Padmini, the new Malayalam film from Senna Hegde, works very well as this light-hearted comedy because of the way the writing places conflicts and characters in the screenplay. Constructed as the efforts of a 36-year-old man to get married, this Kunchako Boban starrer is consistently humorous, and the situations they have created in the narration are genuinely novel and funny. Yes, the climax is a bit jittery, as you would expect the humor to hit a peak. But still, Deepu Pradeep’s writing holds things together.
Rameshan is a college professor who had a failed first marriage. His wife, Smrithi, went with her lover on the first night of their wedding. Rameshan was never really interested in getting married again until a guest lecturer named Padmini joined his college. But unfortunately, his first marriage comes in the way of things at a crucial point, and how Rameshan and his advocate deal with that situation is what we see in Padmini.
The first film of writer Deepu Pradeep was Kunjiramayanam, and he showed us his ability to create humor through the characters and characteristics in that film. Here also, one can see a similar approach to building the story. In a way, Rameshan is a less eccentric Kunjiraman. But the setting here is more natural, so the conversation dynamic is slightly different. The flowing screenplay connects all the events very smoothly, and there isn’t really a phase that feels dull or stretched out. What ultimately will happen is predictable when you reach the film’s last quarter. But the emphasis on humor kind of shields the movie from that flaw.
Senna Hegde had made Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, and Deepu Pradeep had written Kunjiramayanam. So in a way, this is a combination that has safely cracked the wedding comedy space. Senna infuses a lot more realism into Deepu’s verbal comedy. The visual setting for many sequences evoked humor, especially those featuring Sajin Cherukayil. The geographical terrain is different from Senna’s comfort zone Kasargode, and thus Sreeraj Raveendran’s frames are more vibrant this time. The breaking of the 180-degree rule for that comedy sequence featuring Sajin and Mani Shornur was kind of evident, but it suited the pitch of that comedy. The songs by Jakes Bejoy blended in with the movie smoothly.
Kunchako Boban, as the central character Rameshan was an apt choice as he fits into the image of this eligible bachelor with this desperate and sensitive side. After quite a long time, we get to see Aparna Balamurali as a humorous character, and she was hilarious in portraying those minimal expressions of helplessness (Favorite was the one in that working women’s hostel scene). With her character having her own track in the film, Aparna gets a lot of space in Padmini. Madonna Sebastian shares palpable chemistry with Kunchako Boban on screen and delivers a tidy performance. Even though her screen time is pretty minimal, Vincy Sony Aloshious unleashes her inner Urvashi and delivers a controlled eccentric performance. Sajin Cherukayil as the comical toxic partner was hilarious, and I really enjoyed their decision to use his ad at the interval and at the end of the film. Anand Manmadhan as the “Aliyan,” Ganapathi as the Romeo brother, Mani Shornur, Seema G Nair, etc., delivered memorable performances.
Compared to the laughter the moments created until the climax, I would say the ending is a bit on the middling side. But it is kind of giving shape to the story, and frankly, the hangover of the laugh-out-loud moments you experienced till that point kind of makes it a forgivable flaw. With a runtime of just 120 minutes, Padmini is a fun watch that’s worth your time.
Padmini, the new Malayalam film from Senna Hegde, works very well as this light-hearted comedy because of the way the writing places conflicts and characters in the screenplay.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended