Pa.Va Malayalam Movie Review
The inventiveness in Suraj Tom's 'Pa.Va' is pretty much restricted to its title - 'Paappanekurichum Varkiyekurichum', and moves little beyond the initial curiosity that it generates. Lethargic to the core, 'Pa.Va' is a film that moves about in crutches, barely able to overcome its quite obvious amateur status.
Varkichan (Anoop Menon) and his eventful life ends one fine day when a jackfruit lands on his head, leaving his best buddy Paappan (Murali Gopy) all alone and distressed. Along arrives a family sepulcher all the way from Italy, as Paappan's relatives take it upon themselves the task of setting a few things right.
'Pa.Va' has an astoundingly thin story line that it seems a huge miracle that the film runs for the one hundred and twenty minutes of running time that it has. And it manages to do so by cramming in a whole lot of mishappenings into its narrative that range from a botched romance at one end to the seemingly never ending issues of a church management at the other.
Sometimes it isn't enough that a film dwells on a theme that is unequivocally different, as it does in 'Pa.Va'. It also doesn't work to the film's advantage that the premise that it has chosen for itself is one that hasn't been portrayed much; not at least in the way it has been done in the film. On the contrary, it raises a few questions, the primary one of which is why fine thoughts need not necessarily transform into fine cinema.
There are the pits of screenwriting that 'Pa.Va' repeatedly falls into, eventually rendering it into a synthetic piece on senility, never much moving your mind, nor striking us as a fascinating experiment of sorts. Things barely move beyond stillness, and the dryness never really wears off.
Surprisingly, there are extremes in the film, when it comes to performances as well. There is Murali Gopy of course, who manages a dignified self amidst all this melee, and who is probably the only one in the film who would make you want to keep your gaze fixed on the screen. Well, not probably the only one, since there is P Balachandran as well, who scores a few runs of his own, in a hilarious priest avatar. Parayaga Martin looks refreshingly stunning, in the very few scenes that she makes an appearance in.
On the other end of course, there is Anoop Menon, who seems to have got almost everything about this character wrong, starting off with a garish makeup that makes him look like a frightened kid on the kindergarten stage. There is also Ranjini, who plays it up quite loud; a performance that is a far cry from several of her yesteryear feats.
Technically there aren't any surprises in store, and it does go without saying that Satheesh Kurup's cinematography is minimal and decent. As for the musical score, Anand Madhusoodhan has come up with a couple of melodious tunes that have already made it to the hit charts, prior to the film's release.
It takes some real effort to craft some art out of torpor, and the sluggishness in 'Pa.Va' proves to be the chief reason behind its undoing. It's one of those odd statements that finally end up with little to say.