Nivin Pauly’s Padavettu, which depicts the struggles of the oppressed section in North Kerala, is slated to be released on October 21. The trailer depicts various details about the film — at the centre of its political narrative about land rights is Nivin’s Ravi, whose character cannot be boxed as good or bad. He is what we call a morally grey character.
In a conversation with Anupriya Raj, Nivin speaks about how most audiences today are able to relate better to such morally ambiguous characters on screen.
“The reason Ravi is not white (in the context of black and white characters) is because of his internal thoughts. He hasn’t been able to achieve anything in life and he does things that can be considered grey. Ravi is very subtle and doesn’t have much dialogue. But if he is irritated, one cannot predict to what extreme he will react. Sometimes you will be shocked to see the weapons in his hand. But this changes as he learns more about life,” says the actor who thinks all human beings have shades of grey in them.
Padavettu, which co-stars Aditi Balan, Shammi Thilakan, and Shine Tom Chacko, is set in Kannur and explores the themes of land and social issues. Several films in the past have been set against the backdrop and have narrated similar problems. But Nivin says that his rooted film has an intriguing mix. “Padavettu is not about the fight between two political parties but is rather a character-driven story. I really loved the way the scenes were narrated to me. Ravi’s story and the narrative of land exploitation blended really well. Even the relationship that Ravi shares with his love interest Shaima is very interesting. They have a very mature relationship and there is a reason for it.”
Nivin asserts that the story of Padavettu will connect with a lot of people. “Padavettu felt like a story that happened around me. It’s not very melodramatic and Liju (Liju Krishna, director) has created the film in an engrossing way. I believe that the audience will love it. We often love to see relatable stories and characters on screen, and Padavettu is one such film.”
Talking about the film’s central theme, the actor says, “There is politics in the film. There is a line in the film which goes like, “One has to fight for one’s own land, only we are there to protect our land and before it’s too late one should protect it.” In our lives, we all must have failed at one point. We all have an aim and journey. During this journey, one may fall and rise again. This forms the narrative of the film. Even the title of the movie, Padavettu, means that it’s the story of Ravi who fights for himself and the land.”
The actor is also currently working on a Tamil film titled Yezhu Kadal, Yezhu Malai with director Ram of Thanga Meengal (2013) and Peranbu (2019) fame. Nivin calls him a genius and says, “Ram sir’s movies are very intense and have many layers. Despite having so many layers and depth, this film will be fun and entertaining. Ram sir is trying something like this for the first time and there is also a beautiful romantic story in the film that is picturised very well.”