Language : Malayalam.
Director : Akhil Sathyan.
Writers : Akhil Sathyan.
Cast : Fahadh Faasil, Innocent, Mukesh, Anjana Jayaprakash, Viji Venkatesh, Dhwani Rajesh, Vineeth Radhakrishnan, Indrans, Mohan Agashe, Avyukth Menon
Genre : Comedy | Drama
Streaming in Theatres near you.
A solid debut by Akhil Sathyan.
This one reminds you of those well-done Sathyan Anthikad films of the 2000s sans the usual melodrama. The characters are endearing and brilliantly performed by the actors. Speaking of which, the casting choices here are excellent, probably the best I’ve seen in recent times; guess the practice of employing casting agencies is becoming a thing now in Malayalam – much appreciated. There is a nice mix of familiar and unfamiliar faces for crucial roles which gives the film a distinct flavour even though it’s well and truly in the Sathayan Anthikad universe. Viji Venkatesh, Dhwani Rajesh, Anjana Jayaprakash, and the kid Avyukth Menon who appears for a small stretch, all of them were apt and excelled in their characters. Was good to see Vineeth in front of the camera after a gap and he gets to play a memorable character post-Bavuttiyude Namathil and Kumbasaram. It was particularly good to see Anjana in a significant role post her much-raved-about performance in ‘Queen’ (an MX player web series about the life of the late J. Jayalalitha). And now to the star of the show – Fahadh Faasil. It should be no news when I say that he’s given his best for the role, but unlike his last two ventures with Sathyan Anthikad, the actor felt more natural in the way he handled the comedy and the emotional bits. His chemistry with his co-actors is a key reason why the drama works so well.
I don’t believe in the discourse that feel-good films are the cause of poor box office results. It’s one of the few genres that if done well, can pull audiences from across generations to the theatre. The reason some of the recent films tanked was mainly because they were either too juvenile or extremely event-specific with little to no importance on the characters. This is where Akhil Sathyan follows his father’s footsteps and gives us a film that focuses on its characters and their emotions. He polishes the rough edges that were there in his dad’s recent outings while also tweaking the sensibilities to cater to an upgraded audience.
The writing, although elaborate, is good, but what I loved the most were the dialogues. Thoughtful, precise and effective, especially the ones given to the Ummachi. The humour that arises from normal conversations and events were a treat and the script manages to keep them coming at regular intervals. The editing, well, could have been better from Akhil, mainly during the last act. I understand they were trying to address two tracks in Pachu’s life, but with a runtime of 2hr 51 minutes, you could feel the time ticking after a point even though the scenes were enjoyable.
This is an instant favourite of mine among the 70-odd theatrical releases from Malayalam this year. I was only hoping for the film to keep me happy and it did just that. These are the kind of comfort films that all of us keep revisiting once in a while, at least for a few scenes, when things aren’t going our way. Varane Avushyamundu was one such film and Pachu also joins that list.
Verdict: 4/7 stars