On paper, I would say the character played by Rajisha Vijayan in the movie Pakalum Pathiravum has a spectacular scope to be unique and extremely grey. That character is driven by greed and frustration. But the “Masterpiece” director Ajai Vasudev has no plans to explore the shades of that character. And all he did was shoot the entire film at a high frame rate so that the last few seconds of every shot could be converted into extreme slow motion.
The film revolves around a family who lives in a hilly area near the forest. The family’s financial status is really bad, and the father is a drunkard. Amidst the tension of a Maoist group’s presence in that area, a young man comes to that house and asks for shelter as his bike has a complaint. How that one-night stay of that traveler changes everything for the family is what you see in Pakalum Pathiravum.
Some twists need to be tweaked over time, and if not, people might end up laughing at it or might not even react to it. The separated father-son scripting trope was so outdated that Karthik Subbaraj used it as his hero’s trick to fool the bad guy in his movie Petta. The twist in Pakalum Pathiravum might not be the same as in Petta. But the presentation of that twist is heavily outdated. And because of the zero impact that twist creates in us as viewers, the entire movie feels like a tedious and mediocre effort to pull off a generic and uninspiring thriller.
The movie is based on the 2018 Kannada film Aa Karaala Ratri by Dayal Padmanabhan. I haven’t seen that film, so I will not make any comparisons. What ruins the film is Ajai Vasudev’s obsession with creating mystery and heroics every 2 minutes in the movie. I strongly assume that almost the entire film was shot at a higher frame rate. The mystery man, played by Kunchako Boban, gets too much priority and buildup, while it should have been a movie about the dilemma of Daisy, played by Rajisha Vijayan. Writer Nishad Koya intends to create tension, but the predictability only induces irritation. Faiz Siddik’s cinematography is great for cutting a trailer but not for a mystery thriller.
Kunchako Boban practically sleepwalks through a character that just wants him to smile and raise an eyebrow in alternate scenes. Since the character was in a fascinating space for performance, I could see why Rajisha Vijayan opted for the role. But sadly, Ajai Vasudev just can’t present the movie and her character compellingly. There is no justification for the time they wasted on pointless antagonists played by Guru Somasundaram and Tamizh. Manoj KU as the drunkard and sensitive father with a different slang, had done a neat job. Actress Seetha’s performance as the mother was way too dramatic. As always, Gokulam Gopalan is there in his own production with terrible dialogue delivery.
Pakalum Pathiravum had the scope to be something different in Ajai Vasudev’s filmography, almost like how people look at Vishudhan in Vysakh’s career. But Ajai is constantly trying to drag the movie into his comfort zone of creating a mass movie. With that treatment being a total misfit for the theme and the craft looking extremely outdated on screen, Pakalum Pathiravum feels like a dry and dragged film despite having Sam CS’s deafening score, which sounded like a variant of the Vikram Vedha theme.
With that treatment being a total misfit for the theme and the craft looking extremely outdated on screen, Pakalum Pathiravum feels like a dry and dragged film despite having Sam CS's deafening score
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended