Leo Thaddeus' 'Payyans' is a film that tells an oft told story of the return of a prodigal son. Narrated on lines quite similar to other films that have had similar themes, 'Payyans' has a steady start, a shaky middle and a sloppy end.
The son who has wandered off along Path Irresponsible is none other than Josie (Jayasurya). Nevertheless his mother Padma (Rohini) loves him more than anything else in the world. Being a single parent has taken its toll on her, and her efforts to make her son see some sense finally show signs of bearing fruit, as Josie joins Red FM as an RJ.
The first half of the film is liberally sprinkled with tiny gags, and though nothing much happens, it seldom bores. And with the arrival of a very special twist right at the interval, things go for a nosedive, from which the film never thereafter recovers.
There is a romantic angle that has been probably deliberately ignored, since the focus is on the mother - son duo all the while. However, it could have been infinitely better if it had been done away with altogether, since it adds not a bit to the impact of the story being told. If at all it does something, it is to distract the attention of the viewers from a theme that they have already lost interest in.
The film is all about owning up to ones responsibility which is something that you would normally associate with maturity. Josie is downright negligent of his duties and its neither adulthood nor the mellowness that comes with it, that brings about a transformation in him. The quirks of fate have a big role hence, in 'Payyans'.
All this could have made a pretty much interesting film, if only everything had fallen perfectly into place. Sadly, the latter half of the film crumbles down like a pack of cards, and within no time, you wish they had a better script to start with. There are very few things that would manage to hold your interest in the film, and by the time it draws to a close, the slight impression that it had made right at the beginning would have given way to disappointment.
With each passing film, Jayasurya is turning out to be an actor who could infuse some spirit into the stalest of scripts. The way he brings in some believability to the very under written role of Josie proves this fact even further. Anjaly who was seen in a very impressive role in 'Angaaditheru' makes a confident debut in Malayalam, though in a very brief role.
The group of superficial characters that roam the grounds in 'Payyans' adds a dreary feel to the slightly interesting phenomenon that it offers a take on. Leo's film could have been so much more fun, if it had a dapper script sans the fuss and frills.