Padayottam Review

Debutant director Rafeek Ibrahim's 'Padayottam' is the successful culmination of a handy script and the smart execution. The absurdity of the characters is the source of fun yet it generates enough elements to tickle the funny bone. It conceals the darkest side of the gangster world and exposes their lighter side to immerse the viewers into the depths of entertainment. Albeit the content is not rich with unique elements, the neat and refreshing treatment in the presentation makes it a satisfying creation.


Biju Menon plays Chenkal Raghu, a local goonda of the capital city with virtuous qualities. This irony sets a strong refreshing premise for 'Padayottam.' Importantly, Rafeek Ibrahim seldom allows his craft to derail from this premise. The simplicity of the plot is blended with genuine and situational humour to make the tale riveting. Raghu along with his gang-Senan (Dileesh Pothen), Sreekuttan (Saiju Kurup), Renju (Sudhi Koppa) --- sets off a journey from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod.


They set out to take revenge on the youth, who had brutally beaten up their friend Pinku, played by Basil Joseph. On their way to find out the youngster, they come across thugs from other districts and face some unexpected incidents. Hilarious moments are created through instances like the goon Britto, portrayed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, talking nineteen to the dozen about his tendency for suicide.


Written by Arun. A.R, Ajai Rahul and Sonu Surendran, 'Padayottam' is perhaps the one film that has successfully portrayed characters talking perfect Thiruvananthapuram slang after 'Dheem Tharikida Dhom' and 'Mattupetty Machan'. The various dialects used in the plot are crucial to sustaining our interest sans any hiccups.


Though a ruffian in his appearance, Raghu is straightforward, and he is emotionally attached to his mother Lalitha (Sethu Lakshmi). Transcending the usual histrionics of a thug, Biju Menon brings out the absolute charm of the protagonist revealing the fetters of relations in which Raghu is confined to.


He is not a callous personality but effuses his chivalry and courteousness towards his fellow beings especially women. The epitome of his demeanour is well narrated in the bus journey when college teacher Meera (Anu Sithara) watches him admiringly recalling the help he offered her during Attukal pongala.


Prashant Pillai scores smartly in the background music, which is equally blended with the humour scenes. Satheesh Kurup, who helms cinematography, creates the right pattern of lights and camera angles to convey the feeling.

'Padayottam' is a finely crafted hilarious ride of a group of goons and their follies. It's delightful to watch the evolvement of a comic entertainer from a slender tale with the aid of a refreshing treatment. (3) - K. R. Rejeesh

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