Padma

When a movie has too many sequences that an editor can easily remove from the narrative, it clearly shows the lack of clarity in writing. Anoop Menon’s directorial venture, Padma, is a messed-up script that just doesn’t know how to treat its central conflict. With pointless humor bits, which they confidently released as teasers, exposing the cluelessness of the writing, Padma tests your patience with zero remorse.

Ravi is a psychologist who specializes in marital relationships. Because of his successful career, he was able to give his wife Padma and his son a better life and lifestyle. But his wife Padma could not gel with the changes that happened in their life. Ravi, who usually gives guidance to people in saving a relationship, at one point finds himself struggling to cope with a glitch that happened in his relationship. How Ravi and Padma dealt with that awkward scenario is what we see in Padma.

A psychologist who deals with several patients finding himself in the patient’s chair one fine day is indeed a thread that’s worth exploring. The problem with Anoop Menon’s script is that rather than developing something around that core, he is stuffing the film with sequences that just don’t contribute to the whole narrative. The broad stroke nature of this movie is extremely annoying, considering how sensitive and pertinent this film’s theme is.

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Surabhi Lakshmi, who plays the titular character in the movie, is basically playing a caricature in most areas. Some bits demand her to convey the dilemma of Padma, but the presentation of the character in those areas is such that it feels very monotonous. As the Psychologist Ravi, Anoop Menon is acting like himself. When we see him as the old Ravi, who was a drunkard, he is “acting.” The slang that left Thrissur but never reached Permabra was difficult to tolerate. Dinesh Prabhakar, who did the role of a fragile husband, was impressive. God knows the need of Ambi Neenasam and Shruthi Rajanikanth in this film.

Anoop Menon is not really bothered about the craft of the movie. The cinematography is all about beautifying everything irrespective of the film’s mood. The script is getting some shape only towards the last half an hour of the movie. By that time, you would have lost interest in the topic. An extramarital affair, porn addiction, etc., are becoming a crucial part of the script, but the superficial approach of the movie disregards the greyness of such topics. If a scene doesn’t contribute to the film, the editor should chop it off. Here, despite the episodic nature of the first half, editor Zian Sreekanth decided to hold on to totally useless sequences.

The theme of Padma had the scope to be a go-to feel-good film. But a screenplay that isn’t clear about trajectory and tools messes it up from the very beginning itself. With sloppy writing depending on Surabhi’s dialect to cover its waywardness, Padma is a difficult movie to sit through.

Final Thoughts

With sloppy writing depending on Surabhi's dialect to cover its waywardness, Padma is a difficult movie to sit through.

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