Passenger Malayalam Movie Review

Feature Film
A thriller that's quite unlike run-of-the-mill thrillers, yet one that keeps you at the edge of the seat till the very end - that's what the Ranjith Shankar-directed 'Passenger' is.
May 14, 2009 By Thomas T

A thriller that's quite unlike run-of-the-mill thrillers, yet one that keeps you at the edge of the seat till the very end - that's what the Ranjith Shankar-directed 'Passenger' is. A thriller that unlike most other films of the genre, touches the chords of your heart. A thriller that has an emotionally charged end sequence that you'd never expect in a film of this type. Above all, a movie with a social commitment and a very solid message to convey. In less than two hours, 'Passenger' gives you more than what you probably would have expected out of it and comes out as a neat, taut movie that has been packaged exceptionally well.

Sathyanath (Sreenivasan) works as an assistant manager in a private firm. Every day he commutes to his work place by train. And like many other commuters he falls asleep a few minutes after boarding and wakes up a few minutes before it's time to get off. This happens so systematically, Sayhyan's co-commuters Varghese (Harisree Ashokan), Jaffer (Kochupreman), Unni (Anoop Chandran) and Thankappan (T.P. Madhavan) are well aware of this.

Nandan Menon (Dileep) is an advocate and his wife Anuradha (Mamta Mohandas) is the star reporter of Right TV, a private television channel. Anuradha has been taking up the cudgels against the State Home Minister Thomas Chacko (Jagathy Sreekumar), who is a very diplomatic, shrewd and corrupt politician. Nandan, an upright lawyer, has been fighting the cause of a group of villagers who also are engaged in a political and legal tussle with Thomas Chacko. Thus both Nandan and Anuradha are a pain in the neck for the Home Minister.

In the meantime, Anuradha does a sting operation on Thomas Chacko and gets evidence about a deadly plan hatched by the minister and his aides. Thomas Chacko realizes that he could be in serious trouble and sets out to finish the couple once and for all. It's about this time that Nandan Menon and Sathyanath meet for the first time, during a train journey when Sathyanath happens to oversleep. From here the story takes a new turn, builds up suspense and keeps you glued to the seat.

Sreenivasan, Dileep, Mamta Mohandas, Jagathy Sreekumar and Nedumudi Venu (as a taxi driver) have done full justice to their respective roles, but it's Sreenivasan who takes the cake. Sona Nair as Thankamma Rajan, a lady who has been hitting hard against Thomas Chacko, is good. Anand Swamy as 'Anali' Shaji, the typical goonda, is good too. The others in the cast also perform well, though some of them like Lakshmi Sharma, Anoop Chandran etc don't have much to do.

The film as a whole belongs to Ranjith Shankar, the debutante director, who has also penned the story and the screenplay. He deserves to be appreciated for his choice of subject, the treatment that he has given to it, and the control that he has exercised over the subject and the medium. He also needs to be appreciated for having delivered a message without sounding didactic or boring.

The technical aspects are all in tune with the mood and the tempo of the film. Though there are no songs in the movie, the background music is worth mention. What cynics and self-proclaimed critics will have to say about the film is anybody's guess, but from the perspective of the average film-viewer, 'Passenger' is a good movie, well-made and definitely worth a watch.

Thomas T