Movies that speak about social injustice have certainly made impact on the masses in the past. Tamil film maker Shankar is a veteran in that genre. Punyalan Private Limited from director Ranjith Shankar which comes as a sequel to the 2013 film Punyalan Agarbathis is a film that tries to be this common man’s outburst against the flaws in the system. But the problem is that it tries to communicate to you in a less subtle manner.
So the premise now has Joy facing a lot of setbacks in life by all means. He left politics, wife passed away and the agarbatti business also saw a dead end. But the optimistic Joy Thakkolkkaran had no plans to give up and he comes up with the idea of mineral water business. Like the elephant dung in the last venture, this business also needed a peculiar category of raw materials and Joy once again faces issues in the business. When everything met with a negative impact, Joy plans for something to survive from this do or die situation. How that goes and what happens in the end is the result of Punyalan Private Limited.
The system vs citizen theme has occurred in some of the earlier films of Ranjit Shankar. In Molly Aunty Rocks he somewhat succeeded in trying it using the comedy flavor and Punyalan Agarbattis was the first time we saw him attaining that success of making a comedy film with social relevance. The issue with Punyalan Private Limited is that it is pushing the scope of Joy Thakkolkkaran too much. Agarbattis had a premise similar to Mithunam were a man is trying to setup a business but had to face a lot of issues from authorities. The humor there was natural and I remember laughing frequently throughout that film. But this time when Ranjith Shankar pushes this character to be a Muthalvan, we miss the fun aspect of it. And what he speaks is relevant, but the medium of cinema needs an impactful representation.
Ranjit Shankar is struggling here as a writer. In rendering scenes as a director he is maintaining the sort of coolness he showed in the previous one. Punyalan Private Limited is almost like the amalgamation of Punyalan Agarbattis and all the films he made prior to that. Poor roads, Paliyekkara Toll, note ban, beef ban, violence against women, wastage of public fund and many other things that we already know have been shown here, but the movie is trying so desperately to be a social preach that all of this falls flat. The buildup given to the “plans” of Joy feels a bit too much. The rise of Joy Thakkolkkaran as a social sensation doesn’t look authentic. Cinematography is average. The music doesn’t have the energy of the earlier one.
Much like the previous one, Jayasurya is convincing as the young entrepreneur. The humorous and serious shades of Thakkolkkaran were fine in his hands. Vijayaraghavan was okay as the CM. Sreejith Ravi’s Abhayan was a memorable character in the first one, but here they have pushed his stupidity too much. Dharmajan was fun to watch. Aju Varghese this time has only a very brief role (mostly inside the mobile screen). Vishnu Govindan’s character was really annoying.
If having a message is enough for you to appreciate a film, Punyalan Private Limited might not disappoint you. Because the only appreciable thing I found in this movie was this “socially relevant” part. Otherwise it’s a film you won’t remember for long.
If having a message is enough for you to appreciate a film, Punyalan Private Limited might not disappoint you.