Swantham Lekhakan - Reviews
Director :Sukumar P
Producer :Anu M Warrier
Le fails to have the impact it promised at the beginning
Some writers and directors had successfully exploited this quality to their advantage. Now, a new name joins the list -- cinematographer P Sukumar debuting as director with Swa. Le (a short form of Swantham Lekhakan or the staff reporter).
Written by Kalavoor Ravikumar, this film tells the story of a staff reporter working in a newspaper that maybe at the lowest rung as far as circulation figures go in the cut throat world of Malayalam journalism.
Unni Madhavan (Dileep) is our man, struggling to keep his body and soul together; chasing stories on a bicycle with a 'good for nothing' photographer
Chadramohan (Salim Kumar) while his rivals get all the support from their employers. To top it all, his wife Vimala (Gopika making a comeback after marriage) is heavily pregnant staying in the interiors of the town with no access to proper healthcare or even transportation (since they had eloped the question of family's support does not even arise).
This film takes us to the era before the proliferation of cell phones or the electronic media. The year was 1990 when the two biggies of the Malayalam news industry were involved in circulation war, and every journalist fought like a vulture to get an exclusive, whether it is an interview with the winner at the youth festival or writing obituary of a writer considered as the doyen of literature.
As expected the first half of this film is filled with comedy complete with inside jokes of the news industry of that period. We anticipate things to turn heavy any moment or the proverbial twist in the tale. And this happens in the form of writer Palazhy Shivshankaran (Nedumudi Venu), the mentor of Unni counting his days on the deathbed in his ancestral home. It becomes an eternal wait for the reporters outside his home to get an exclusive and to be the first in breaking the news of his death.
The narrative drags on from here with everyone trying to profit from the situation; be it the political bigwig or the teashop owner (Jagathy Sreekumar).
Dileep does dig his teeth into the character of a reporter who takes his work seriously and to contrast this, we are shown how the reporters from the rival newspapers have a frivolous attitude towards their profession. Gopika, who was actually pregnant while shooting this film, gives the desired vulnerability to her character.
But in the final analysis, Swa. Le fails to have the impact it promised at the beginning.
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- makri goplan
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