Urumi: The Warriors Who Wanted to Kill Vasco Da Gama (2011)

 

 

 

Director:     .

Starring:     Prithviraj Sukumaran (Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar/KD), Prabhu Deva (Vavvali/Tarzan), Genelia D'Souza (Arakkal Aysha/Bhumi), Nithya Menon (Chirakkal Bala), Jagathi Sreekumar (Chenichery kurup), Vidya Balan (Bhoomi/oracle), Tabu (Special Appearance), Ankur Khanna (Bhanu Vikraman), Alexx O'Nell (Estavio da Gama/company agent).

fictional story about a young Indian who tried to kill Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, around 1497-1524

 

 

Spoiler Warning:

"Our epics say Parasurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, flung an axe and created Kerala.  [A a state in the south-west region of India on the Malabar coast.]  But history says Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese sailor discovered Kerala, and through him the world came to know about India.  This incident happened in the year 1498 AD.  To enter India going around the African continent, young achiever Vasco with his brother Paulo da Gama, Nicholas Bonsalo, started his journey in four ships with the blessings of King Manuel.  Since there was no hope of making it to India, the King gave permission to take convicts as sailors in the ships.  Losing their way on the high seas, after a long and tedious journey, getting vexed, they managed to cross Africa, stepped into the Gujarati region.  After threatening the local King there, to show them the way, they took a Gujarati sailor to pilot them.  He guided Gama's men to reach Calicut.  Kerala, who welcomed any guest coming there, welcomed these men too.  Handsome, smart and intelligent men, beautiful women.  Kerala was a very prosperous country, Gama wrote in his logbook.  The Samoodri [the king], a powerful and God-fearing ruler, refused to accept Gama's expensive gifts.  The value of crude oil in the Gulf, pepper had the same value in Kerala then.  Gama's eyes were riveted on the pepper."

Around Gama's neck, the Samoodri sees the pendant with a painting of the Virgin Mary.  He asks Gama for the pendant. (The Samoodiri thought that the pendant was of a Hindu goddess)

"Gama offered to buy the pepper for three times its price, but Samoodri showed no interest to trade pepper which was as valuable as gold." 

The Samoodri says for his people to honor their guests with hospitality and then send them off.   

"Leaving behind a few men who came with him, Gama returned to his country unsatisfied.  Lisbon, in his other land, held grand celebrations in his honor. History praised Gama as the great man, who discovered a sea route to wealth.  Epics were written praising him as a great sailor.  But the future of India was changed for a handful of pepper."

"Lets forget about history for awhile.  This movie begins with two young men who have no interest in their own history:  Krishnadas, alias KD, who lives away from his home state, and Tanseer, alias Tarzan."

The two men are in a band playing at a dance hall.  When the band finishes playing, the guys take a break.  A pretty woman comes up to them and introduces herself as Daisy DaCunha, head of the real estate division of Nirvana Natural Outsourcing Company.  She says their group is interested in their ancestral property in Kerala.  KD says the he doesn't own any property there.  The land was his mother's ancestral home, but that was sold a long time ago and he doesn't know who bought it.  The guys don't know it, but their grandfather, His Highness Ravi Varma Raja, leased it out.  The lease has now expired.  Furthermore, KD is the sole owner of the property.  The woman presents them with a check, a small advance, and, she says, they are offering three times the market value. 

KD, Tarzan and company man Kaimal, go visit the property.  KD comments:  "I feel no nostalgia, no sense of homecoming."  Kaimal tells the two young fellows, that the NGO woman who runs the school on the property is very tough.  So, KD must be firm with her and say that he has definitely decided to sell the land.  They approach a young woman, who appears to be somewhat strange with jerky movements that leave the men bewildered.  [Ayeshaís reincarnation, who is perceived as mentally unstable. She asks the guys ďDid you bring it? "  We later come to know that she means the urumi (the sword).]

They breathe a sigh of relieve when they see the real teacher. The teacher turns out to be a "knockout" of a beauty.  KD tries to begin soft and smooth, but the teacher, Bhumi, gets right to the point.  If KD sells the ancestral property, he is missing the fact that there is a social issue involved here. 

Kaimal sticks his head out around the corner and Bhumi huffs at him.  He quickly withdraws his head.  She tells the two guys that behind Kaimal is the International Mining Corporation.  KD says he has already met with the company representatives.  Bhumi replies, then KD already knows the environmental hazards of mining in the region, right?  And don't the the two guys have any commitment to social issues?  Both fellows say no. 

Now Bhumi informs the guys that the land sale needs two signatures?  Who is the second party?  None other than that strange woman they briefly met first.  The girl's named is Urmila.  The Queen of the area [KD's mother] took care of Urmila after the girl's mother died.  When the Queen passed, she had already passed the school and Urmilla to Bhumi's mother.  "The sale will destroy the lives of hundreds of Adivasi tribal families."  And it's the Adivasi people that KD will have to tell that they are selling their land. Furthermore, when KD signs the document, she wants him to use the pen that his mother gave to her mother. 

The guys get ready to go visit the village.  [Actually they have no intension of visiting the village.]  They are forcefully kidnapped by the Naxal extremists, who are hostile as their lives will be destroyed once this deal is signed.  The guys are blindfolded and taken to meet the people.  Everyone seems hostile to the two guys.  KD is taken to a narrow pathway through an area of huge rocks.  He is to walk down the path to meet a man named Thandachan. 

Thandachan looks like a crazy medicine man.  [He's the village elder or the oracle.]  KD is a bit nervous around this jumpy fellow.  Thandachan jumps up on a rock.  He asks KD if he knows who is Rama Varam Raja?  KD says that's his father, who's a good cartoonist.  Thandachan  says it's not his father, but KD's grandfather.  And does KD know about his ancestral origins?  No.  Thandachan now will tell him. 

Flashback.  The men who Vasco Da Gama left behind in the village looted the valuables from the people of the village.  The people referred to the white men as pirates.  The local boys run to the man who will stand against the Portuguese.  [He's the warrior general of Chirakkal Kingdom or the ďkothuvalĒ.  He's also Keluís father.]  They tell him that the Portuguese are creating havoc in Abdul's marriage party.

A pirate is getting way too overly-friendly with the bride.  Her father tries to stop him, but the white man just pushes the father out of his way.  The Indian hero arrives and slams the man's face into a sturdy column, causing the forehead to bleed.  He takes the pirate to the ground, knifes him and then slits his throat. 

Vasco Da Gama returns to loot the prosperous country. 

1502 AD.  Gama arrives prepared for war.  He blocked the waters with fifteen warships.  Gama seizes a ship returning from Mecca.  He grabbed 400 women and children from the ship.  This incident enraged the King of the region.  The King of the region is our hero who saved the wedding party guests.  Now, to the ship, the King send representatives, including his own son, Chirakkal Kothuval's son, Kelu, with a Brahmin.  The King tells his son that he will come after the representatives talk to Gama. 

Gama detested the two emissaries and had them tortured.  He then opens fire on the ship from Mecca with its cargo of mostly women and children.  The king [kotthuvaal] watches from the shore and is naturally outraged.  He says the main ship must sink before the day is over.  When others balk about going with the King, he decides to go alone.  One of the ministers (Chendichery Kurup) joined Gama and backstabbed the King. 

Vasco cut-out the tongue and then cut off the ears of the Brahmin.  He then has his own dog's ear cut off and has them sewn onto the poor Brahmin's head in place of the human ears that were hacked off.  "The world now praises this barbarian Vasco as a great man!"

The King gets on the ship and knocks Vasco around.  He drives a knife through Vasco's hand and into the wooden chest set.  The man screams in great pain.  The King is surrounded now by men with guns.  He tells Kelu to jump over the side of the ship and Kelu does so.  Vasco orders his men to fire on the King.  The King is killed, but Kelu makes it back to shore, but there he sees all the people of his village killed.  [A dying woman gives Kelu the gold jewelry that the passengers had offered Gamaís soldiers in return for their freedom.  Kelu uses it to protect the kingdom and avenge his  fellow countrymenís death]. 

A Tamil Muslim named Vavvali finds Kelu alone on the shore and takes Kelu under his wing.  The gold is formed into a golden sword (the urumi) that is very flexible.  The Portuguese empire spreads from Cochin north to Goa a distance of almost 500 miles.  [Cochin, now known as Kochi, is a major port city on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea and is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala.  Goa is located in West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast.]

All the boy Kelu wanted was revenge on Vasco. 

Flash forward to 1520's.  As a young man, Kelu and Vavvali go out to catch some animal for tonight's dinner.  Kelu catches a rabbit but let's it go because it is pregnant.   The two guys see a pretty Chirakkal lady being carried by platform bearers.  They watch from a tree while the young Princess Bala prays to Lord Sive to let her country never want for grain.  All of a sudden the princess and the group are surrounded by a group of hostiles.  A large man points at the young lady and says:  "The girl standing at the shrine is Princess Bala of Chirakkal, I want her alive . . ."  The Princess is defiant and sends her guard out to teach the man a lesson.  The problem, however, is that the large man has a pistol.  He fires it and kills the oncoming guard.

Everyone is amazed to see the guard drop dead.  Kelu says it's some kind of new weapon.  Another guard is send out with the same result.  Now the big guy approaches the Princess.  Kelu has seen enough.  He and his friend jump from the tree and with his golden sword Kelu knocks the pistol right out of the man's hand.  He then proceeds to knock down the man's group of warriors. He next hits the stout man in the throat and he goes down.  Now the two friends finish up with the other warriors.  When everyone is knocked out or disabled, Kelu grabs the stout man and tells him to go tell the foreigners who created the new weapon that their deaths are coming soon.  [The hostiles are from Arakkal Kingdom.  Chirakkal and Arakkal have been at war for years.  A Chirakkal lady who converted to Islam started the Arakkal clan and thus began the feud.]

Now Kelu leaves with Vavvali in tow.  The Princess thinks that's a bit rude on the part of Kelu.

Kelu says they now have to go to Puthur.  Vavvali sings a song in honor of Kelu. 

A feast is being prepared.  Prince Bhanu Vikrama, [the nephew of the king] of Chirakkal arrives.  Everybody except Kelu bows to the Prince.  Kelu pulls his friend up saying that his father always told him:  "Never bow down to a tyrant."  The Prince orders his men to beat Kelu, but Kelu head-butts the Prince to the ground. 

The King is worried because of a prediction that there would be trouble if his son succeeded him, and not his daughter.  The King appoints Kurup as Minister, who knows how to speak twelve languages.  But Kurup is loyal to the Portuguese.  He constantly urges a tight alliance with the Portuguese to the King.  When the King keeps resisting, Kurup takes a betel leaf, smears it with opium and feeds it to the King.  Just then, Kelu and Vavvali are brought before the King as the men who tried to kill the Chirakkal Princess in the temple.  The Prince says he captured them. 

Kurup comes to the rescue of the Portuguese.  He says:  "I can't believe the Portuguese sent men to kill our princess, King."   He adds that Kelu looks like the rebel leader Balihasan.  But the King is determined to execute the two men.  The elephants will carry out the execution.  Just in time the Princess arrives and explains that Kelu and Vavvali saved her life.  The King scolds the Prince for arresting two men who are actually heroes.

Kurup says tomorrow they will hang Balihasan.  The Viceroy will come to see it.  The Viceoy is Vasco da Gama.  The King says the Portuguese are trying to get rid of him, but he wants to take Gama alive and thinks Kelu is the right man to do it.  He wants Kelu to capture Gama, who is coming to Arackal Fort.  [The Arakkal Fort belonged to the Royal Muslim family of Kerala that controlled some parts of the coastal regions including Lakshadweep. It belonged to the Beebi (queen) of Arakkal. Lying close to it is the Kannur Fort that is also known as Angelo's Fort. This fort was built by a Portuguese man called Don Fransisco De Almeida, in the year 1505.]  Kelu says he will bring Vasco to the King.  The King says he will send some of his best warriors to help Kelu.

It looks like the Prince and Kurup are cooperating with each other and the Portuguese.  Kurup grabs one of the best warriors, Sahadeva, and tells him that a back-up force will follow him.  "No harm must come to the Viceroy."  Sahadeve is also told to make sure that Kelu and Vavvali don't come back to Chirakkal. 

Vavvali really likes the Princess and the Princess returns his affection.  She says she will see him when he gets back from Arackal. 

The team  goes down the coast via the water.  They get into the fort dressed as mourners in a funeral procession.  The two friends see the pretty woman who looks very much like Bhumi.  Her name is Arackal Ayesha.  When ten Portuguese men tried to rape her, she killed them all but left one alive to tell the tale.  She goes to her friend Noorunnisa to ask her help in setting Balihasan free.  Ayesha's little sister, who Ayesha cares very much about, comes to get Ayesha and takes her to Beevi.  Beevi is the woman who killed her father.  Beevi tells the younger woman that the Portuguese promised them wealth and gold in return for Balihasan.  Ayesha replies that the Portuguese keep the people in fear and she will not tolerate it! 

[About Arakkal Ayesha.  She's the warrior princess of Arakkal and a living legend among the freedom fighters.  She like Baliahasan, did not bow down to the Portugese influence unlike her family. To break her spirit, 10 Portugese men dragged her out to Velliankal and tried to rape her.  She killed all 9 and left one behind to tell the tale.  It's clear Kelu already admires Ayesha and that only increases once they meet.  Noorunisa is her  relative.  Ayesha scolds her for playing music and being jolly while their family member Baliahasan is being hanged for trying to protect them.  Beevi is Ayeshaís stepmother.  She's not cruel, but merely sensible.  She had tried to negotiate with the Portuguese and promised them gold and money in return for Baliahasan' but still was unable to stop the execution.  She warns Ayesha not to do anything rash and invite further ire from the Portuguese.]

To carry out the executions comes the son of Vasco da Gama, Estavio da Gama.  Estavio now comes forward.  And here comes a tied-up Balihasan.  He falls down and Ayesha and Kelu help pick him back up.  Estavio receives the condemned man and pulls off his right ear.  They tell Balihasan to ask his pardon, but he only asks the Indians for pardon for not killing all the Portuguese.  Estavio now gives the order to hang Balihasan.  They put the noose around the man's neck.  A huge warrior pushes the men in front of him to the ground and Kelu uses the bodies as a jumping off platform to get high up enough in the air to cut the hanging rope with his golden sword.  About the same time, Ayesha fires an arrow that lands in the neck of the guard standing next to Estavio. 

Then Ayesha and Kelu kill one Portuguese guard after another.  She leaves.  Estavio comes in with a small group of guards.  Kelu and Vavvali wait for him to come right up to them.  Kelu then with a giant shove pushes Estavio across the room on his back.  The two friends go after the guards and kill them.  Estavio gets up and starts to fight Kelu.  Kelu readily beats up the foreigner.  He wants to kill the man, but Vavvali reminds him that he promised the King to bring the captive to him alive.  Kelu gets off Estavio and then slashes the oncoming Sahadeve across the chest with his knife.  Next Kelu slashes Sahadeve's throat. 

Kelu tells his friend that all the men sent by Kurup are traitors.  So they grab Estavio and take him out with them to see the King.  The warriors that came with them start killing the guards.  One of the men cuts the throat of Beebi.  Crossing over a shallow stream Kelu tries to cut Estavio's throat.  Vavvali intervenes to stop Kelu.  [Vavalli always acts as Keluís protector, and has done so from childhood.  He is the voice of reason that prevents Kelu from going mad for revenge.]

They come to an abandoned temple, but someone has lit the sacred lights.  Out comes a woman who says she has come to offer prayers and refers to Kelu as the King.  She urges him to go to Chirakkal where Kelu will be King and Vavvali will be made a Commander of the Army.  She adds:  "Don't let the Portuguese take over."  And now a number of women start dancing and singing for the two friends.  [The woman is actually an oracle of the goddess who gives out prophecies in song form, hence the song and dance.  Now she looks like Bhumi since Bhoomi is this ladyís reincarnation.  She is the spirit of nature and warns Kelu and Vavalli to not let anyone destroy the sanctity of the forest.]

The three men arrive at a village and the women there start slapping at the white man Estavio.  Then the two men take Estavio to see the King.  The King is thrilled even if it is just the son of Gama.  He makes Kelu the Commander of the Army.  Kelu cuts off Estavio's right finger holding the Gama insignia.  They will send this as a message to Viceroy Gama in Cochin.  The King wants to cut Estavio into pieces.  But Kurup keeps begging the King to spare the son.  He says they can use Estavio to make guns for them. 

Kelu tells Vavvali that he is now sure that the really evil one is Kurup.  He realizes that Kurup is the one who sent his henchmen to bring back Arackal women to the court.  They are meant to be gifts to the Prince.  Among the women is Ayesha.  She makes the mistake of thinking Kelu is involved in all of this.  The King immediately picks out Ayesha as the prettiest woman.  He asks her name, she tells him, and it's now that he realizes that she is known as the Great Beauty of Arackal.  He tells Ayesha to sit on his right knee.  To get out of a tight spot, Ayesha starts acting like she is honored by the King and will cooperate with him.  She will become a Queen here.  Then she starts flirting with the Prince.  The Prince takes her to his bedroom.  [Ayesha flirts with the prince to distract him from her little sister.  The prince has some pedophilic qualities and is eying the younger sister in a lecherous way.]

With the successful grabbing of Balihasan and the kidnapping of Estavio, Vasco knew he was facing some problems in his realm.  But he was confident that Estavio would slip away from his imprisonment. 

Kelu is upset about Ayesha giving herself to the Prince.  The Prince is a flop in bed, so the King says if Ayesha gets sexually hungry she can come to his bed.  The king goes out and the Prince comes in again.  Ayesha tries to garrote the Prince.  He yells for help and two big men pull the Prince away from her.  Now they are going to go after Ayesha.  Kelu arrives and says that he will handle Ayesha.  She tries to stab him with her knife, but he controls her.  He gets on top of her and can't seem to move off her.  One of the big men grabs her by her hands and pulls her out from under Kelu.  [Kelu has to do his duty as a soldier to save the princeís life.  However, he also knows that Ayesha is right.]

They are sending Ayesha away [to  the brothels of the poor]. She is driven out in a cage on wheels.  The guards try to stick their hands through the bars to touch her as she struggles not to be touched.  Kelu arrives to save her.  He kills or wounds all the men and then frees Ayesha from the cage.  He tells her to go somewhere else where she can live out her life in peace.

Intermission.

Vasco receives a package with his son's ring finger and insignia ring.  He screams. 

Kelu tells his boyhood friends that they will use Estavio as bait to lure Vasco to them.  They will break into the prison and take out their prisoner. 

They break into the prison.  Ayesha shows up to help kill the guards.  Kelu gets mad, telling her that he told her to get away from the cursed place.  She asks him where can she go?  And she will not leave her friends behind. 

Ayesha is mad at Kelu for not keeping the Prince from the young girl she has helped care for. The Prince repeatedly raped the girl and Ayesha says the Prince ruined the girl. Kelu takes the girl up in his arms and takes her and the other women out of the prison.  Now Vavvali opens Estavo's prison door.  He tells the man to follow him.  Vavvali turns left and Estavio goes right.  He runs into quite a few guards but defeats them.  He then starts after the King, but Vavvali jumps up in the air and comes down with his fist to Estavio's face and he knocks Vasco's son out cold. Estavio gets up and Vavvali just knocks him down again.  The King rewards Vavvali by making him the post of head of security for the kingdom. 

Kelu drops the women off at Vavalliís momís place, whom he considers his own mom.  Ayesha is still angry at Kelu saying he betrayed the women and her by taking them to the king, so he can't expect any gratitude now. She adds that she must behead the Prince for what he did to the young girl.  She acts like she's going to kiss him, but grabs his golden sword from him.  Kelu doesn't say anything to her.  He just leaves.

Vavvali tells Kelu he is the head of security for the entire kingdom and now has a Chirakkal sword.  Kelu  tells his friend that they must be careful of spies working for Portuguese money.  Vavvali notices that Kelu no longer has his Urumi (his golden sword).  Kelu won't say what happened to the sword, but Vavvali is suspicious that he gave his Urumi and his heart to someone.  

Vavvali may give his heart away too.  Princess Bala sings a song of flirtation to the young man. 

Kurup and the Prince come to see Estavio.  The white man says he doesn't trust them.  Kurup says he was the man who helped Vasco to come to Kerala.  And yet, now, Vasco likes Unniraman at Cochin more than him.  Kurup goes on to say that he will be the man to save Estavio, but, in turn, Estavio must give Prince Bhanu an important position.  Additionally, Vasco must come here to Kerala.  Estavio accepts the deal, but Kurup is cautious and won't free Estavio until the right time comes. 

Kelu returns to the women and is stopped by Ayesha.  He is tiring of her little games and tells her just to say what's in her heart.  He says he captured Estavio to set up a trap for Vasco.  Ayesha tells him that he should go to every village and gather people behind his cause.  She adds that she will be a part of his cause and the Arackal people will fight along with Kelu for her.  Kelu asks why does she help him?  And, finally, she says she has both love and affection for Kelu.

[But the Ayesha-Kelu relationship didnít jump out from nowhere like that  It's obvious that Kelu admires Ayesha even before they have met.  Ayesha, however, reluctantly accepts his skill. They both have the same goals, however, they come from opposing backgrounds and have difficulty trusting the other at first Ė especially Ayesha who believed Kelu was behind the coup that killed Beevi and destroyed their home.  There is physical attraction from the very first moment, which grows into love, but there's no vocal mention.  All we get from their interactions is that they are two people who are attracted to each other and are trying to figure out the other.]

Keulu goes to the village people saying they have to take a stand against the Portuguese, who are not invincible.  In fact, they only have 1,000 soldiers.  He tells the men that he needs 1,000 men to join him.  As at statement of resistance, Kelu starts pushing on the gallows post.  He is soon helped by lots of people pushing and pulling on the post.  The post goes down and the people cheer.  Many men now join Kelu and his cause.  [The villagers are scared of  the Portuguese and are untrained in combat.  Therefore, they are reluctant when Kelu tries to push down the gallows -- a symbol of their oppression --they decide to join his cause.]

Kelu goes with two men who have joined the cause to see the King.  The representatives tell the King that they will help support the King with contributions of money.  The King likes that.  Kelu now tells the King that it was he who freed the Arackal women.  They are safe at Puthur.  Kelu adds that what the King did was wrong and he should make amends. The King must also stop cow-towing to the Portuguese. And there must be more religious toleration of Christians and Muslims.

Kelu, Vavvali and Ayesha start a boot camp to train the farmers how to be good soldiers. 

Kurup feels his power and position are being weakened by the new commanders.  So he makes the Prince fearful that the commanders want to replace the Prince and take over the kingship.  He says that the Prince with Estavio can overpower Vasco and the Prince become King. 

Vasco prepares for war.  He sends a message that if the King does not release Estavio, the Portuguese will attack.  But Vasco knows that the King might kill Estavio, if war is declared.  So he sends out a commando group to rescue Estavio. 

When Kelu meets the commando group on the battlefield, the blunderbusses frighten the natives and they run for their lives.  This only leaves Kelu with Vavvali and Ayesha.  The three go to the attack and start killing the Portuguese commandos.  Then the natives see the whites are not invincible and they return to help finish off the commandos. 

A woman sings a song to people in the field.  And now, at last, Ayesha wants to sleep with Kelu.  The couple sings a duet while they dance in a dream sequence. 

Kelu sends the little fingers of the commandoes to Vasco.  Again, Vasco is shocked. 

Kurup explains to Estavio that he is sending the Prince to speak with Vasco. 

The Prince goes to see Vasco, but is taken prisoner.  Why has the Prince come here?  The Prince says for a trade permit with the Portuguese.  Vasco laughs and relaxes. 

Estavio is snuck out of the prison by the Prince.  And now the Prince shows the trade permit he has obtained from Vasco.   To the Prince's amazement, his father is actually displeased with him.  [The king had a change of mind.  He was no longer under the influence of Kurup and was ready to openly wage war on Gamma.]  The terms of the permit are ridiculous and the King wants him to go back to Vasco and throw the treaty in his face.  The Prince becomes infuriated and pulls out a pistol.  He has a hard time pulling the trigger, until Kurup backs him up and tells him to stop his trigger finger from shaking.  The Prince calms down enough to pull the trigger and the King is shot in the chest. 

Princess Bala cries over her father's dead body.

Vavvali tells Kelu that Estavio escaped and the King has been assassinated.

Kelu goes to the new King to tell him that Gama is sending an army to attack them.  So, Kelu will take charge of the King's army and join it with his army.  The King says his army can only obey the King's command.  Kelu tells Kurup to send Bhanu to study at the school of warfare, and then make him King, but only after he completes his studies.  The Minister objects and Kelu tells him straight to his face that he knows Kurup is siding with the Portuguese.  He adds that it was the Minister who got his father deliberately killed.  Kelu adds that he himself does not seek money or position.  He will only be satisfied with the destruction of the Viceroy.  He leaves.

Estavio has to be held up by two men when he comes into his father's tent.  The son strains to say but one word:  "Revenge."  Father tells him he will have it. 

Vavvali talks to Princess Bala saying it is she who must come out of her grief and depression over her father's death to perform her duty as royalty and to come live with him in the village where she can guide the rebels. She says she does not want the throne.  She knows who killed the king and why.  Vavvali says if the Portuguese realize the throne is not occupied, they will surely attack the kingdom.  Vavvali's words cheer up the princess and she goes with him to live in the village. 

Ayesha says that when the Portuguese attack, Kelu must counterattack them.  Kelu tells her that he is putting her in charge of the women and children.  They will march to the next kingdom and there give this message (he hands her the message) to the King.  Ayesha doesn't like this at all.  She wants to stay and fight the Portuguese.  [She asks Kelu why is it that a women must always retreat? Kelu says that Iím not asking you to retreat.  Iím asking you to protect the women who will bear a 100 warriors to protect their nation.]   Kelu adds that after they win the battle:  ď No matter how difficult the battle is, if you are waiting for me, I will come to you no matter far I may be."

Vasco and Estavio ride out and come to see the Prince and the Minister.  Kurup says that Vasco has to be affectionate with him and the Prince.  Vasco finds this funny and he tells Estavio.  Estavio walks over to the Prince, points a gun right at his chest and pulls the trigger.  No more Prince. 

The Portuguese and native troops loyal to the Portuguese come to kill Kaimal in his village.  But the troops don't know that a trap has been set for them.  Kelu and Vavvali with the support of a large group of men attack them and quickly surround the enemy.  Ayesha also fights along with the men.  Estavio doesn't know who he should go after, Kelu or Vavvali,  but he soon realizes he has to retreat or he and all his men will die.  The native farmers cheer their own accomplishments.  Kelu says now they have to attack the Chirakkal Fort.. 

Estavio, however, has not left the battlefield.  He fires his pistol and hits Vavvali in the left shoulder, thus fulfilling his promise for revenge. Kelu and Ayesha run to his side.  They take him inside a building and lay him down.  Princess Bala comes to care for him. 

Estavio is back with his father at the fort planning a defensive strategy.  They don't have long to wait because here comes Kelu and his army.  Estavio will be commander for the Portuguese.  He prepares to fire his long row of cannon at the oncoming army. 

Fire the cannon!  The explosions take out many men, but the men keep on coning.  Kelu and his army have to fight other Indians who are fighting for the Portuguese.  Vavvali gets up to try and go to the battle, but he falls to the ground.  They reach the cannon.  Soon enough Kelu approaches Vasco's headquarters.  He is shot, but he keeps up the fight and takes out the guards.  He then attacks Vasco.  He keeps hitting him and throwing him around the room.  When Vasco falls to the floor the bags of pepper open up and peppercorns rain down on the adventurer. 

Kelu stomps on Vasco's chest.  He is about to kill him when Estavio raises his pistol at Kelu.  Kelu sees him and whips his golden sword at Estavio's firing hand.  The sword cuts off Estavio's right hand.  Just then a large group of soldiers fire their rifles and Kelu is hit many times.  Kelu hits the floor.

Both friends died in the battle.

[Ayesha kneels by the riverside holding her stomach the moment Kelu dies and realizes that  she is pregnant.  Ayesha hears the shots and realizes the love of her life is dead. In retrospection, we realize Kelu asked Ayesha to lead the women and children because he realized that their was a new life inside of her as he did with the rabbit he once hunted.]

Back to the present.  Thandachan says the world forgot Kelu and remembered Gama.  Other countries followed the Portuguese sea route until Mahatma Gandhi came to liberate us from 400 years of slavery.  He tells KD that today he is standing before the money spitting Portuguese cannons.  Thandachan says the time has come for KD to have the Urumi.  He hands it to KD and then disappears.  KD walks out of the narrow crevice and goes over to Tarzan.  He says that these natives are not bad people.  They are good people. 

The big head of the company arrives for the document signing.  At the signing table, Urmila grabs the golden sword, cutting herself in the process. She puts her fingerprint in blood on the document.  Now it's KD's turn to sign.  KD says he has to think about it.  This shocks the people at the table, especially those working for the big mining company. 

Outside a resident throws a flipper sandal and it hits the big boss. 

KD says he won't sign.  He has learned some things about the history of Kerala and he now has no desire to sell the land.  He himself will develop this region, instead of turning it into a huge mining center. 

Later, KD returns the pen to Bhumi, who was the one who  lent him the pen in he first place.  Bhumi smiles. 

Urumila now has a vision of Kelu.  He tells her:  "I'll come back again and again for you in every life!"

[KD and Tarzan run into Urmila who snatches the urumi from KD.  She has a vision of Kelu swishing the urumi at her.  She  brandishes the urumi in her hands expertly, while KD and Tarzan stand confounded.  Urmila hears the voice of Kelu:  ď No matter how difficult the battle is, if you are waiting for me , I will come to you no matter far I may be.Ē]

 

 

Yes.  The film is fiction.  Vasco da Gama (lived 1460 or 1469 to 1524) made three trips to India.  He was in India in 1498, 1502 and 1524. One thing the film got for sure was the cruelty of Vasco da Gama towards the natives of India.  He was vicious and brutal.  The sewing on of the dog ears on a human adult male actually happened.  On his last trip, Viceroy Vasco da Gama contracted malaria not long after arriving, and died in the city of Cochin on Christmas Eve in 1524, three months after his arrival.  His son Estev„o da Gama was made the Portuguese Governor of Portuguese Gold Coast (1529Ė15??)  and the 11th Governor of India (1540-1542).  The film is mostly wishful thinking on the part of Indian patriots.  In Kelu they have created a super-hero that fights and wins to a certain degree over the Portuguese.  The super-hero is strong, brave, loyal, handsome, etc.  And he has a beautiful girlfriend and a loyal sidekick.  In the movie there is a lot of action and pretty women (but not much sex at all). 

As an action movie, the film is good.  And it does remind us that Vasco da Gama was a big name in Indian history even if he was a bit of a big bully. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 

 

P.S.  In this write-up of the movie, there is a lot of input from Elizabeth Paul of Kerala.  Most of the writing in brackets is from her and just a little modified by me.  Sometime there are smaller inputs from her without brackets.  We all have to thank her for giving us key insights from her obviously great knowledge of Kerala and India.  I got the impression that she really wanted to make clear the reasons for the actions of many of the characters, so that others not from Kerala did not misunderstand the film in key parts.  

 

 

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