Indian’s freedom struggle was a relentless fight started since hundreds of years ago by heroic patriots. It took place in different parts of our mother-land whether it was a fight against Muslim invaders from north western borders or against the Mughals who conquered and dominated many of our places in North India or the western colonalists who tried to capture India by various ways and means. The valiant fights by Rana Pratap and Chhatrapati Shivaji shines in the pages of history. And there were hundreds of kings and rulers who fought giving away their palatial life and even their very existence for the freedom of their beloved motherland.
Amongst them stands Veera Pazhassi Raja, the King of Pazhassi, comprising Thalassey (in Kannur) , Wayanad and some area of Kozhikode District. In 2007 there was a serious attempt to depict the valiant fights of Pazhassi Raja against English East India Company in Celluloid and the film Pazhasi Raja was the result of that attempt.
The importance of this movie stands isolated because of its star value and artistic presence. All the most prominent actors, singers , directors, technicians of Malayalam film world assembled here to make this historic cinema a grand success.
Story of the film starts from 1796 four year after the occupation of Malabar by English East India Company and towards the end of the first Pazhassi revolt in 1793-1797.
In the initial phases of the battle, the Company lost lots of men and money. Since the company had modern weaponry and Pazhassi Raja’s forces fought with primitive armaments and the battle was really unequal. Despite of this odds the fighting morale of the tribals were more fierce because of their unending devotion to their motherland and unmitigated faith in their thampuran (King). Loss suffered by the Company compelled them to make a peace treaty with Pazhassi Raja. Raja agreed this, hoping that this move will bring peace to the area and to his people. However the terms and conditions of the treaty were never kept by the Company. This prompted Raja to start the war again.
But the Company used heavily armed forces against him and succeeded in alluring many tribal leaders.
Pazhassi Raja even though knowing that he was going to face the ultimate fate, went for a last fight agaist the Company. After a glorious fight Pazhassi was killed by the Company forces.
The film ends with the Assistant Collector Thomas Baber placing the body of Raja in litter and uttered this words, “He was our enemy. But he was a great warrior, a great man, and we honour him.” The Company officers responded by saluting the body of Raja and acted as pall bearers.
This film was featured in International Festivals of Kerala and Mumbai besides many festivals across the world including the prestigious Fukuoka International Film Festival. The film won National film award for the background score, best audio graphy and special Jury award ( for Padma Priya ). It received numerous other awards including of Kerala State Film Awards.
Pazhassi Raja was produced at a cost of Rs 27 crore and took two and half years to complete the work. Originally produced in Malayalam the film was dubbed into Hindi and Tamil. The film was released on October 16, 2009, on Deepavali day.