Pranaya Vilasam(Love Nest) – Malayalam movie that prioritizes ‘Just A HouseWife’

Watched Malayalam movie ‘Pranaya Vilasam’ that roughly translates to Love Nest, on Zee5. And was amazed as to how the makers have handled the role of a homemaker,  subtly but effectively.

So the story is about a village officer, his homemaker wife Anu and their college going son.

A typical day in their house sounds like

“Anu, Kaapi.”

“Amma, Chai.”

“Anu, isn’t breakfast ready? Where’s the tiffin box?”

“Amma, haven’t you switched on the generator?”

“Anu, you have no idea about financial matters. You watch serials all the time.”

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Also, father and son have their own share of relationships. In fact, the father is trying to get back with his ex-girlfriend, he flirts, texts and calls the lady. Because he believes he cannot wipe out his first love memories.

And then one day, just like that, Anu passes away. Father and son chance upon her diary, and embark on a journey, to discover Anu’s true personality. That’s what forms the crux of the movie.

But what I liked the most, was the period when the two men live without Anu in their lives anymore.

The father laments to some grieving relatives, “She hardly ever discussed her health with me. She never complained of any pain or ailment.” Pat comes the reply, “Did you never ask her, did you care about her wellbeing?”

The milkman delivers fresh milk a day after, the son has no idea which vessel Amma used to collect it, but the milkman does.

The neighbor wonders what to do with all the books Anu read. “Amma was such an avid reader?” The son wonders.

A little kitten visits everyday and waits by the window, showing how much she misses Anu.

A group of young children visit, to dedicate their trophy to Anu Aunty. Because she watched them play, encouraged them all the time, and was confident they would win. The men of the house never knew she liked sports.

The son dislikes his father’s culinary skills, burnt dosa and overcooked rice. But he doesn’t chip in to help either, he had seldom entered the kitchen when Anu was alive.

An unknown lady comes home to offer her condolences, the men don’t recognize her. But she’s Anu’s childhood and best friend who mentions how Anu used to be an intelligent and strong willed student, top of her class.

These are just a few moments in the father son life, they aren’t very close because it turns out Anu was their mode of communication.

The movie is full of such bitter sweet memories, and also Anu’s past. Where she seems to be a totally different person. But there’s no melodrama, preaching or shouting from rooftops.

Pranaya Vilasam is soft and warm, but hits bang on target. There’s one scene in the beginning when somebody enquires about Anu to her husband. And he casually jests, “She is a wife, just like all other wives.”

But it’s an effective representation of the importance of a meek, silent, just a wife, in our lives and society.

I kind of choked up when someone remarks, “We do so much post death, for the dead person’s peace. Why do we totally neglect him when he’s alive?”




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