All Cherammel Eenasu Francis a.k.a Pranchiyettan a.k.a Aripranchi wants in his life is a good name and a certain sense of reputation in the society, and to this end, he is willing to drain his coffers to any extent. He strongly believes (almost in a sense of rural innocence), that money can buy anything, from commodities to even national recognition. In his relentless effort to gain this recognition he is staunchly supported by a bunch of friends, and the money he has minted from his supremely successful business ventures.
Ranjith has scripted a beautiful and touching story about a millionaire, who laments that despite being so rich, he doesn't have a significant and dignifying social presence, and hates being tagged "aripranchi" -- a name that stuck because of his ancestral rice business. Pranchiyettan is lucky, and has struck gold wherever he has ventured, and has been branching out his business. He unveils his life story before his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, who eventually tells him, whatever has happened in his life, has been for good, and offers a glimpse of what is in store for him in the future.
The movie is an out-and-out entertainer, and a subtle but humorous critique of contemporary society and its crooked ways. The casting is perfect, though the movie is made to be a one-man show. Mamootty occupies so much of screen space that the supporting cast, including, Siddique, Innocent, Khusboo and Priyamani, seem as guest appearances. However, Mammooty has excelled in his role as a poor rich man, and his innocent expressions are reminiscent of his wonderful performance in Loudspeaker; one can't help but feel sorry for Pranchiyettan and his simple yet complicated wishes :) Even with minimal settings and songs, the movie reaches the heart, and it deserves to be mentioned as one of the best movies of the period. (The script-- almost wholly in the famous Thrissur accent-- is noted for the absence of gendered innuendos that are found in most of Ranjith's creations).
Movies that portray this kind of inanity, faith, optimism and hope are indeed rare these days, and when such a one comes along, there will be a lot of people to welcome it wholeheartedly (the theatre atmosphere was full, vibrant, with intermittent loud applause).
As the credits roll up, along with Pranchiyettan the audience also realize that hope and faith ( in God and humans) can do wonders, and what matters is not social recognition but kindness and consideration for one's fellow beings. And, that every single person who is there in one's life, is there for a purpose; their significance -- good or bad -- may be realized only later.
A "Ranjith cinema" rarely disappoints and Pranchiyettan truly rocks !!!!