Much like the short films Ramesh Pisharody has done in the past, the movie Panchavarnathatha is also a film based on the need to be happy and simple in life. The path he has chosen is not a cinematically unique or captivating one. But the story here is simple and steady with the kind of jokes one would associate with Ramesh Pisharody and with an overall positive energy sprinkled over the narrative, Panchavarnathatha is a usual harmless entertainer.
An unnamed pet shop owner is actually our main protagonist here. He lives in the middle of a colony with his pet shop that has a wide range of animals and obviously the colony people considered him as a nuisance. Local MLA Kalesh was also against him. But in a turn of events, a situation arises where Kalesh had to accommodate this man and his animals in his residence. How that situation arises and what happens with the entry of this man into Kalesh’s life is what Panchavarnathatha dealing with.
Like I said, you won’t be able to see a director’s craft here in building a scene or in constructing a shot. But what Ramesh Pisharody does best here is incorporating his style of comedy into his ideology of positive lifestyle. Because of the discrete humor it caters to the audience, the experience is never dull. And to add more to it, we have a never before seen version of Jayaram playing a character without the inhibitions of being a typical hero.
Hari P Nair and Ramesh Pisharody are the writers of this film and their pattern of scripting is not that exciting. They are trying to address a lot of stuff within the small space they have got in this story and that sometimes leads to the creation of subplots that never blend in with the whole picture. The first wedding sequence, the enforcement raid, the morning jog etc. are a few to name. All these are funny, but they don’t add anything to the story. The preachy stuff Jayaram’s character says in the movie have a positive vibe and I felt the family audiences were able to connect with the essence of that. The music was generally good and the ironic part was that in the beginning of the movie Pisharody mocks EDMs and one of the songs had an EDM like feel.
If Jayaram’s character was presented in the usual way, the film would have been a disappointing one. But the reinvention of this actor adds a whole new layer to the story. From the body language to dialect, Jayaram delivers an authentic portrayal of the pet shop owner who values happiness over greed. Kunchako Boban and Anusree were fine in their respective roles. Dharmajan adds more fun to the narrative. Ashokan, Salim Kumar, Mallika Sukumaran, Maniyanpilla Raju, Prem Kumar etc. are the other main actors in this movie.
Panchavarnathatha is neither deep nor shallow. It’s preachy, but funny. And above all that it feels like a wakeup call for an actor like Jayaram to step away from the image of a typical hero and do films that demands more of his versatility.
Panchavarnathatha feels like a wake-up call for an actor like Jayaram to step away from the image of a typical hero and do films that demands more of his versatility.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended