May be because of its location, Kerala has never really experienced the real travails of war or any disastrous calamities. Even during the freedom struggle, there was not any notably prominent episodes that occured in Kerala, except for a strike for temple entry for all, which really got the whole nation behind it, or which was really inspired by historians. Except for a minor exceptions (for national prominence) Kerala was always away from anything serious, war or freedom struggle or whatever it may be. It could be argued that this could be one reason why Malayalam movies have never managed a really good attempt which touched the plots of war or freedom struggle. The only one movie which, I think, portrayed anything seriously was Meenamaasathile Sooryan, by Lenin Rajendran, which was in the 80's. We have not managed even a good movie on the famed Punnapra Vayalaar strike. Only small fractions of population were affected by any such strikes or riots, must be the reason, why we never make films on such serious issues, or why any of our film makers have ever been inspired to make such movies. Mohammed Abdul Rahman was a prominent freedom fighter in Malabar, who inspired many Keralan poets, but it took so long for a movie to be made on him.
The movie goes through the events between 1921 and 1945, during which this legend rose into prominence in North Kerala.
I always have felt, Malayalam movies lack something to make good period or historic movies. In all our history, we have got only very few, really few number of good period movies. I consider only Vaishali, Perundachhan, Oru Vadakkan Veeragaadha and Parinayam as good period movies from Malayalam. Except for the recent Urumi, all those movies happened in 80's and had the same person, M T Vasudevan Nair as the script writer, is more than interesting. Actually, none of them had anything to do with freedom struggle, though Parinayam dealt with a very serious issue during those years. But even M T's attempt at creating a period script, based on freedom struggle, I would say was a failure with Pazhassiraja. Kaalapaani, by Priyadarshan, was an attempt too, but failed inspite of getting the looks of a period movie right. But that was the only movie, which got the technical side right. All the tehcnical aspects and the looks of that movie really had a period feel.
Veeraputhran, is yet another proof that we lack something, when it comes to making good period movies. The movie is based on a novel, but the script fails very badly, or during its conversion to the script, the writer failed in picking up or setting up scenes, which could offer importance or cinematic value. The first half of the movie hence is really horrible. Only the second half manages to evoke some interest, but I would sincerely say it does not do justice to the legend of Abdu Rahman Sahib.
Most parts of the movie has only the quality of amateur drama to be honest. The director wants to touch into the personal life and interests of Sahib is sure, but the scenes all look misfit, just like square pegs in a round hole. Add to it, his idea to put in few songs, it looks really terrible. I was really disappointed to see one song especially, picturised between Sahib and his wife, which was an absolute misfit for this kind of a movie.
But inspite of all its drawback, I would still give a big credit for the director for just one aspect. Narain performs the role of Sahib, and even if the script does not demand any extra ordinary performance, Narain seems to have put his heart into it. Yes, even without any need to put a varied lot of facial expressions, especially with his body language, Narain seems to have imbibed the persona of Sahib and personally I found he did justice to the character. I felt like looking at Sahib, rather than a popular actor. So kudos to the director and actor on this aspect.
Otherways, I am sorry to say that the movie was very disappointing.