Happened to watch the malayalam movie Pathemari with Mammooty as the protaganist. I was very much impressed by the movie. The story spans around 25 to 30 years, starting with the hero leaving for gulf in an unauthorised country boat in search of greener pastures. He lands in some menial job and manages to send money home regularly. In course of time he is able to clear the family debts, marry off sisters, help brothers' family do better, in the meantime he too marrying a girl and raising a family. During each of his visits to his home he declares that he will be back home for good the next time, which never arrives as the responsibilities keep mounting.
His family look forward to his visits more for the presents he brings than for his presence, but he does not mind. Or does not show if it hurts. He even manages to fund the foreign visit of a neighbour who settles well in his own business in the gulf and is grateful to him. The improvement of financial status of all in the family is shown subtly as they find lesser and lesser time for his phone calls. As he toils he ages too. He even gifts a house he has bought for his family to a relative's daughter for her wedding. He is compelled to pay rent for that house till such time he builds his own. He then makes money for a house for his family. By the time it is completed his children grow up. He is interviewed for a TV program on NRIs who haven't made it big.
He suddenly dies in sleep and his body is brought to his village. Ironically enough the relative refuses to allow his body to be kept in the house he got gifted as he intends to sell it and keeping the body there would reduce its market price. People are skeptic about keeping the body in his new house as it would be a bad omen to keep it in the new house. Hence it is decided
to take it to the funeral ground direct and the last rites are done.
After the funeral the family relaxes before the TV. The interview he has given is telecast. He is asked was he happy about his nondescript nri life, after all he has not made it big and was hardly able to make both ends meet. Given a chance would he like to lead a different life? He does not show if it hurts. Utters calmly when I left for gulf my mother was ashamed of facing debtors and siblings were struggling to get a square meal a day. I could satiate their hunger and give them a decent life. I could give something for my siblings education and make them settle well in life. My wife and children have a carefree life. If I get another chance I would like to do the very same things to my mother, my siblings and my wife and children. Yes, I would like to be born again as the very same Narayanan as a son to my mother, brother to my siblings, husband to my wife and father to my children and nothing else. If you call it I have not made it big I don't mind. I am happy the way I am.
The interview is over. Tears start running down everyone watching the TV, touching the hearts of those watching the movie. Mammootty has done the role with ease and without showing off. But he makes the character a real hero of a man living next door.