‘Padavettu’ Ending, Explained: Why Does Ravi Take A Step Against Kuyyali?

Political films are a staple of the Kerala cinema industry. Over the years, many films have been made that criticize all sorts of politics that do not benefit the people of the state. There have been satires, comedies, and dramas that talk about the politics of Kerala and elaborate on the state of the politicians who govern. “Sandesham” (1991), “Unda” (2019), “Lal Salaam” (1990), “Vellimoonga” (2014), “Sakhavu” (2017), “Panchavadi Palam” (1984), and “Varavelpu” (1989) are some of the formidable examples of political films done right by Malayalam filmmakers. All of them are must-watches to understand the nature of the state and the government. “Padavettu” falls in the same political drama genre that speaks about how political parties, in the name of welfare, take advantage of the downtrodden. Written and directed by Liju Krishnan, this film broadly touches upon the politics that happen on the ground level, namely the rivalry between the ruling government and the opposition in that town. 


Spoilers Ahead

Story Of Ravi From Maloor, Kannur District, Kerala

The movie begins in a somber mood when Mohanan is speaking to his mother in the evening, while Ravi, their neighbor, is waiting for nightfall and waits for them to go to sleep. As he sees the lights turned off at his neighbor’s home, he takes an iron rod and heads over to break something. The next morning, as Mohanan walks past Ravi’s home to head to another side of the town, he sees a slab of cement that was used as a bridge has been removed. Mohanan is sure who did this but cannot prove his allegations. Villagers come by to have a look at the scene, but they, too, can’t pinpoint Ravi because they have no proof. Ravi is a loner who does not entertain people he does not like in his compound or area. The whole point of pulling this stunt is to make sure Mohanan does not walk through his compound again and takes the main road instead. Ravi makes sure his acts alienate him from the villagers around him, for he has no interest in entertaining them.


At the local panchayat meeting, as per the government scheme, a few of the families of low-income groups are allotted money for the renovation of their homes; and two farmers have been allotted money for fencing for their farms because of wild boars constantly ravaging the cultivated land. Ravi’s aunt Pushpa is enraged about the fact that her family was not considered for the scheme even though she has applied for aid multiple times. A local panchayat member makes a note of this and informs the top leader of the opposition party in the town, the Jana Seva Party, about Pushpa. He suggests the leader Kuyyali help her renovate the house, which will help him gain traction for the candidate post for the next local elections. Kuyyali approaches Pushpa and offers to renovate her home under the Jana Seva scheme of the party. Pushpa politely declines it, saying that since it is not a government-approved scheme, she cannot accept it. Kuyyali and his party men are adamant about getting in the good books of the people of Maloor, for winning the election would mean gaining political power. Without Pushpa and Ravi’s consent, Kuyyali and his party began the renovation work of their home, and in a few days, both aunt and nephew had a brand-new home. Ravi is confused about what is happening, and he does not care much about it. Ravi is an unemployed man whose only source of income is the money they get from selling milk. The rest of the essentials they get from the ration shop. Kuyyali and his party placed a plank outside Ravi’s home, stating their party sponsored the renovation. Ravi is perplexed by such generous treatment of his family by the opposition party. He does not get what is making them behave this way. Ravi is only happy to know he didn’t have to spend money to renovate it.

‘Padavettu’ Ending Explained – Why Does Ravi Take A Step Against Kuyyali?

Ravi is an ex-athlete and a shining star from his town, but all the glory was cut short after a bike accident. Since then, he has gone out of shape and does not have a full-time job. All he does is keep complaining to his aunt about the food and the condition of the house. Ravi is approached by his ex-coach, who reminds him of his early days as a runner, but Ravi dismisses it as something of the past that he does not want to relive or ponder over. Ravi was in love with a girl from his town. They both decided to elope, but his fate changed after the accident. Ravi is disturbed by the fact that people call him out for not being able to afford renovations for the house. His anger comes out during a fight at a temple festival. The residual anger makes him break the plank outside his home. Ravi’s ego is hurt when locals call him a freeloader without understanding what he went through. Ravi is frustrated over the fact that his life has gone nowhere despite him having the potential to do so. Ravi’s anger towards his life comes out in the form of a fight, where he helps the person who belittled him just a few hours ago. The next day, his neighbor Mohanan’s father is found dead, slain by a wild boar while he is protecting his farm. Kuyyali and his party men make it a political issue by demanding the government offer better services to farmers so that boars do not attack their plantations. The party also concluded that the plank outside Ravi’s home was destroyed by the opposition. Kuyyali’s party was looking for an opportunity like this to take control of the situation, twist it around, and make a political issue out of it. In the name of serving the poor, Kuyyali and his party started making promises with the hope that they would be elected next time.


The matter escalates into a riot-like situation when workers from both parties start vandalizing public property. Ravi is summoned by the police for the fight he was involved in during the temple festival. Out of sheer frustration, he confesses to breaking the plank outside his home. The police inform Kuyaali of the incident, but Kuyyali, being a wannabe politician, wants people to believe it was the opposition who broke the plank. By doing this, the sentiments of the common man will be with him, which will gain him substantial votes. Kuyyali is a shrewd businessman, for he knows which game to play with whom. Knowing that Ravi was the one who broke the plank, he gives Ravi another chance by not informing his party or the public of his dissent. But not mentioning public Ravi’s involvement in breaking the plank, Kuyyali suppressed Ravi’s opposition.

Ravi, out of sheer resentment towards what his life has become, takes it upon himself to change his surroundings. He starts farming on the land just outside his home and begins sprinting daily just to get in shape. It takes time, but he starts selling his home-grown organic vegetables. He makes sure the plank is covered by the vegetation he is growing and earns the respect of his aunt and his former coach. It looks like Ravi needed someone to push him over the edge for him to transform the way he did. Ravi also helps his neighbor Mohanan to kill the boar that ruined his farm and killed his father. All of this helps Ravi get his mojo back. Seeing Ravi make progress at this speed, Kuyyali decides to hold his rally on Ravi’s land by ravaging his vegetation. Ravi, in all anger, physically hurts all of Kuyyali’s henchmen and asks Kuyyali to leave his land aggressively. Kuyyali starts touting the fact that his party’s money was used to build his house and that Ravi should show gratitude. Villagers support Ravi, for they say it was done under the scheme Kuyyali introduced to help the downtrodden. His expectation, in return, is wrong, for he is a politician who should accept people’s opinions and mandates. Ravi succeeds in pushing Kuyyali away with the help of his neighbors and other villagers. The villagers also soon realize Kuyyali is taking advantage of their poverty to gain empathy and votes. Kuyyali shamefully leaves the premises. A classic story of a person with means who takes advantage of the underprivileged for his or her own advantage because money brings power. The underprivileged sadly get carried away in the name of promises and end up voting for the wrong people in power. Ravi is an example of a man with no purpose who eventually finds one by helping his people do the right thing. Eliminating a politician who had no intention of serving the people.


‘Padavettu’ Final Words

This Nivin Paul-starring political drama is a slugfest for the screenplay, and the story stagnates and does not move for a long time. In the last 45 minutes, “Padavettu” picks up pace and heads towards a conclusion. Nivin Pauly has mastered the art of playing the role of a man with no goal, work, or life. This is his umpteenth role, where he plays a grown man who has no purpose whatsoever. It is high time he started taking on diversified roles and not sticking to tried-and-true characters. “Padavettu” could have been so much tighter if the screenplay was not this stretched. The film spends a lot of time establishing why Ravi has no goal in life and why he is frustrated. The film only excelled in the performance department. Nivin Pauly is excellent despite taking up a repetitive role, Shammi Thilakan is finally showing shades of his legendary father Thilakan on screen, and Sudheesh as the friendly drunk neighbor of Ravi stole the show. “Padavettu” is hit-and-miss.

“Padavettu” is now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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