Pulimada, a Malayalam film, has been ably crafted by AK Sajan. The film stars seasoned actors like Joju George, Aishwarya Rajesh, Lijo Mol Jose, and others. The story revolves around the life of Vincent, an unmarried policeman who is keen on getting married but has been ditched numerous times by many women in the past. He tries to get a grip on his emotions after his marriage is fixed with a girl and then it breaks. He fails in his quest and takes drastic steps that get him into trouble. Will he be able to find a route out of the problem that he gets into? Is the issue only a figment of his imagination? Let’s find out!
What Happens To Vincent? How Does He React?
Vincent is very excited when his marriage gets fixed after hard luck for the past 40 years. He starts making all the preparations and invites all his relatives to his house. He gets his house well-decorated and gets engaged. However, on the day of his marriage, as he goes to the church, we see all his excitement fading away as he gets the news that his would-be bride, Jessy, is nowhere to be found. Many people said that it was a possibility that she could have been taken away by the man-eating tiger that had been on the loose for the past few days in the village. Some people also anticipated that she had eloped with her lover, the parish priest. The news had broken Vincent to the core, as this was the first marriage that had gone up to the church.
He was devastated and looked for a way out of his sorrow. He had resorted to smoking weed and drinking alcohol to make sure that he was not low on his wedding night. He also went around asking his friends to find him a girl for the night. Vincent had almost lost his mind due to the trauma and had started acting erratic, as we see him shouting at the guests, making them leave the house. He had started thinking that he could never get a bride and would have to stay lonely for the rest of his life.
What Was The Reason That He Couldn’t Find A Bride?
Vincent had lost his mother at a very young age to mental illness. Everyone else in his village thought that the mental illness would be hereditary and that he would inherit it from his mom, causing many to reject his marriage proposal. Vincent was, however, very proud of his ancestral estate on the outskirts of a village, which was placed on a mountaintop. He never had given the fact thought that maybe many women were not interested in settling in the midst of a forest with him. He was also stubborn enough to not have built a toilet inside the house, keeping it outdoors. When Jessy told him about the issue regarding the toilet, he told her that his father believed in keeping the waste out of the house. Vincent was so drowned in his patriarchal glory that he had almost forgotten about the safety of the woman who would come into his house and would have to go out into the woods to use the toilet. Another reason why he was deprived of marital bliss was because he was very intent on making the women quit their jobs after marriage, as he thought that his coffee farm and ancestral house were enough to sustain them. He was not very supportive of the independence of women and believed that women should stay indoors rather than work outside. All these issues were the major reasons why Vincent had not been able to find himself a bride.
What Changes After He Meets Mahishmati?
On Vincent’s wedding night, he has been roaming the roads aimlessly when he comes across a young girl named Mahishmati. She tells him that her car has broken down in the middle of the road and she wants a place to stay the night. He was told that she was a tourist and had come to explore the village. Vincent, who was immensely frustrated, wanted to take her back home and have some fun. He had taken her back to his home and told her that it was a homestay and that she could stay the night there. He gave her his room, cooked her food, and even offered her a drink, but had wrong intentions lingering in the back of his mind. Mahishmati offered him a very strong drink, and his lust flared up after chugging it down. He went up to Mahishmati and tried forcing himself upon her, and anything that might have happened between them was all blurry for him.
The next morning, when he woke up, he saw that the girl was lying dead with blood oozing out of her head. Out of guilt over having murdered the girl, he tried surrendering himself to the police. The policeman, being his friend, thought that the grief of a broken marriage had taken a toll on his mind and did not believe him. However, later, when the police arrived to check up on him, they found no dead bodies or a trace of any woman around the house. Vincent is left at a loss for words and thinks that the girl is alive, has run away from the spot, and would come back someday to complain against him. He is so loaded with guilt that he goes out on a pilgrimage to Velankanni to wash off his sins. He suddenly receives a call from the police station, and a lady constable tells him that a rape report has been lodged against him and that he will have to surrender.
Later, Mahishmati takes over the call and tells him that he had been wrong that night in forcing himself upon her. She further tells him that he had not been able to rape her as he was in a trance, but she wanted to take revenge on him for having such a thought in his mind. She told him that she had staged her own murder to punish him by making him feel guilty all this while. Later, we get to see that Mahishmati is a convict who has been out on parole after murdering her manager in an office brawl. It is possible that Mahishmati was just a figment of Vincent’s consciousness. Mahishmati had been let loose by Vincent’s mind after he had been enraged by the broken marriage. When Vincent gets a hold of his temper, Mahishmati is again seen getting inside the prison cell.
What Does The Tiger Symbolize?
We see Vincent frequenting the doctor to let him know of his issues. It is possible that he inherited his mother’s mental illness. We see him staring at an idol in the middle of the village and telling others that it was his mother’s idol and that she was a goddess. We see a look of fear in his eyes when he looks at the idol, which also highlights the possibility of him being mortified by his mother at an early age. The tiger that had been unleashed could have been a manifestation of Vincent’s suppressed emotions and rage. The loneliness from a very young age could have been a factor that took a toll on Vincent’s mental health. The tiger can also be considered to be the unleashed inner lust that an unmarried 40-year-old man had within himself. The tiger was not to be seen again after Vincent vented his inner frustration by trying to rape a girl.
There is no scope for the audiences to watch the film on a superficial level and understand any bit of it. The symbolism is deeply embedded in the film, which has to be analyzed properly for a better understanding of the story. Almost half of the occurrences in the film are part of Vincent’s imagination. His loneliness made him build imaginary characters and think of situations that do not exist in reality.
During Pulimada‘s ending, we see Vincent happily married to another police constable, and it can be expected that the sudden bliss in his life will keep him from all his vivid imaginations in the near future. However, it is also possible that his marriage to the woman was also a part of his imagination. The crafty knitting of the plot has left audiences in awe, making everything feel like a figment of Vincent’s imagination!