By and large, the history books have bypassed Kerala Simham (Lion) Veera (Brave) Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, the ruler of Kottayam in
A Malayalam movie based on him was released on October 16 and that has made history. It is crafted by MT Vasudevan Nair and Hariharan with Mammootty in the lead role and is produced by Gokulam Gopalan. With a budget of Rs.27 crores, it is the costliest film ever made in Malayalam.
I have not seen the cinema, but heard Hariharan claim on the TV that full justice has been done to historical details. One can be reasonably certain that with careful handling by this expert team, the movie would be good.
I hope this picture which is made in five languages would spread awareness about the legendary fight by Pazhassi Raja against the mighty Company (which, by then, had assumed the role of a government) among the people of
It was Thomas Harvey Babar, a young Company officer who was sub collector of Tellicherry who led the final assault against Pazhassi Raja in 1805. And he came to admire his adversary. He is reported to have said about the raja ‘great man and a great warrior’.
Nick Balmer, the great great grandnephew of Thomas Henry Babar maintains a blog, Malabar Days, which gives some authentic accounts about Pazhassi Raja. The link is Thomas Baber's account of the death of the Pazhassi Rajah, from the study reports by Nick Balmer It is interesting reading.
While talking about the newly released Pazhassi Raja movie, let us not forget the earlier one. In the 1960s, there was a cinema by the same name with Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair in the lead role.
Do you remember “Chotta muthal chudala vare…” It is one of the best patriotic songs in Malayalam cinema.
There is also a novel about Pazhassi Raja – Kerala Simham by Sardar KM Panikker.