From the trailer itself, it was somewhat evident that Paachuvum Albhuthavilakkum, the debut directorial of Akhil Sathyan, is a film that is pretty much in the zone of the movies that his father, Sathyan Anthikad, used to make. When you look at the movie, that assumption is very much correct. But the good thing is that Akhil somewhat knows the flaws in the presentation of that formula. His awareness of the current generation makes the film a less cheesy version of a typical Sathyan Anthikad film.
Prashant, aka Paachu, who runs the franchisee of Kottakkal Aryavaidhyasala in Mumbai, is our central character. When he came to Kerala for business, the owner of his Shop building, Riyas, asked him a favor. Riyas asked Paachu whether he could bring Riyas’s mother when he returned to Mumbai via train. But that return journey wasn’t as smooth as Prashant anticipated. That eventful journey of Prashant after that is what we see in Paachuvum Albhuthavilakkum.
A lazy hero with no major plans, who is only interested in shortcut success, suddenly gets assigned a responsibility. And his efforts to complete that task make him a different person in the long run. What I just said is the template of almost all the Sathyan Anthikad movies of late that had a younger protagonist. Vinodayathra, Oru Indian Pranayakadha, Njan Prakashan, etc., had used that template. Akhil Sathyan has used the same skeleton to create Paachuvum Albhuthavilakkum. But his way of fleshing out is a lot more realistic and minimal. If you look at the film’s trailer, the conversation style is pretty straightforward. While it helps the movie in being funny in those lighter areas, the dramatic bits aren’t that subtle.
Fahadh Faasil’s Prashant is somewhere between Aymanam Sidharthan and Prakashan. But his minimal tweaks make Prashant distinct, and in the humorous bits, he is just outstanding. New face Anjana Jayaprakash is a real find. In the beginning portions, I thought she was simply behaving as Hamsadhwani. But the scene where she talks about the pain of losing her brother had that restraint which looks really promising. Dhwani Rajesh, as Nidhi was convincing. Viji Venkatesh as the Ummachi was an interesting choice as the face was pretty unfamiliar. But there are areas where her performance fizzles when the movie becomes dialogue heavy. Vineeth, as Riyas, was a real surprise as the harsh yet vulnerable son. Mukesh, Shanthi Krishna, Indrans, Innocent, etc., are also on the film’s long list of actors.
Like Anoop Sathyan, who made Varane Aavashyamundu, Akhil Sathyan also cracks the funnier zones of the screenplay very convincingly. The humor in the romantic track featuring Paachu and Dhwani, or how they subtly communicate their liking for each other, has a warmth. But in the dramatic areas of the script, Akhil is somewhat stretching things a little too much. The Beti Bachao Beti Padao aspect of the writing was getting louder and louder as the movie approached the climax, and it felt like that old-school mentality of looking for a message in the film. Justin Prabhakaran’s music was really good.
Even though I don’t consider Oru Indian Pranaya Kadha and Njan Prakashan as brilliant creations, I have enjoyed watching those films primarily because of the popcorn entertainment it provides through the humor track in the screenplay. Paachuvum Albhuthavilakkum was a similar experience for me. Even though the lack of novelty was restricting the movie from being a refreshing cinema, it manages to be that sweet and simple entertainer that has its moments here and there.
Even though the lack of novelty was restricting the movie from being a refreshing cinema, it manages to be that sweet and simple entertainer that has its moments here and there.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended