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Pakalum Paathiravum Is A Rushed Adaptation Of An English Play



Rating: **

Pakalum Paathiravum , a toothless utterly untruthful crime thriller with a very Grecian heart transposed not so gingerly into a Malayali  landscape.

Imagine  a pasta  dish marinated in sambhar. Or maybe   icecream  with mango  pickles. The  belligerent  primitive  violent domesticated  mood of  the original play  hardly gets a decent burial in this lifeless drama filled with a sound of  fury signifying nothing worth being attentive to.

The play-on-film begins with Michael (Kunchacko Boban) heading towards the Maoist-infested Kerala jungles where he  seeks overnight staycation with a family suffering from acute insolvency. The main conflict  is between the daughter of  the family Mercy(Rajisha Vijayan)and Michael as she discovers he is a wealthy sod and could be her getaway from her current  life of hopeless  wretchedness.

Rajisha has  done some significant work in  recent years. She  is capable of shouldering a film. But not on one which has  no limb to  support  itself. Pakalum Paathiravum’s Greek ambitions remain dully delineated  in a film filled with noisy violence and a hint of incest that reminded  me of  the old Dev Anannd classic Bambai Ka Babu.

The ‘Babu’ here as played by Boban  truns out to be a do-gooder whose naivete  can  only be compared with the greed  of the family that hosts him for the night. The  narrative tumbles into the  troubled past of the family with a mechanical trigger-point flip that leaves the audience  completely unmoved.

But I liked Rajisha Vaijayan in a thankless role. She comes to grips  with her slippery character and overcomes the hurdles  of sloppy inapt writing. But poor  Guru Somasundaram . After Murali Minnale he slips into a role so crude leery and undimensional, even Brando would be nonplussed.

There is  a moving  performance by Manoj KU  as Mercy’s father. His anguished helplessness reaches his eyes in spite of a  script which seems  to have no respect for its  characters.The  breakneck speed breaks the plot’s neck splitting the  bizarre storytelling into many fragments of  emotions that  do not cohere into  any kind of substantial  statement on greed and retribution.

The  wilderness and the jungles in the plot  hide many secrets. None  of  them manifest themselves  into  any kind of rewarding experience for us  the spectators.

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