Padayottam directed by Rafeek Ibrahim is a gangster comedy, a genre that our industry is not that familiar with. Yes, it has an excessive emphasis on the black comedy which might make the logic seekers a bit uncomfortable. But even though there are flaws, Padayottam is a hilarious one-time-watch if you have an idea about the genre. With moments of spoofing occurring at regular intervals of time, I had fun watching it.
So Chenkal Raghu our central protagonist is dragged into a gangster issue when a guy named Pinku gets attacked by someone. Pinku’s friends Senan, Sree, and Renju ask for Raghu’s help as the person attacked Pinku was from Kasargod and they all were at Trivandrum. So the journey of the four members gang to Kasargod to find out this guy who beat up Pinku is the main focus of Padayottam.
I got a mean stare from two people who saw the movie with me for me saying “not bad” about this movie. And that gives me the courage to compare the likeability of this movie with Biju Menon’s last release Orayiram Kinakkalal. For me, Orayiram Kinakkalal was an enjoyable one time watch and even though the genre here is different, Padayottam also felt like a movie that was in the same zone. Even the ones who stared at me for my remarks were laughing hard for the climax twist and the one scene where Basil Joseph was faking a laugh. Remember the kind of spoofing we have seen in movies like Soodhu Kavvum? Padayottam is an attempt to create our own version of that and the result isn’t that bad.
The script by Ajai and Arun has certain initial hiccups in getting the comedic tone. There is that slight missing in the initial phases which makes you feel that this is a wannabe gangster comedy. But later when the journey begins, the black humor starts to unfold and the quirky nature of it will definitely make you giggle. The goonda concept gets trolled in a hilarious way. Imagine a quotation gang traveling by bus and lorry to get to a place as their car got broke down. Imagine a gangster who has vomiting problem while traveling in buses. There is one scene where a villain kills his henchman out of anger and the other henchman warns him that if this habit of killing continues, only he would remain. Rafeek Ibrahim gets more grip over the narrative in the second half and I must say that almost the last half an hour of the movie had continuous bits that offered laughter. Satheesh Kurup manages to give roughness and comedic tone to the visuals and there is one single shot song in the movie which might not be necessary but adds to the overall wackiness of the movie. Prashanth Pillai, as always maintains the quirkiness in music and background score.
Biju Menon is known for his perfect depiction of the comical and rugged portrayal of characters and this was undeniably a good mix of both. I am not an expert to talk about his slang but for me, it was more towards Trivandrum even though there is a slight Palakadan tone. The way he shows his anger is absolutely hilarious. Sudhi Koppa was really good and so was Saiju Kuruppu who plays the role of a common man. Dileesh Pothan was also perfect as the leader and Lijo Jose Pellissery’s casting was spot on. For me, the real surprise was Basil Joseph whose reaction in certain scenes towards the end was extremely funny. The women here don’t have much to do and the only star was Sethu Lakshmi. Ganapathi, Hareesh Kanaran, Suresh Krishna, Anu Sithara, Sharp Shooter Rahul Dev, Ravi Singh etc are the other names in the star cast.
There is a starting trouble for Padayottam and there is this eccentricity in the narrative just like the scene where Renju narrates what happened to Pinku and his mother. But after that, the movie shifts the gears very smoothly to provide a ride that is frequently funny.
But even though there are flaws, Padayottam is a hilarious one-time-watch if you have an idea about the genre. With moments of spoofing occurring at regular intervals of time, I had fun watching it.