It is no secret that even the hero of the film Pathonpatham Noottandu, Siju Wilson, had second thoughts about choosing a film directed by Vinayan, seeing the performance of the veteran director’s last few outings. Frankly, I was also curious to know whether it was the lack of a better cast and crew that was limiting Mr. Vinayan from being a successful filmmaker. But after watching Pathonpatham Noottandu, I must say that he is clearly looking for consolation prices from the audience for trying something. But the sad part is, this something isn’t that unique for a 2022 audience.
Pathonpatham Noottandu is set in the backdrop of the prime of foreign invasion and caste system. Women of lower caste weren’t allowed to wear upper cloth, and those who dared to do were punished. Arattupuzha Velayudha Chekavar was a self-made businessman from the lower caste community who fought for the betterment of the discriminated caste. His efforts to uplift the community and the struggles of Nangeli to find justice for women are what we see in Pathonpatham Noottandu.
No historical evidence connects some of the major characters in Vinayan’s film. Hence, one has to look at this movie as a fictionalized version rather than something with historical accuracy. Being fiction, by the way, is not the problem with this film. Pathonpatham Noottandu, on a writing level, feels like an extremely lazily researched film that, somewhere, was way too confident that the visuals would make the viewer forget the superficial exploration that has been done on a script level. Vinayan has characters in his head for sure, but he is clueless about how to link them all in a single story and what he has chosen gives the movie this silly feel.
There is a massive upgrade that has happened to the technical team of this movie. But Vinayan is unable to evolve from the scene structuring grammar that he followed from the days of Aakasha Ganga. There was this trivia I found online that said there would be a bathing scene of the heroine in every Vinayan movie, and guess what? In Pathonpatham Noottandu, we have Nangeli bathing and dancing in a song with no relevance. The dialogues are far too simple, and I felt that even Anoop Menon was like, “I can write better.” The screenplay structure of placing fight sequences is highly predictable. The cinematography by Shaji Kumar tries to give the movie this polished look. The cuts of the fight in the trailer looked slick, but when it came to the film, they looked pretty underwhelming. The background score by Santhosh Narayanan lacked originality. A shoutout to Ajayan Chalissery’s production design which had a significant role in making the visuals look authentic on screen.
As Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, Siju Wilson has that grace, and with the way he walks and talks, there is no space for doubt in our minds on whether that guy is a warrior. Even in delivering those cheesy protector dialogues, Siju’s voice modulation is impressive. Anoop Menon is slipping into being Anoop Menon every time he delivers dialogues. Suresh Krishna and Tini Tom have made their characters look like caricatures. Kayadu Lohar struggles with the emoting part. They have demonized the Kayamkulam Kochunni character that Chemban Vinod Jose played. Senthil Krishna’s Chirukandan has traces of his own Karumadikuttan imitation. For a person who knows Sudev Nair’s actual voice, that dubbing will feel like a totally poor choice of voice. A special mention to Gokulam Gopalan for a performance that will quickly make anyone understand that he is the one who invested money in this project.
Presenting a story is an integral part of storytelling which makes period dramas very compelling on screen. As time changes, one needs to change those presentation tools along with technological advancements. Pathonpatham Noottandu has got a great team to pull off the film. But the writing is so basic that there is hardly a moment in the movie where you will feel gooseflesh.
Pathonpatham Noottandu has got a great team to pull off the film. But the writing is so basic that there is hardly a moment in the movie where you will feel gooseflesh.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended