The new movie from Ranjith – Mammootty combination, Puthan Panam was announced on November 2016. As per the trailer, the movie seemed like something that had to do with the demonetization that happened on November 8th. I was curious to know how writer director Ranjith managed to create an interesting story in such a short time. My curiosity was answered with a really disappointing cinema that had very less to do with its trailer and title. With only the swagger and slang working in favor of the movie, Puthan Panam looks aimless.
Nithyananda Shenoy is this man with mafia backdrop who is involved in all the illegal deeds. The demonetization decision caused some major issues for him due to certain foul plays from people he knew. So Shenoy starts a journey to deal with people who caused problems for him. Puthan Panam is about the series of unplanned events that happens in this particular journey.
Like I said, the title and trailer of this film is misleading. You might feel that everything is based on the demonetization issue. But Puthan Panam seems like a story that was already written and the element of demonetization was added on later. It is actually a quest for a gun. After nearly half an hour or so in to the film, you will know that the movie no longer has any interest in the currency issue. It becomes a story behind a murder. And with not so convincing reasons, Ranjith lingers around a thin subject. In the climax of the film, the backdrop of Nithyananda Shenoy is explained and the details may sound a bit heroic, but the logic of that guy struggling to get a gun is sort of funny.
Mammootty is well known for mastering slangs and here also he has done a very good job in that department. Beyond the slang this film isn’t challenging for an actor like Mammootty. He is in this aged shape in the film and there is no loss in charm. The only issue was in the over the top wire supported fight sequence in the climax which fails miserably. Child actor Swaraj Gramika looks like a promising talent. Baiju plays the character offered to him in the typical Trivandrum style of his. The movie has an elaborate cast including names like Iniya, Mamukoya, Indrans, Hareesh, Nirmal, Siraj, Joy Mathew, Niranjana, Ganapathi, Siddique, Saikumar and many others with most of them having very less to do on screen.
As a film maker, the advantage of Ranjith was his writing in creating those over the top characters in an appealing way. Here also he has managed to create a central protagonist in an attractive way. But the writer director fails miserably in penning a credible story and screenplay. While the discrete humor and heroics might keep the movie a little less boring, there is no real charm in the narrative here. The screenplay looks a bit aimless at points and the disappointment only increases as we realize towards the conclusion that the film has nothing to do with demonetization or its outcomes. Om Prakash’s frames have managed to add some style factor to the film, but the multi color tone of certain frames looked disturbing. The background score wasn’t that catchy. The editor could have done something to save that climax fight. The one song in the film which featured Swaraj Gramika, Niranjana and Ganapathi was a misfit to the movie.
Puthan Panam has this quest for a gun and Mammootty was addressed as Swami in some scenes. In my opinion Thokku Swami would have been a better title than Puthan Panam.
With only the swagger and slang working in favor of the movie, Puthan Panam looks aimless.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended