Pathinettam Padi Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film | UA | Action, Drama | 2h 40min
This tale of teenage students is aptly jazzed up with action, racy sequences, and stylish presentation. The strategy hits the bull's eye with the aid of supreme visuals by Sudeep Elamon and impressive performance by a bunch of newcomers. 'Pathinettam Padi', written and helmed by Shanker Ramakrishnan, tells a different school life altogether as two gangs from two different schools lock horns to reassure the pride of their institutions. The rivalry between gangs of Class 12 students is so intense and aggressive that even police fail to crack down on their conflict.
Set in Thiruvananthapuram city, a group of Class 12 boys, led by Ayyappan (Akshay Radhakrishnan), from Model School are always at loggerheads with a gang of boys from International School, led by Ashwin Vasudev (Ashwin Gopinath). Shanker draws a different picture of the boys, who are on the threshold of 18, by sidelining their infatuations and replace it with their fury. He is focused on their puerile and malign acts during school life and how they come out from such a nasty stage. Romance is curtailed here though Ayyappan develops a crush on Devi (Arsha Baiju) while going to school. Meanwhile, the relationship between Ashwin and Angel (Wafa Khatheeja Rahman) becomes a crucial point in the plot.
Primarily, it's a battle of wills between two gangs of Class 12 students from a government school and a private school. 'Pathinettam Padi' becomes slippery and inconsistent when the director begins to narrate the transformation stage of the boys. In the International School, English teacher Joy Abraham Palackal (Chandhunadh) is the real mentor of the boys while the new teacher Annie (Ahaana Krishna) is impressed by the personality of Joy. At one stage, enters John Abraham Palackal, played by Mammootty in a brief appearance, but the impact is powerfully felt only in his mien rather than fully elevating the latter half.
In terms of content, 'Pathinettam Padi' could have been moulded even better albeit the milieu is energetic and catchy. While embracing the transformation part of the tale, the film fails to hide its didactic intents. Instead of a subtle presentation, it moves towards the cliched segment-'Moral of the story'. Positive it might be but the whole sequences give lack of punch. Prithviraj as adult Ashwin and Aarya as grown-up Ayyappan have limitations in mending the rickety steps of 'Pathinettam Padi' since their characters are placed on the edges of the main plot.
Quite often, the trivial altercation among these boys snowballs into violence. Students like Suran (Ambi Neenasam), who come from middle-class families, have an inferiority complex when they compare themselves to the smartly dressed private school students from elite families. This complex is one of the underlying factors for the causes of their fracas.
top-notch technical aspects, there are scenes that grab your attention purely due to excellent cinematography; especially the fight sequences in a double-decker bus. Rather than the nostalgia, the characters recall their school life as a turning point in shaping up their personality and the influence of a teacher, who tried to save them from falling into an inextricable bad habit.