Orupennum Randaanum, written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, a feature film woven together from disconnected themes. The stories– Kallante Makan (The Thief ), Niyamavum Neethiyum (The Police), Oru Koottukaran (Two Men and a Woman), Pankiyamma (One Woman, Two Men)– are based on independent short stories written by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai.
Because of this, the film lacks thematic unity. Adoor tries to resolve this by referring to the climate of crime that was prevalent in the 1940s against the back drop of the World War II and giving the film the tile ‘A Climate of Crime’. Yet, his limitations are obvious. He has to use the written word to introduce the viewers to the ‘climate’ and indicate progress from one theme to another through separate titles. The filmography of the master film maker proves inadquate to knit the themes together.
Praveena, who plays the role of Pankiyamma in the fourth episode, has won Kerala State award for acting. However, acting by Ravi Vallathol and Manoj K. Jayan in the same episode is equally good. Nedumudi Venu also keeps his reputation as actor.
Adoor is again trapped in his pet themes of half-witted people of yester-years and confinement. As usual he pays attention to detail, in recreating the bygone era with appropriate settings, and technical perfection. (He seems to have paid attention to even the underwear of his characters. However, at least once modern wear is seen through– may be an oversight by one of his assistants). Naturally, the sound track and photography is good. The frames are compact, in frame and sequence. However, it is not clear why shots are framed in such a manner that body parts are cropped off in an unflattering way. It does not add either to composition or harmony.
At the end of the film you will fail to suppress a laugh. But one cannot be sure whether your laughter would be at the predicament of the two men or the director.