What is the yardstick to rate a film? In India, especially in the much commercialised Bollywood, films are often rated on the kind of moolah they rake in, especially after the advent of the multiplexes. My yardstick to measure a film would be its ability to withstand time and how much they can relate across generations—by generation, I mean a decade. Being a 90s kid, I grew up watching some of the finest films made in Malayalam, with great actors like Mammootty and Mohanlal at their peak. However, I reckon the 1980s as the golden era of the Malayalam film industry, especially the latter half.
The coming of age film Koodevide, released in October of 1983, like some of the other Padmarajan films, is a classic. Adapted from Vasanthy’s novel, Padmarajan wrote the screenplay, dialogues and directed the film which was co-produced by Rajan Joseph and Prem Prakash.
Koodevide is set in Ooty (Udhagamandalam)—the film opens with the staff of Good Shepherd School scampering to get the local Member of Parliament, Xavier Puthooran (Jose Prakash), a Malayali, to stand in at short notice as chief guest for a minister who stood them up at the last minute. After soaking in the school ambience, Puthooran wants his wayward son admitted to the school in the middle of the term. Caught off guard, the Principal is unable to refuse the influential politician and, Ravi Puthooran, played by an adolescent Rahman (making his debut) gets admitted to high school.