Padayottam

Padayottam

Character : Kammaran
Release year : 1982
Banner : Navodaya
Director : Jijo
Producer : Appachan
Cast : Madhu, Premnazeer, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Sathar, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Sankar, Master Suresh, Poornimajayaram, Lekshmi
Story : Folk
Art director : Konnanattu S
Singers : Yesudas, Vanijayaram
Editor : Sekhar T R
Dialogues : Govindan Kutty N
Camera man : Williams J
Lyrics : Kavalam Narayana Panicker
Music director : Gunasing
Screenplay : Govindan Kutty N

The movie is a localized adaption of The Count of Monte Cristo, told in Kerala’s medieval milieu. The Raja of Kolathiri (Thikkurisi Sukumaran Nair) is a prosperous ruler of Northern Kerala. Prince Udayan (Prem Nazir), Raja’s nephew, is handsome, brave and intelligent than Devan (Madhu)Raja’s elder nephew. Both love each other as close brothers. Udayan’s powerful tactics and superior military skills saved the kingdom from attacks by the Kompan Dacoits. Raja named Udayan as his successor to the throne. Despite Prince Devan’s seniority, he welcomed the decision.

Devan secretly admired Raja’s daughter Parvathi (Lakshmi) and hoped to marry her. Princess Parvathi was in love with Prince Udayan and Raja agreed to allow Parvathi to marry Udayan. Devan felt betrayed. Neverthless, he did not oppose the decision.

On the other hand, 2 nobles, Kammaran (Mammootty) and Perumana Kurup (Govindankutti) were upset by Udayan’s ascension because they feared he would expose the nobles corrupt and scandalous actions.

Using Devan’s secret love for Parvati, Kammaran turned Devan against Prince Udayan and Devan joined the conspiracy to keep Udayan out of the country so he could not ascend to the throne. Kammaran and Kompan Dacoits staged a royal pardon and a peace treaty, and insisted that Prince Udayan, as the crown prince, must come to sign the treaty. Believing this move would ensure permanent peace in his Kingdom, Prince Udayan agreed to come in person to sign, even it was on his wedding eve. Prince Udayan at Kompan’s camp was betrayed by his own soldiers who were arranged by Kammaran and he was taken into Kompan’s captivity. However news flashed in the country as Prince Udayan betrayed Kolathiri Raja and killed some of the Raja’s men. This made the Raja furious, who declared Udayan as a traitor and cancelled the marriage.

Kompan instructs his men to kill Udayan. However they decided to sell him as a slave to a cruel captain of a slave ship. Thus he became a slave, toiling hard amidst cruelties inflicted upon him. While as a slave, he meets another slave, Kunjali (Nellikode Bhaskaran), from whom he learnt the death of Kolathiri Raja and his queen at Ali Raja’s boat camp by forces arranged by Kammaran and Kompan. Kunjali was the trusted slave of Ali Raja, who tried to save the Kolathiri Raja and his queen, but he was killed by Perumana Kurup by stabbing at his back. He saved Ali Raja’s daughter, Lalia and vast treasures that was secretly stored at the basement, with the help of his men, however could not escape himself from the Kompan’s men, who sold him as slave to Kapithan’s(the captain) ship. From Kunjali, Udayan came to know the place where the treasures of Ali Raja and his daughter were taken to a safe area.

In the meantime, Prince Devan married Princess Paravathi and became the new Kolathiri Raja. However the Royal crown and staff were missing. Though Devan was a good raja, the actual powers of administration were in the hands of Kammaran and Perumana Kurup, who ran the state with heavy corruption and high-handedness which Devan was unaware of.

After some years, Udayan and his fellow slave prisoners staged a coup in the ship, killing the captain and releasing themselves. Udayan ran away, became a rich Arab merchant after finding the lost treasures of Ali Raja and his daughter Lalia (Poornima Jayaram). Both decided to make a return to Kolathiri Kingdom in disguise to make their revenge. They return to the Kolathiri kingdom in a floating palace as an Arab Prince and Princess. Years made people to forget Udayan and no one was able to recognize him in his new attire and lifestyle, except for Queen Parvathi, who understood him in just a glimpse.

King Devan and Queen Parvathi has one son, Prince Chandra (Shankar) who fell in love with Laila. Meanwhile Udayan was hatching a plot to trap Perumana Kurup, after coming to know that the crown and staff of Kolathiri Raja was in his custody (it happened when he assassinated old Kolathiri Raja, and stole the royal symbols but couldn’t sell them off after new Raja Devan declared that they were missing). Udayan approached Perumana Kurup and let him know that he is interested in purchasing rare Jewels and crowns, at an astronomical price. Perumana Kurup brought the crown and staff out of hiding to sell it. However he was caught red-handed by the public and brought before trial. At the trial, he declared that the old raja gifted the crown and staff to him, for attempting to rescue the king from attack and he challenged the prosecutors that they have no evidence against him for betray and robbery. It was at this moment Lalia enters into court room, to declare her true identity as Princess Laila – the heir apparent of Ali Raja, who was the sole eye-witness to the incident. This made Perumana Kurup to commit suicide, when he tries to run away.

Udayan’s second target was Kammaran. Kammaran is the new finance minister of the state. The kingdom was facing extreme financial crisis due to mismanagement and corruption. Kammaran advises the king to seek financial assistance from the visiting Arab prince. Devan commissions Kammaran to hold talks with Arab Prince. Kammaran pays visit at the Udayan’s palace, to seek finance, without understanding his true identity. Udayan refused to finance, rather says that he would finance if Kammaran becomes king. This offer made Kammaran greedy and he hatches a plan to trap Devan, similar to the way who he trapped Udayan earlier. In meantime Udayan double-crosses Kammaran, by sending a message to the Devan directly that he is ready to finance. This made Devan suspicious of Kammaran and secretly through his spies he understands the plot his close friend Kammaran made to trap him.

Kammaran repeats the old strategy with assistance of the Kompan dacoits who asked the king to come directly with a tribute in order to prevent an attack. Devan along with a few soldiers handpicked by Kammaran, went to Kompan’s camp with a treasure chest. However much to their surprise, instead of tribute, soldiers were hiding inside the chest, who attacked Kompan and killed Kammaran’s soldiers. In meantime a large army of Devan stormed into the place, routing Kammaran’s plans. Devan’s army tried to capture Kammaran, but he was rescued by Udayan’s soldiers. It was in Udayan’s camp, Kammaran understood the true identity of Udayan and he was fired by Udayan’s soldiers.

Udayan’s final revenge is now against Devan and he was planning on that. In meantime Prince Chandran through his close friend Kannan (Mohanlal) who was Kammaran’s son, came to know the double cross made by Udayan. He understood, it was Udayan who spoiled the relationships between Kammaran and Devan and challenged Udayan for a public duel, which Udayan accepts.

That night a mysterious lady figure enters into Udayan’s palace, which was Queen Parvathi, pleading for her son’s life to Udayan. Udayan refuses, as he said that it was Prince Chandran to declared duel against him and he can’t quit it. Queen Parvathi said that she understood it was Udayan in disguise and pleaded him considering her love earlier. Udayan promises that he won’t kill Chandran.

Prince Chandran saw his mother coming out of Udayan’s Palace, which made him furious. He questioned his mother. It was then revealed by Paravathi to Chandran, that he is actually Udayan’s son born to Parvathi. This made Chandran surrender to Udayan, while at the duel. Hearing his son’s surrender without a fight made King Devan furious, who went to Udayan’s palace to challenge him. It was there, for first time after his betrayal, Devan saw Udayan, which made him to fall down. When Udayan was about to kill Devan, Parvathi rushes and stops him, saying that Devan has paid for his sins, by raising up Chandra despite of knowing that he was the son of Udayan. This made Udayan to forget his revenge and he forgives Devan. He decides to leave. Hearing that the king has fallen, the Kompan dacoits raided the palace. As the king had fallen and attack was unexpected, the Kolathiri forces were overrun by the Kompan Army. However timely intervention of Udayan’s army, killed Kompan and all his men. He took the crown and gave it to Devan and blessed all of them. When Devan asked Udayan to stay back, he said he has to go back, however gifted his stepdaughter Lalia to Chandran who was in love with her.

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