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‘Paapam Cheyyathavar Kalleriyatte’ review: An engaging satire let down by an imperfect script

A still from ‘Paapam Cheyyathavar Kalleriyatte’

A still from ‘Paapam Cheyyathavar Kalleriyatte’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In Shambhu Purushothaman's second outing as a director, nobody is spared from dark humour.

In the Gospel of John, it is Jesus Christ who challenges the Pharisees by asking the one without sin to cast the first stone when they bring in an adulteress to be punished. But in Paapam Cheyyathavar Kalleriyatte it is a zonked out Madhupal who utters the profound statement, his only task in the film other than looking lost and smoking weed. The film, Shambhu Purushothaman's second outing after the underrated Vedivazhipadu, is a satire in which nobody is spared from dark humour. It is a film where each character is a caricature, each scene part of a freakish chain reaction. At the same time, it lacks the unbridled hilarity of Purushothaman’s first film, and seems contrived and less edgier when it comes to taunting morality and misogyny.

Paapam Cheyyathavar Kalleriyatte (Malayalam)
  • Director: Shambhu Purushothaman
  • Cast: Vinay Forrt, Tini Tom, Santhy Balachandran, Srinda, Arun Kurian

If Vedivazhipadu was set against the backdrop of Attukal Pongala, in this, we have a Christian betrothal. A major part of the film unravels during the post-event celebrations. In the opening scene, we are introduced to two elite families arranging a marriage alliance. Shiny briefcases exchange hands, bottles are opened, jewellery and finery are decided, and a tacky save-the-date video is canned. The groom's family is broke following some business misadventures, but they show so sign of it, and have their hopes pinned on the ₹10-crore dowry. The bride's family is not squeaky clean either. But both the parties believe in family status and the unbeatable merit of affluence. Though the ceremony takes place as planned, the situation spirals out of control due to some unforeseen developments.

The film addresses a whole bunch of issues, but it lacks a tongue-in-cheek candour, mainly due to a script that misses spontaneity and brevity at parts. Though the film is able to engage you in one level, you easily identify the flaws in comic timing and attempts at concocting a surreal flavour towards the climax. The film has an array of smile-inducing moments, but there are times when you can feel blandness seeping straight in. One major let-down of the film is its soundscape that does absolutely nothing to salvage the narrative. Editing is another problem area, as Paapam Cheyyathavar Kalleriyatte is in need of a lot of trimming.

The film has an impressive ensemble cast starring Vinay Forrt, Tini Tom, Santhy Balachandran, Srinda and Arun Kurian in key roles, along with a bunch of talented actors playing various supporting roles. But Paapam Cheyyathavar Kalleriyatte never stands up to their performances, and the glitches in the script stop the film from hitting the mark of an absolute entertainer.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 11:42:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/paapam-cheyyathavar-kalleriyatte-review-an-engaging-satire-let-down-by-an-imperfect-script/article30894340.ece

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