Panithuli is an example of how a simple story can be made complicated. To ensure that his film isn’t labelled run-of-the-mill, director Natty Kumar has added several episodes to a simple plot. But instead of making the film interesting, they have only turned it into a long and dreary affair.

Shiva (Ganesh Venkatram) who is in love with Meera (Shobana), a medical student, heads to the U.S. for a job. Meera’s father, a self-styled goon, lays down a condition — he will get his daughter married to Shiva only if the boy has the same feelings for her on his return after a year. Shiva leaves for the U.S.

Two years later, he is shown camping with his girlfriend Maya (Kalpana Pandit), completely forgetting his first love. During the trip, he happens to drink a concoction made by tribal people after which he imagines he is back with Meera. Flashbacks and hallucinations (which leave the viewer confused) convey that Shiva has lost his memory in an accident during an attempt on his life by Meera’s dad. Meanwhile, Meera also lands in the U.S. Shiva requires psychiatric help. Now comes the twist in the tale — the doctor helping him falls for Meera. Does Shiva get united with Meera? How does he go about it?

The film has several loopholes in the form of episodes told by way of flashbacks. The sequences are disjointed, leaving the viewer guessing.

C. J. Raj Kumar’s camerawork is commendable in parts, especially the angles where he captures the beauty of San Francisco.

The songs scored by Agnel Roman and Faizan Hussain pass muster. One cannot help feeling bad for the lead players whose talent has been wasted in the film.

Panithuli

Genre: Drama

Director: Natty Kumar

Cast: Ganesh Venkatram, Shobana, Kalpana Pandit

Storyline: A triangular love story with complex elements thrown in

Bottomline: A tedious affair!