Pathinettam Padi Review & Rating
Pathinettam Padi Review: A Brilliant Piece of Cinema You SHould Not Miss
Pathinettam Padi or the 18th step tells the story of a couple of youngsters from two different backgrounds which is stylized in the form of the schools they went - one is from a government school and the other from an international school where kids of the rich join. A common setting. very common like we have seen umpteen times. But what separates this Shanker Ramakrishnan directorial is the way he narrated the film without falling prey to the genre tropes of teenage love like a certain Omar Lulu did and keeping the characters grounded.
The stars - there are many - are out there to lend a bit of weight and because they can pull off the roles well than just for the sake of their presence. But of course, Mammootty is back to his charming best and his screen presence inspires awe. Ashwin is the kid from the international school and Ayyappan is the guy from the government institute. This is their rivalry that is at the center of the proceedings.
The story of a rivalry
The movie starts with the saintly Ashwin going to the school he has been running which is known to bring miraculous transformation in a student. He wears white and has a balanced voice. It is his dream project. His baby (intellectual). This Ashwin is quite opposite to the one we will see for the most part on the screen. The teenage Ashwin is a rebel and doesn't spare anyone who opposes his way. And Ayyappan with a similarly strong personality but with opposing values is his rival.
Ashwin can get anything he wants... because he can. Because he has the money required to work things. Ayyappan didn't have the luxury. He is from a normal background and he needs to go to the government school so that the expenses of his education could be less for his parents. And parents... we don't see much of them. All the elder characters, for the most part, are the teachers or the bus drivers - a double-decker at that.
The majority of Pathinettam Padi happens in the 1990s setting when the protagonists are school kids. The international school students and the government school students cross the paths of each other which leads to skirmishes. Surprisingly, the director stylized their characters to such an extent that the innocence we expect from teenage characters is missing. They all behave mature and are sure-footed for the most part. Except for the moments of righteousness.
Their teacher, Joy Abraham Palakkal, tries to reform them. A young and stylish lady teacher helps him in the proceedings. But things are always on the verge of going out of control and that's where the peak of the trouble for our protagonists - Ashwin and Ayyappan occurs. When a near-irrevocable tragedy strikes, comes John Abraham Palakkal - Mammootty in a role that is written as a tribute to the Megastar - appears and takes things under his wing. How and if he helps the rival kids mend their ways or not form the rest of the story.
The movie has several cameos of the star actors. Prithviraj Sukumaran appears as the Adult Ashwin. Coupled with his narration and appearance, the movie has a great start. Arya who plays Ayyappan's adult version is an army man fighting at the border. He is good in the limited screen time. Priyamani plays the role of Ashwin's elder sister and she is authentic. Chandunath who played the teacher who tries to keep the students in the right path, Joy Abraham, is affable.
The kids who played the younger versions of the protagonists are terrific. The director has selected a bunch of wunderkinder who lived their characters on the screen. Akshay Radhakrishnan as young Ayyappan is all fire. Ashwin Gopinath as young Ashwin is brutally brilliant. rest of the actors who played their schoolmates are apt.
And then there is Mammootty. After playing an extraordinarily ordinary role of Mani sir (SI) in Unda, he is back to his usual self as the Megastar. He appeared suave and the voice his the finality. The body language exudes authority. His moments graceful. In a role written as a tribute to Mammukka by the director as he himself had stated, Mammootty owned the few minutes he appears on the screen.
The songs are good including the one where Saniya Ayyappan makes an electrifying entry (read: special number). But they come at inopportune moments for the most part. The background score is fresh and lends energy to the proceedings. The cinematography has a similar quality. It is at once raw and vibrant. The editing is sharp despite the lengthy run time which could be trimmed by taking down the songs. The production designer team did a splendid job of recreating the atmosphere of the period. The production values are top-notch.
Pathinattam Padi is one more entry in the list of fresh subjects by newer filmmakers (though Shanker is not new if we consider his experience as a writer and actor). Strong visuals and brilliant writing makes this film an essential watch for those who are waiting for new-age cinema. It is the teenage actors who run the show but the stars added their weight to make the film bigger in scale. Don't miss.
- Brilliant narration
- Terrific young actors
- Star power added weight to the subject
- Good direction
- Songs could have been kept out of the film to bring the runtime down
Pycker Rating: 3.25 out of 5
Reviewed by: GitacharYa
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What Is Pathinettam Padi About?
Pathinettam Padi is a film which explores the rivalry between two groups of students from two diverse institutions. One - a government-run organization and the other - privately run. Prithviraj Sukumaran's voice-over narrates the setting of the film which stars an ensemble cast which includes Megastar Mammootty.
Directed by actor-turned-director Shanker Ramakrishnan, the intense action drama has been creating a lot of buzz in the lead up to its release. It is produced by August Cinema and also has Prithviraj Sukumaran in a cameo, and Unni Mukundan, Arya, Lalu Alex, Suraj Venjarammoodu and Ahaana Krishna in other important roles.
Pathinattam Padi Promises
An intense drama involving the fates of students
Two schools. One rivalry. And it leads to fighting not only among the students themselves, but even the army also involves. There are friendships. And there are promises. Mammootty plays the role of John Abraham, a Stanford professor. It is said that he comes here for the sake of a promise made to a loved one. And his appearance is August.
Mammukka's presence and Prithviraj
Both Megastar Mammootty and Prithviraj Sukumaran who recently turned a director and delivered Mollywood's biggest hit of all time by a distance lend star power to the film. Mammootty is also on a roll this year bringing back his A-Game in both performance-oriented and mass roles. As a small matter, he delivered four back to back commercial hits in three languages!!! Certainly augurs well to the film. And the director of the film Shanker Ramakrishnan himself said that John Abraham role is a sort of tribute to the legend Mammootty. Can't wait to watch him on the big screen however small a role he played in this film.
Shanker Ramakrishnan and his team
Noted screenwriter and actor, Shanker Ramakrishnan directed a segment in the ten-story strong anthology film Kerala Cafe in 2009. Now he's making his proper directorial debut with Pathinettam Padi. A.H. Kaashif composes the musical score which has an intense quality. Sudeep Elamon's cinematography captured the chaotic nature of the film as evidenced by the latter half of the trailer.
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