Rooted characters, blended humor and also the visual portrayal of the enlightenment one gets after taking a risky, lively journey. All these makes the latest Aashiq Abu film Rani Padmini an absorbing cinema that ultimately tells you to be yourself and take that leap of faith. It is not Thelma & Louise and looking at the final achievement of the leading ladies, the film is definitely inspiring and engaging.
Padmini is from this conventional Malayali backdrop and she is married to Giri, an automotive enthusiast and a rally champion settled in Delhi. The issues with the mother in law and the lack of care from husband have put Padmini in a difficult situation. The short tempered Rani has the responsibility of her small family comprising of mother and grandmother. The need for care and the need of money force both of them to go to the Himalayas. What happens in that journey and how it changes their life is what the movie talking about.
The slicing of the film in to two halves looked a bit odd when the director announced it on Facebook. But I have to say that it is a smart move. The 45 minutes long first half doesn’t try hard to be extremely entertaining. The main character’s backdrop gets visualized in the first half and it is definitely not boring. It is the second half that makes Rani Padmini look so rich. The characters are becoming closer, the journey starts to look amusing and without much verbal preaching Aashiq Abu succeeds in conveying the idea of freedom and exploration. The “flying” sequence was the best portion of the film according to me. Visuals, dialogue and the wet eyes of the title protagonists, in a way depict the freedom they were looking for. A certain level of predictability is there for some portions towards the climax, but the natural rendering makes it look good on screen.
Among the films she did in this second innings, Rani Padmini has the most cheerful Manju Warrier. As the movie progressed, Manju’s performance gradually became an effortless one. Rima Kallingal looked perfect to play that part. The tomboyish feel and the roughness due to the loneliness were portrayed nicely by Rima. Hareesh Khanna as the gangster leader was an interesting and impressive casting. Jinu Joseph and Sajitha Madathil did their roles neatly. Small and memorable roles were there for Soubin Shahir, Dileesh Pothan, Srinda and Sreenath Bhasi.
Aashiq Abu has done complete justice to the script by giving it a smart outlook. First of all full marks to his casting. The rawness was there in treatment and the humor comes in naturally. The minimal verbal style was also impressive. Quirky techniques like showing the wedding CD and the gimmicks was quite an interesting style that kept the movie in that engaging mood. The script from Syam Pushkaran and Ravi Sankar has that grace. Building the characters with sensible backdrop was done very neatly and there isn’t much of an unbelievability on how they managed to do all these expeditions. It occasionally goes back and forth to give a strong foundation to the characters. Special mention to those spoof stories on having a “message”. The cinematography from Madhu Neelakandan was exquisite. Tracks were wonderful and the BGM was really in sync with the mood. The edits were also sharp.
On the whole Rani Padmini is a captivating experience that stays in your mind for having a progressive thought. The rating for the movie is 4/5. It is not the typical entertainer stuff. But it’s a film with less fakeness and more heart.
Rani Padmini is a captivating experience that stays in your mind for having a progressive thought. It’s a film with less fakeness and more heart.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended