doesn’t sport a chiselled body. He is potbellied and there is no attempt to hide it. Also, he is neither a good cop nor a bad cop. He is a bit of all.

Hence, once when Sebastian is enjoying his escapade with Sujatha, and his junior constable Dilip (Jagadish) seeks his directions as to what should be done with a decaying corpse, he tells Dilip to do whatever he can and whatever is possible.

Dilip goes ahead and gets the body buried. After some days, Susan (Darshana Rajendran) walks into their police station and claims that the body is of her husband. However, when the grave is dug up again to verify her claim, the body is missing. This leads to a chain of events which range from hilarious to chilling.
‘Purusha Pretham’ is not the usual cop drama where bravado forms the mainstay of the story. Here, the makers talk of the procedural labyrinth cops face on a daily basis. There is a sincere attempt to humanise policemen and show the stress they face on personal and professional fronts. Issues like jurisdiction, how long can a body be kept in the morgue, and coping with suspension from duty are splendidly woven into the narrative.

For instance, you frequently see cops distribute lime juice to all in the police station as it is a part of some project initiated by higher-ups. When Sebastian is suspended from the job, he immediately starts finding making both ends meet difficult. The caretaker roped in to look after his mother leaves the job, and he seeks Sujatha’s help. This sets the stage for another major twist in the story.
These are everyday situations and problems and it is their depiction that makes the movie riveting.

The minute you think of a cop drama, what you encounter is a high-action, dishum-dishum, dark, and gritty tale. ‘Purusha Pretham’ does touch upon several other vital issues but does so without losing its touch with humour. Also, there is no dearth of twists ‘n’ turns to keep your interest alive.

While most of the tracks coalesce well towards the end of the movie, a few questions stay unanswered. But this is immediately offset by good performances by one and all, especially that of Prasanth and Darshana. Wish her character was a bit more well-pencilled.

With pragmatic representations of everyday characters and situations, peppered with some noir depictions, ‘Purusha Pretham’ is a breezy 150-minute watch.

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