Talking Movies

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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Papanasam review: Kamal Haasan steals the show in this gritty remake of Malayalam film Drishyam

(This was first published on Firstpost)
There is a crime which is far from perfect. There is a family of an illiterate man, his loving wife and two young daughters trapped in the crime case.There is a hard as nails, a lady cop whose son is missing. And hell hath no fury than this khaki clad mother who believes the simple family to be responsible.
Two parents, two points of view and a single incident: this is potent stuff called Papanasam.
Jeetu Joseph,the writer and director of this Tamil remake of his own Malayalam super hit blockbuster, Drishyam;is clearly a mastermind at creating a plot centered around true lies
First he takes his time creating Suyambulingam’s (Kamal Haasan) little world. Every location shown and every character written, has significance.When you see it all coming together in the last shot, including the title’s relevance,the three plus hours spent, are most gratifying.
Suyam has a lovely house tucked away on a five acre plot in a small town called Papanasam in Tamil Nadu.The place is named after a river where people wash away their sins. Suyam is a simple, uneducated, self made businessman who runs a cable TV company. When he is not glued to the movies on his TV in his office, he visits a local restaurant for his daily tea. He inevitably crosses paths regularly, with a local corrupt cop. When home, he spends the most endearing time with his lovely wife, Raani (Gautami, also Haasan’s wife) and two daughters, Selvi (Niveda Thomas) and Meena (Esther Anil). When with them, he surrenders his miserly ways to their constant demands of shopping and outings.All is well until Selvi goes on a school trip.She meets Varun ( Roshan Basheer),the spoilt, bratty son of IG officer, Geetha Prabhakar (Asha Sarath).

What follows is a nightmare for this simple, close-knit family who by the first hour of the 
movie, has made a firm place in your heart. The story and screenplay turns more gripping
 with every single scene that followsA fierce link is established between the relentless lady cop,
 Geetha and Suyam’s family. Both are parents and will go to any length for their children. 
Watch this film just to see how far they will go, how clever each one is and how well every
 detail is weaved in;like a full blown Sherlock Holmes story. Though this is not a detective film
 or a mystery,it would be sacrilege to reveal anything more. While Haasan mesmerizes with his
 emotional big eyes and experienced performance, Asha Sarath as the tough cop with a mother’s nose for trouble, is explosive in her presence and dialogue delivery. Anant Mahadevan as her husband is adequately
Gautami as the simpleton wife and mother,suits the role. The fearful daughters played by
 Niveda and Esther, do complete justice to their pivotal roles in the script.
The film may be in Tamil but is likely to appeal equally to the Hindi cinegoer. Papanasam is a
great reminder of why we go to the movies: to be entertained and stay emotionally engaged.
Regional language should not keep you away, irrespective of upcoming Hindi remake,
Just remember,you might want a hot Molaga Podi(Idli gunpowder) recipe to come back home

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