Puthumukhangal has a group of newcomers playing the lead roles in a film that tells a story that is as old as the Arabian sea. Though the anticipation associated with the film is minimal, it doesn't succeed in living up even to the very nominal expectations.
The film that starts off on a campus, has all the routine happenings in any campus film, going on in full swing. There is the arrival of the freshers, followed by the locking horns with the seniors. There are plenty of hotshot girls as well, who are dressed in clothes that you would see on no campus.
The song and dance routine goes on without any sign of stopping whatsoever. The only difference perhaps is that the film has been set in an Agricultural College campus. There are no stream specific farming activities on display except for a scene where the elder students are asked to prepare for the field for the younger students.
The story is all about three youngsters who are in their final year of college, who do everything but study the flora and fauna around. They get thrown out of the college finally for one of their antics that goes terribly wrong. They follow one of their college mates to his village where a different tale awaits them.
Essentially there are two narratives in the film that progress parallel to each other. They coincide a bit later but the impact is ineffective. Even undiscriminating viewers would find something remotely interesting in all this muddle.
There is a villain who drops down from the middle of nowhere and who creates a ruckus for no purpose whatsoever. The reason why he is there, is because things have to turn from bad to worse at some point. He does manage to do the needful in bringing about this mishap. The girls in the film are there, since what fun could an all male film be?
The writing is poor and so is the visualisation. The characters are too one dimensional and the emotional truth and depth lacking. The excitement is limited. The songs are hummable but the choreography leaves a lot to be desired.
There is nothing bad about the acting as such. The youngsters make the most of the platform that they have been offered and put on show their talents as well as muscles. The latter, that is not so common an affair in Malayalam films finds an expression in slightly overstated forms in scenes that have the baddies tearing off the clothes from one of the heroes revealing a well toned torso.
This is the moment of experimentation in Malayalam cinema. The moment when promising ventures get lauded, and those unpromising get drowned in a flood down the drain. Sad then, that Puthumukhangal that wastes opportunity and talent would flow down into oblivion in no time.