A. K. Sajan’s Malayalam film Pulimada is a classic thriller that’s filled with all kinds of twists and symbolic scenes. The movie is a 110-minute film with Joju George and Aishwarya Rajesh in the main roles.
Pulimada, roughly translated to Tigers Den, revolves around Vincent Kariya, a 40-year-old former police officer who lives in a faraway home hidden in the dense forests. His only dream is to find a suitable partner and get married, but due to his house’s location, his mental illness, and various other reasons, he isn’t able to fulfill his wishes.
After finally finding a partner named Jessy, Vincent’s ecstatic to announce his marriage, only to find out that she’s nowhere to be seen on the wedding day. While the plot is simple, Pulimada has tons of hidden meanings that create a perfect atmosphere for such a film.
Besides Joju George and Aishwarya, the cast of Pulimada consists of Chemban Vinod as Ashokan, Jaffar Idukki as Appachan, Johny Antony plays Kuttappaappi, Lijomol Jose plays Sini and Parvathi T. plays the role of Ammachi.
Pulimada: What Happens In The Film?
Right from the beginning of Pulimada, it is obvious that Vincent’s only wish is to get married and settle in the cozy little house that he inherited from his forefathers. Although he’s a police officer, Vincent isn’t able to find a wife due to many reasons.
Vincent doesn’t have a toilet in his house, as his father believed the house should be free from any waste. Moreover, his mother died when he was young due to mental illness. People believed that Vincent would soon develop the illness, too, so they stayed away from him.
The forest near Vincent’s home was also rumored to have a man-eating tiger. In the form of a miracle, a girl named Jessy finally agrees to marry Vincent. He prepares the forest house for the arrival, calling his Ammachi and Valyammachi to welcome his new wife.
However, on the day of the wedding, Jessy is nowhere to be seen, and everyone assumes that she either eloped with her lover or fell victim to the man-eating tiger. In a fit of rage, Vincent destroys the decorations and starts to drink the night away.
In an attempt to cool his head, he sets out on his bike and runs into a young woman named Maheshmathi. She had gotten lost in the forest after her car had broken down during a trip. Vincent takes her home by telling her that he is a homestay manager and could allow Maheshmathi to stay for the night.
After taking her home, Vincent serves her with food and allows her to sleep on his bed. Maheshmathi finds out that it was actually supposed to be his wedding night, but his wife had run away. She tries to comfort him with more alcohol.
Now completely inebriated, Vincent is no longer able to control his sexual urges and tries to force himself on Masheshmathi. He wakes up in the morning to see that Maheshmathi is lying in a pool of blood.
Filled with guilt over what he believed he had done, Vincent immediately calls SI Ashokan and tells him that he had committed a crime. Meanwhile, he spots a tiger near his home, but this could also be a thing he had imagined.
When Ashokan and the other police officers arrive, they find nobody and assume that Vincent is hallucinating due to the alcohol’s effects. To atone for his sins, Vincent goes on a pilgrimage with his family.
Pulimada: Ending Explained
While on the pilgrimage, Vincent is informed that a sexual abuse case was filed against him by a woman named Masheshmathi. She then talks to Vincent herself and lets him know that she was alive the whole time.
To make Vincent regret what he had done, Maheshmathi decided to stage her own death. The woman is then arrested by the police, as Masheshmathi also happened to be a fugitive before she met Vincent in the forest.
Pulimada ends with Vincent now over his mental illness and living happily with his wife. After the disastrous events in Vincent’s life, Ashokan took it upon himself to get married, and Vincent’s wife ended up being a co-worker named Sini.
While the movie Pulimada has great actors and does create suspense, the plot doesn’t live up to being as exciting as the rest of the elements. We never really see what happened with Jessy or who the dead body that Ashokan recovered belonged to.
Vincent is severely impacted by his troubled childhood and the early loss of an only parent. He lives in fear that he might have the same fate, and the loneliness amplifies whatever dark thoughts he has.
Pulimada is filled with scenes that make us confused as to what’s reality and what’s just a part of Vincent’s imagination. For instance, the tiger was most likely not real and only a symbol of Vincent’s lust that led him to commit such a vile act.
Maheshmathi was a clever woman who knew just the right way to make Vincent feel guilty, even though he ended up sleeping before anything happened—the reason why she was arrested or what happened to her after the arrest is not shown.
Vincent and Sini get married out of nowhere, but it’s nice to see him finally have a loving wife by his side after coming out of the huge mess. While Pulimada may lack an intriguing storyline and good pacing, the actors, filming style, and symbolic scenes make up for it.
Pulimada is now available to watch on Netflix.
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