Panchavalsara Padhathi Review | A Tiresome Political Satire Devoid of Craft

Looking at the state of the country, one can easily agree that the climate demands some political and religious satires to make people aware of what is happening around them. The new movie of PG Premlal, Panchavalsara Padhathi, written by Thondimuthalum Driksashiyum fame Sajeev Pazhoor, is an attempt to create a mockery of the social evils. Unfortunately, the craft in both making and writing is so bad that you just don’t feel like clapping for any of the lines or events that have a direct link with something that is happening in society. 

The movie is set in a village named Kalamberi. Sanoj, our hero, runs the Akshaya center in that village, and he is like an all-in-all for many people, and the man knows all the crooked ways to get what he wants. At one point, a resort owner in the village who invested a lot in his resort, hoping the view of a mountain that looked like a sleeping “Rakshasi” would get him a lot of business, calls Sanoj to his property and asks him to do something to boost the business. What Sanoj does to help this man and how that changes everything for that village is what we see in Panchavalsara Padhathi.

As with any bad film, the problem here is with the writing. How religion has become a sensitive subject in the country and how people in power are using it for their gain is the area Sajeev Pazhoor wishes to focus on. But there is no catchy element here to make us feel that we are witnessing something genuinely fresh from a cinematic point of view. The twist at the end was very evident from the word go. And there are a lot of subplots and sequences that don’t gel with the genre, and most of them don’t even have a purpose. The humor is mostly flat, and it feels more like a creation that the makers decided to create just to satisfy their ego that they did something against this regime.

Siju Wilson is just a hero Premlal wanted to have a poster value to the movie. Even though he is playing the character who is doing all the backend stuff, it’s not a heavily demanding character, and he performed the part very comfortably. Nna Thaan Case Kodu fame PP Kunhikrishnan is there in an important role in the film, and he was okay. Nisha Sarang, Late Harish Pengan, Sudheesh, Vijayakumar, etc., are some of the other names in the elaborate cast of this film.

Rather than capturing the events written in the script, one can’t really see any signature involvement of a filmmaker in this PG Premlal film. They have these bullet points in their mind on what topics need to be addressed. But the development of all that into a story is through cliched tropes, and the template nature with all predictable elements is making this Kalambasuran tale exhausting and unexciting despite the intent being good. The cinematography is extremely flat and just doesn’t create any sort of visual impact.

Panchavalsara Padhathi has aspirations to be a PK meets Panchavadi Paalam on a one liner level. But when it comes to the final product, it is a collection of emotionally disjoint episodes that just can’t hold the attention of the viewer. Art is definitely political, but for it to be compelling, craft is critical.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the final product, it is a collection of emotionally disjoint episodes that just can't hold the attention of the viewer.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.