When you look at the total runtime of Salim Ahmed’s new movie Pathemari, the 3/4th of it is very much the “responsible brother” cliché that we have seen many times in Malayalam industry and most of the times it was Mammootty who portrayed those roles. Where Pathemari grabs your attention is probably in the last half an hour. Salim Ahmed who was struggling to get a novelty to the content manages to create some heart wrenching scenes with emotional dialogues. With the megastar performing charmingly in his typical style, the movie manages to land in that good region.
The movie is actually the entire life of an NRI Pallikkal Narayanan. Because of the family responsibilities, Narayanan along with his friend Moideen goes to Middle East in a Pathemari. The movie basically focuses on the selfless life of Narayanan who eventually spent almost 50 years at the Middle East so that his family can survive. What all he had to go through and how everyone treats him is what Pathemari talking about.
As I said the larger portion of this film is very familiar to Malayali film audience as we have seen this sort of drama in movies like Vathsalyam, Vesham etc. The selfless dependable brother and his responsibilities gives the script all the chance to add the unavoidable clichés and thus the events which unfold fails to surprise us. The predictability takes away most of the charm and the occasional dialogues about NRI life in the Middle East keep the movie alive. The last half an hour of the movie has our central protagonist in really bad emotional situation. The smoothness in approaching such situations and the dialogues around those portions finally gives the movie that impact which it was lacking till that point.
On screen you get to see the actor in Mammootty in that last phase and the effortless style was impeccable. Jewel Mary has to be appreciated for pulling off an impressive performance in her debut movie (Pathemari was shot before Utopiayile Rajavu). While Siddique once again showed his caliber, his son failed to create an impression. Sreenivasan did his part nicely. The rest of the cast comprising of actors like Joy Mathew, Sunil Sughada, Salim Kumar and many others were okay in their respective roles.
Salim Ahmed has tried to be ambitious this time with the subject. But with the limited budget, he couldn’t really achieve that much of a quality. His screenplay and presentation has this typical drama which disappointed me personally. One reason I loved his Kunjananthante Kada was the kind of sensible dialogues the movie had. Only towards the end Salim Ahmed manages to get the lines correct and that dialogue towards the end where Siddiqu’e character compares Coffin and suitcase was one gem. The tracks from Bijibal were impressive. The sync sound was neat and the sound design was also fine. There wasn’t anything catchy about the cinematography. The visual effects part was completely tacky.
Overall Pathemari is a watchable movie for its performance value and the last half an hour of content. The rating for the movie is a generous 3/5. Don’t fall for the Oscar buzz; that can ruin your expectations.
Pathemari is a watchable movie for its performance value and the last half an hour of content. Don’t fall for the Oscar buzz; that can ruin your expectations.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended