: A suspected Maoist and a policeman get lost in a forest and suddenly equations change. The film explores the Maoist issue through their conversations.
: Kaadu Pookkunna Neram probably has the most engaging of plots among Dr Biju’s films. The film starts off with a group of policeman reaching a remote tribal settlement in search of the Maoist presence there, evacuating a local school in the process. Two worlds are played against each other, the pristine and simple lives of the tribals and the shallow and insensitive policemen, at the school. The folk poems the tribal children are taught strongly suggest that the land they are in belongs to them, they are the ones being evicted, not the other way round.
Events move in a quick pace, and on coming across a suspected Maoist sticking posters against them near the camp, the policemen give chase, into the forest. Within minutes, one of the policemen (Indrajith), finds himself lost in the forest with the suspect (Rima Kallingal), isolated from the rest. Their equation changes when the policeman realises that she is the only one who knows the way out of the forest. The unusual situation of a law maker and a breaker trapped together leads to dialogues about what is lawful and what is not, and who a Maoist really is. Issues related to tribals are woven in, with many of the scenes featuring real tribal people in their hamlets, blurring the lines between fiction and reality.
There is not a dull moment in the entire film, and the catchy background music complements the pace of events. Rima Kallingal as the Maoist suspect delivers a powerful performance, though the actress’ Malayalam diction seems lacking at certain points. Indrajith is a natural, as always, and the two actors manage to keep the viewers on their toes - without the help of songs, comedy or co-actors - with little dialogue, there’s just them and the forest. Indrans has a small but prominent role, as a teacher at the tribal school while Prakash Bare plays one of the police officers at the camp.
Kaadu Pookkunna Neram is essentially a celebration of the forests, of how inconsequential a policeman with a pistol is inside one, and how the real inhabitants of the forests, the tribals, should be left alone.