Palthu Janwar

Palthu Janwar perhaps belongs to that niche of films that are feel-good in nature yet close to reality. The movie, directed by Sangeeth P Rajan, uses the theme of overcoming setbacks in a very grounded way. Even though a central conflict doesn’t drive the film, hope is ultimately the driving element of the story. With some memorable characters and character equations, Palthu Janwar has that warmth that we would anticipate in a movie set in the backdrop of a village.

Prasoon, who had a failed career in animation, reluctantly joins the veterinary hospital as a livestock inspector. He is unfamiliar with the LI job and still wants to have a career in animation. And to make things worse, Prasoon faces some major setbacks in the initial days of his job, where he got the flack for all the mess. How a particular event reinstills, Prasoon’s hope in this job is what we see in Palthu Janwar.

If you look at the film, the differentiation between false motivation and right motivation becomes a narrative tool in Palthu Janwar. Prasoon has the ambition to have a career in animation. But his sister gently reminds him about why his company was a failure. Writers Aneesh Anjali and Vinoy Thomas mock the toxic motivation through the character played by Shammy Thilakan. Every subplot in the film organically creates a set of hurdles in front of Prasoon on an emotional level. And what the climax tries to achieve is a reason for him to face those challenges.

Sangeeth opts for this “realistic” way of narration for this movie, and since the characters are rooted in that backdrop, the treatment works in favor of the film. Within the first half, the makers effectively establish the village and its routine. Parallelly the insecurities and frustrations of Prasoon are also shown to us. The movie’s third act is also a very simplistic approach toward giving the hero hope that this profession can work for him. But what elevated the climax was how it used the concept of birth in a somewhat surreal way. The crooked, cunning, opportunist and humane ones are all under one roof, and they all have happy tears witnessing the moment. Justin Varghese’s minimal music gives the right energy to the narrative.

Basil Joseph was really good at performing the frustrations of Prasoon. He is usually used for these loud characters, and I think perhaps his best performances have come whenever he gets a restrained character. Johny Antony has been doing many comical characters since he became this full-time actor (barring that superb performance in Khalid Rahman’s Love). For me, the most impressive performance and the most refreshing visual in Palthu Janwar was his performance as Denis. Shammy Thilakan, in his minimal role, was really hilarious. Dileesh Pothan, as the priest, was fine. Sruthy Suresh plays the role of Stephy, Prasoon’s constant support system. The performance and the writing of the character played by Indrans need to be lauded. It was a squeezed-in character to show the fakely innocent side of irresponsible people. Still, by giving that character a proper arc, the movie uses him smartly on various occasions.

I am not saying Palthu Janwar is a wholesome entertainer that ticks all the boxes. It is a small canvas movie with its heart in the right place. They have attributed relatable vulnerabilities to the central character, which will somewhere make the viewer root for that character.

Final Thoughts

I am not saying Palthu Janwar is a wholesome entertainer that ticks all the boxes. It is a small canvas movie with its heart in the right place.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.