Panthrand, the new movie from Leo Thaddeus, is this biblical adaptation set in the backdrop of Kerala. It takes a while for the divine drama to let the viewer know its plan. But the structuring of the drama is so dull that even when they reveal the surreal side of the story, the narrative’s emotional graph remains flat.
Anthro has returned home after a three-year jail term, and his mates, including his brother Pathro, are ecstatic about his return. The gang who used to do quotation works for a local real estate guy with political connections goes back to that routine. But interestingly, a young man comes to their village, and his presence starts to unsettle Anthro. Who is this man, and what’s the connection between him and Anthro is what we witness in Panthrand.
Spoiler Alert! Panthrand may look like a gangster genre movie from its promo materials. But like I said, it is a biblical adaptation. And what you see is the transformation of wreckless goons into good human beings. For a concept like that to work, you need to be able to relate to the emotional turmoil of the goon who has justified his decision to be a bad person—that’s precisely where Panthrand fumbles. When I track back the whole movie, there are scenes for sure that marked their transition, but unfortunately, it is difficult to understand what triggered that moment.
Vinayakan as Anthro was fine. There is a sense of restraint in his performance as Anthro. Anthro is someone who has had time to contemplate what he is doing with his life. And that level-headedness was visible in the performance. Shine Tom Chacko is yet again in that eccentric space, and luckily, he looks sober towards the end. Dev Mohan’s casting is mainly because of the way he looks the part. The guy has the much-needed grace to pull off the character. Lal, Srindaa, Prashanth Murali, Sundhar Pandyan, James Elia, etc., are the other major names in the elaborate cast.
In terms of presenting the movie in that mystic divine space, the visuals have contributed. The numerous aerial shots and the way certain characters and visuals are presented will give you an idea on a subconscious level. But it is the reform of each character, or at least the most important ones, that needed a better presentation. In most cases, it was pretty blurry, and the overwhelming emotional high one would expect for such transitions were missing. Music by Alphonse was a bit quirky and thus became catchy.
Leo Thaddeus’ mystic divine drama is an effort that looks interesting as a concept but needed a lot more flare in the making. The sluggishness in the articulation and the inability to portray the characters with depth takes away the aura Panthrand aspired to have.
Leo Thaddeus' mystic divine drama is an effort that looks interesting as a concept but needed a lot more flare in the making.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended