Ayalum Njanum Thammil (Between Him and Me) is a 2012 Malayalam film starring Prithviraj as a young doctor and the relationship he has with his mentor and teacher. It has a tragic romance in it, but the main focus of the film is Prithviraj as Ravi and his first job out of medical school in a rural hospital.
I’m on a bit of a Prithviraj kick at the moment. I am absolutely amazed that this actor is only 33. He’s made over 80 films! He’s just so great in any film that he is in. He has a worthy actor to play against in Ayalam Njanum Thammil as director and award winning actor Pratep Pothen plays his mentor, Dr. Samuel. I really loved Pratep Pothen in this role.
Lal Rose, who also directed Prithviraj in the classic Classmates, uses a similar flashback structure in Ayalam Njanum Thammil that he did in Classmates. We start in the present day, and Prithviraj is a dedicated doctor at a large city hospital. He’s brought in to consult on a young girl that needs heart surgery, but he can’t convince the parents to approve the surgery. He does the surgery anyway, and the girl dies. A mob forms outside the hospital, and Prithviraj gets a call, and leaves out the back way, but gets in a car accident and vanishes. His friends and family try to reconstruct where he could have gone, and through the flashbacks we learn about how he became the dedicated to maybe an extreme surgeon he is in the present day.
His best friend relates how they nearly flunked out of med school together, and even tried to cheat on tests. They all thought it was a big lark. Prithviraj’s family is Christian, and he had a long term relationship with his Muslim classmate Sainu (Samvrutha Sunil).
Prithviraj is given an ultimatum by the school dean. Pay the rest of his tuition bill, or serve as a rural doctor for two years. He’s confident his father will pay, but his father thinks doing some growing up away from home will be good for him.
Dr. Samuel (Pratep Pothen) takes Prithviraj (Dr. Ravi) under his wing, and shows Prithviraj just how much he has left to learn in his medical education. One of my favorite moments comes when Dr. Samuel accidentally calls Dr. Ravi Rahul which is his estranged son’s name, showing that he’s come to think of Prithviraj as a son. There’s another young woman doctor at the rural hospital, Dr. Supriya (Remya Nambeesan) who becomes his fast friend.
Prithviraj has a run in with a local cop with a car accident that comes back to haunt him later. His love Sainu is about to be married off by her parents, and Prithviraj has arranged through his friend to meet her back at the medical school to get a registry marriage. But he’s delayed by helping Dr. Supriya with a touch and go patient. When he finally starts driving at 3 am, there’s a roadblock and the cop won’t let him through. How he retaliates against the cop later when the cop has an ill family member is a very tense scene in the movie, and a key moment in his relationship with his mentor, Dr. Samuel.
I don’t think this movie will go down as one of my favorite Prithviraj performances, but it was very good. He believably goes from mature competent dedicated super surgeon in present day, to madcap goof off student in the flashbacks. Prithviraj’s acting carries us through the journey of Dr. Ravi growing as a person and a caring physician.
The ending is not what I would call happy, but more wistful. It’s not the typical tidy ending one usually expects.
Three and a half stars out of five.
Read Margaret’s review of Ayalam Njanum Thammil on Don’t Call It Bollywood where she compares it to Dr. Kildare.
Should watch stop violence. He was just 19 when he played a really negative character.
For me his best performance is in Celluloid
Mohzin thanks for telling me about Stop Violence as I didn’t know that title. I have Indian Rupee and Celluloid on DVD next to watch.
Mozhin, holy crap. Just watched a few scenes of Stop Violence on Youtube witthout subs. THIS is the same quiet reserved actor?! Amazing!! Mind blown.
Ya. Also he has done fun type comedic characters in
Swapnakoodu ( A Dil chahta hai type movie where Prithviraj plays a characters who flirts a lot)
Amar akbar antony ( He makes fun of his real life persona in some of the scene)
Chocolate ( Only Male students who studies in an all female college – Donotcallbollywood has done a review of it)
He played anti hero roles in stop violence and Vargam, also couple of tamil and telugu movies.
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Thanks for the list! This is great getting some lighter fare of his to seek out.
Mohzin, Can you help me out? I could not find Stop Violence with subs online (and the DVD on MyIndiaShopping wasn’t subbed either so not worth ordering it then). I watched it anyway, and with the Wiki summary, I mostly got the gist of what was happening. Incredible to see Prithviraj in a negative role like this! I’m so glad you told me about it. 19 and commanding the screen already!
I know Prithviraj tells the girl Angel that he is the one who raped her in his last scene with her. Can you tell me what he says? Does he ask for her forgiveness? I’ve marked the spot in the Youtube:
I was confused why she was back at the nunnery if she is pregnant with his child? That part I couldn’t make out. I saw her being defrocked, and then she was back for that end scene, and then in the epilogue she’s holding the toddler.
He doesnt ask for her forgiveness. he says you can curse ( or hate me). we may not see each other again. with that curse or hate iam going to enter the field ( he says it since he may not see her again as pollice officer is after him to kill, he just wants to clear his consciousness before going for the fight, also he wants her to know).
The last scene shows her leaving the nunnery with the kid. I Think they take her back. dont rember it clearly. There was a second part of this movie which was utter crap. where the kid grows up in the church orphan and the mother teaching in church school or something. Dont remember exactly.
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I’m a huge fan of this movie, so I would give it a 4.5. Great review though. I would recommend Ivide. It’s a crime thriller focusing on an Indian-American police officer in the Atlanta Police Department who is culturally and ethnically conflicted, and his hunt for a serial killer targeting NRIs. It was a really brave movie as 99% of it was in English.(Prithviraj doesn’t have any Malayalam lines in the entire movie)
BTW, here’s the trailer. Sad this one wasn’t received very well in India.
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!
Oooh!: I’m definitely adding Ivide to my watchlist. And it has Nivin Pauly, too!
Ivide was above avg for me. Did not like the climax.
Thanks for the translation on Stop Violence Mohzin!