- 2h 27min
Joy a young man who leads a carefree life. Joy acquaintance Babu Joseph, an English professor, and they reminiscence some seemingly forgotten memories.Joy a young man who leads a carefree life. Joy acquaintance Babu Joseph, an English professor, and they reminiscence some seemingly forgotten memories.Joy a young man who leads a carefree life. Joy acquaintance Babu Joseph, an English professor, and they reminiscence some seemingly forgotten memories.
Paavada (Menon) is a Shakespeare-quoting alcoholic who finds himself locked in a room of a de-addiction center with an equally notorious dipsomaniac Paambu (Sukumaran). Both have been sent there by their well wishers in an attempt to make them kick the habit that they so lovingly share. However, the duo manage to escape, and eventually hole up in former's house. There is a genre shift in the narration of the story as Paambu discovers Paavada's former profession, and then things blow out of proportion.
To some, this blowing out of proportion, although extraneous to what was possibly and illogically happening in the first half, would seem like a timid way of en-wrapping the gist of the whole shindig. But, the biggest problem with the whole film is that a bit of a social issue that it raises in the second half is what the makers primarily wanted to convey to its audience, and while it may work for some, it fundamentally reeks of the same liquor that was present in the film's belly when it was raising that issue.
Deadpan jokes along with loud, soap opera-like BGM heralds these characters into the story. Paambu manages with the help of a local pastor to cheat a dame (George) into marrying him while Paavada still serenades (not songs, but profanities) under the window of his former fiancée simultaneously jabbing philosophical slurs to whoever comes his way with a little of sobriety. The try at comedy is purely substandard, but that has everything to do with the receiving end who is still obsessed with all things alcoholic and 'beverage corporations.' One would find one or two jokes humorous, and that is all there is in the first half.
After the interval, these alcoholics start to grow a brain or quarter (pun very much intended) and begin to sugarcoat the social issue of soft-core pornography in cinema. What started out as a combination of cheap chronicles of these tireless men suddenly moves out of scope and carves itself to make itself look like something bigger. Unfortunately, not an iota of sympathy can be spared for any of the characters, because the story arc (which is unarguably ripped off by the largely unknown 2013 Malayalam film 'Matinee') is flimsy and without a base. Of course, one can surely keep the brains at home and sustain the blows that the film throws in in the first half, but then when it suddenly asks for a packet of intellect so that he/she can relate with the hapless victims of sexploitation or sexual poverty (as the film calls it), it begins to smother itself in its own puke.
Coming to the performance, Sukumaran crosses the line with his acting. The makers should know that characters who swing and dance under the influence are not funny. Mohanlal was not funny in Spirit (2012), neither was he two decades ago in Thoovanathumbikal (1987). And in here, neither Sukumaran nor Menon are funny. It's all just sleazy business without the sex, and the film wants you to empathize upon that.
I am all for comedy drama and I am a huge fan of Malayalam comedies, per se, but Paavada is a disappointment for being a gimmick. Look at the title of the film: what difference is there between the idea and inspiration behind naming the film so and the film's antagonist and his crooked plans?
To conclude, the blame is both on the makers, who churn out such mindless dramedies, and the audience, who roll down the aisles laughing. Watch the Maqbool Salmaan and Mythili starrer film 'Matinee' if you really care about the issue of sexploitation.
BOTTOM LINE: G Marthandan's third feature Paavada is at best a loud and fashionably flawed drama that slyly talks about an important social issue. It can be best described in a single Malayalam word that I have also used to describe actor Jayaram's last ten movies: 'valippu!'
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? NO
Profanity/Vulgarity: Medium | Alcohol/Smoking: Strong
- Jan 18, 2016