Holding a mirror to social malaise

PavitraTelugu (A)Director: Janardhan Maharshi Cast: Shriya Saran, Roja Selvamani, Tanikella Baharani, Saikumar, Ravi Babu, Kaushik Babu, AVS, Sivaji, Brahmanand

 Pavitra is a potent and indictive document turning the spotlight on today’s societal malaise. Lifting the veil on many bitter truths, the film, comes across as a powerful homily holding a mirror to what lies beneath the veneer of social gloss and glitter. 

Through its protagonist, a prostitute who is the very antithesis of this, Pavitra, speaks of how self-serving politicians, money-spinning hospitals, charlatans donning swamiji’s garb, play upon the emotions and implicit trust of gullible people to serve their own selfish needs. Touching upon every facets of social ills, the film makes a clarion call for change through its strong-willing and selfless protagonist Pavitra, despite being a prostitute driven to the profession more by destiny than design. 

An orphan, who enters the trade to fend for her ailing mother’s medical needs, Pavitra tries to save other girls from similar fate by floating a charitable trust and aiding the needy. In the process she sees to it that photographer Siva who takes prurient pictures of unsuspecting girls to blackmail them into prostitution is sent behind bars and thereon politicians in sheep’s habit who drool over her, forms the pivot of Pavitra. That MLA Shidhar’s son Abhi is besotted with her when sent to deflower her, despite his father’s stiff opposition, who then plots to kill the couple to make it an emotive platform to win at the political hustings are the film’s other sub tracks. 

Despite faulty screenplay, needless drivel, cliched cacophony and lacklustre technicalities, director Janardhan Maharshi ensures Pavitra treads a different trail than a routine risque tale of a fallen woman due to its powerful, hard-hitting dialogues. Shriya Saran as purposeful, smooth talking, sensuous Pavitra scorches the screen playing the title role at her raunchy best ensuring the film achieves its intended purpose. The audiences have a whale of a time drooling over her gorgeous persona and lusty performance. Others match up to expectations and ensure Pavitra turns out into determined tale of a prostitute who puts people in their place even as she plays putty and playful puppet in their hands to meet her honourable ends. Janardhan Maharshi has made determined efforts to make a meaningful, socially purposeful film despite a wary eye on the boxoffice. 

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