Sunday, July 5, 2015

Papanasam - Recreates the 'Drishyam' Magic

Papanasam is a faithful remake of the malayalam classic 'Drishyam'.I am writing this review after watching both the movies - Papanasam and Drishyam.Before watching Papanasam,I had an opinion that it was highly impossible to recreate the magic of Mohan Lal's Drishyam. There were reasons for that.Be it Mohan Lal or Meena or the children who acted as their daughters or even the Muslim who runs the tea-shop,their performances were very natural. On the other hand,I thought Kamal may overact and spoil the character in an attempt to overtake MohanLal.There were many who thought like this.But 'Papanasam' gave a tight slap to us.We felt like Kamal through his 'Choyambulingam' character saying 'chinna pasangala yaar kitta?' to us.

Remaking a classic, which was also commercial blockbuster, is like walking on a tight rope. That too, Drishyam is a complicated case.Mohan Lal's George Kutty character doesn't demand any special appearance or loud dialogues.George Kutty is a common man, who earned all his properties by sheer hardwork and leads a happy life with his family.How he faces a difficult situation and how he overcomes it.That is what the protagonist of Drishyam or Papanasam is supposed to do.When Mohan Lal has already done this perfectly,the task of doing this role again in a different language is going to be a real challenge.Kamal took up the challenge.

The story is simple.Choyambulingam(Kamal) is an ordinary man,who has come up on his own, marries Gautami without getting any dowry.He has 2 daughters.At times voices out against the corrupt policeman(Kalabavan Mani).One day his family faces an unexpected problem.What the problem is?Is Choyambulingam able to solve it?If yes, how? This is what Papanasam is all about.Recently,we have seen lot of thriller/horror movies.In such movies, the screenplay will revolve around an incident and the audience will be left guessing - 'who is behind the incident?'.But Papanasam is a different thriller.Here you will be tempted to know what will be the next move of the protagonist rather than thinking 'what would have happened when the incident took place'.You will understand this while watching the movie. 

Biggest success of Papanasam is its casting and performance.Baby Esther and Asha Sarath played the same roles in original version as well.I thought Gautami is a miscast after watching Meena.I felt Meena had a better screenpresence than Gautami,but that did not spoil the character.
Gautami has done well.Hope she gets more offers after Papanasam. The elder daughter Niveda,corrupt policeman Kalabhavan Mani,Ilavarasu as constable, Arul Dass as sub-inspector have done well too.Nothing was artificial.Baby Esther's eyes, expressions and dialogue delivery would leave you spellbound. Asha Sarath as a tough police officer and a caring mother has done exceedingly well.It seems she is doing acting in this role for third time( after Malayalam and Kannada versions).

 But it was M.S.Bhaskar as the tea-shop owner stood out.He was damn brilliant.People will usually say 'he lived as that character',that sentence will suit Mr.Bhaskar very well.His local slang,expressions,body language etc proves his quality.I can proudly call myself as a fan of this actor.He was terrific in movies like Mozhi,Uttama Villain etc.Compared to those movies,he has less footage in Papanasam,but he has proved his mettle in this role too.Other than M S Bhaskar,I feel one more character has come out very well in Tamil - Anant Mahadevan's Prabhakar,who comes as husband of Asha Sarath.He was impressive with his innocent expressions and body language.This particular character alone I feel Tamil version is better than Malayalam.

Ghibran's BGM and songs are pleasing.The background music is neither too loud nor quiet. Ghibran has given as much as the situation demands.Sujith's cinematography takes you to Papanasam itself.Lovely visuals.'Yeya En Kottikara' song has a soothing music and pleasant visuals.

 I have mentioned lot of positives about the movie,but Kamal as Choyambulingam elevates the standard of movie.Full credit to director Jeethu Joseph.Though he has directed the original version,it is not easy to create the same impact again.Handling Mohan Lal and Kamal has its own advantages and difficulties.They are known for their acting skills,so it is quite normal for even an average movie-goer to expect some impressive performance. The advantage is they are capable of doing it,difficulty is extracting it perfectly.The director has mastered the art it seems. 

There are some scenes which are enough to differentiate Mohan Lal and Kamal.Mohan Lal shows an unimaginable calmness in his face and his body language conveys the message 'you have underestimated me and you are going to pay for it'. The same scene,Kamal does bit differently.He just gives a sarcastic look towards the police. It was like saying 'now you might have understood who Choyambulingam is'. Audience were crazily whistling and clapping for this particular scene.Again in climax, Mohan Lal maintains his calmness on his face still we are able to notice the tears in his eyes.Here too his expressions and body language says,'yes,it may be wrong.even we are not happy with that,but there was no other option,for me my family is important'. Whereas Kamal was completely different from Mohan Lal in climax.He starts of kind of normally, gradually he gets emotional and suddenly he breaks-down.Splendid performance it was. In short, Mohan Lal and Kamal have acted differently but with complete perfection. Those who have watched Drishyam and Papanasam will never say Kamal was better than Mohan Lal or Mohan Lal was better than Kamal.

There is another important point about this script.Anant Mahadevan once says 'our son is misusing your affection'.Parents should control their children - both son and daughter. When parents fail to control their children on some aspects,they will only end up suffering.Just because someone is a 'son',he doesn't get the license to do some 'small' mistakes. Ignoring some 'serious' mischief of the 'sons' is the starting point for most of the crimes in the society.

As I have mentioned in the title, the Kamal-Jeethu Joseph combination has recreated the 'Drishyam' magic in Papanasam too.Instead of walking out of theaters, when the hero does not fight with the villains using muscle power and uses his brains,the audience are whistling clapping like anything.Papanasam is going to be a huge hit for Kamal and undoubtedly this is the best movie of Kamal in the last 12 years.To be honest,I don't find any negative points in this movie.It is flawless. If you are a fan of good cinema,without any second thought,book your tickets for Papanasam.

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