|Directed by||Major Ravi|
|Written by||Major Ravi|
|Cinematography||Jomon T. John|
|Edited by||Ranjan Abraham|
|Distributed by||Murali Films|
Picket 43 is a 2015 Malayalam-language Indian drama film written and directed by Major Ravi. It stars Prithviraj and Javed Jaffrey in the lead roles. It was filmed by cinematographer Jomon T. John and most portions of the film were shot in Kashmir. The film dealt with the story of an Indian army soldier guarding a picket alone in Kashmir, and his friendship with a Pakistani soldier.
The film released on 23 January 2015 to highly positive reviews from critics and audience alike. The film is one of the profitable Malayalam films of 2015 considering theatrical collections, and satellite and television rights.
Hareendranath Nair (Prithviraj) is an Indian who is assigned to guard an Indian Picket ( i.e., Picket 43) in Kashmir. It was said to be a very dangerous place, and Hareendran had to be forced to take charge at the place, forsaking his sanctioned leave due to the forcefulness of his superior officer (Renji Panicker). Hareendran is forced to stay at the Picket with an extremely trained dog called Baccardi as his companion. He starts seeing the dog akin to someone with intelligence and treats him like a person, not even permitting anyone to call Baccardi a 'dog'. Hareendran confides in the dog his inner thoughts and emotions, which lifts his spirit slightly even at the most difficult times.
It is slowly revealed that the reason Hareendran had applied for the above-mentioned leave was to register marry the girl he loved, who happened to be his uncle's daughter. When Hareendran, along with his mother, proposed a marriage between him and his cousin to his uncle, he was forsaken by his uncle in favor of a guy from the very same village who had made a fortune in Dubai. Hareendran along with his friends concluded that the only way to marry his lover was a register marriage, and decides to do it the next time he comes to the village on leave. It was before the decided dated that his already sanctioned leave was canceled, telling us the reason to why he was so sad.
For the first eight months of his stay at the picket, the Pakistani picket opposite his picket, across the L.O.C, was occupied by a very hostile Pakistani.
It was then that a very peculiar Pakistani soldier named Mushraff (Javed Jaffrey) is introduced. Mushraff had come to replace the Pakistani who was hostile to Hareendran at the picket. They slowly relate to each other and despite hailing from different countries, they to understood each other better than anyone else. They eventually become close friends and started to enhance the morale of each other.
However, their friendship raises suspicions among others. They even put into question the genuineness of their patriotism which break their heart. They find themselves in nether world and the story proceeds to tell the hardship they have to go through for their friendship.
In the end, the viewer finds himself appreciating and realizing the sacrifices made by the army to protect our life.
- Prithviraj as Havildar Harindran 'Hari' Nair
- Javed Jaffrey as Mushraff Khan
- Renji Panicker as C.O Vinay Chandran
- Sudheer Karamana as Rajan Pattambi
- Kannan Nair
- Meghanathan as Thampi
- Haresh Peradi as Lakshmi's father
- Angana Roy as Hanara
- Anu Mohan as Dineshan
- Anshu Sharma as Lakshmi
- Shobha Mohan as Hari's mother
- Madan Mohan
- Mohanlal as Himself (cameo)
Instead of focusing on devastating wars and the like, the movie deals more with the psychological trauma a soldier has to go through in order to safeguard his motherland. It also throws light on the fact that friendship is not based on certain rules or conventions and that the key factor for a true friendship is to have a better understanding and compassion for each other. It also explains how a faithful dog can turn out to be your confidante when you feel alone and dejected.
Initially Ravi developed the film with for Mohanlal in the lead role as a reboot to the Major Mahadevan film series. But when approached, he was reluctant to take the role, because, he felt that the character did not match with his age, and said it would be more suitable for a younger actor. He also doubted how people would accept a 'Havildar Mahadevan' since the fictional character was normally portrayed in higher rank in the earlier films. And when asked he suggested Prithviraj.
The film ran for 50 days in selected releasing centres. Although it got a long run it grossed only ₹5.80 crore (US$840,000) from theatres against a budget of ₹4.7 crore (US$680,000). Still it is considered as one of the "profited" Malayalam film in 2015, considering theatrical collection and satellite rights.
Producer Sunil O. G lodged a complaint against Major Ravi to the Kerala Film Producers Association, citing that the movie caused financial loss due to the excessive budget. According to him, the film was planned with a budget of ₹4 crores; but was later exceeded by about ₹70 lakhs rupees. "There was a legal agreement stating that the film should be completed within a stipulated budget, but Ravi couldn't manage the expenses".
- "'Picket 43' Review Round-up: Prithviraj, Javed Jaffrey Win Hearts; Major Ravi Makes Comeback". International Business Times.
- "Box office report: 'Premam', 'OVS' rule 2015 first half". Malayala Manorama. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Akhila Menon (30 June 2015). "6 Box Office Hits Of Malayalam Cinema 2015". Filmibeat.com. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Harichandran Puripeddi (1 July 2015). "Content over star power: Story of south cinema in first half of 2015". Hindustan Times. Chennai. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Misunderstandings cleared about Prithviraj". Malayala Manorama. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- "Behind the decline of Mohanlal from Picket 43". Manorama News. 23 January 2015. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015.
- "Mili Picket 43 completes fifty". Indiaglitz.com. 19 March 2015.
- Akhila (10 March 2015). "Picket 43 Producer Files Complaint Against Major Ravi". Filmibeat.com.
- G. Krishnakumar (5 April 2015). "Selfie clicks, becomes year's first super-hit".
- Radhika C. Pillai (10 March 2015). "Producer files complaint against Major Ravi". The Times of India.