Filmy Rumination: Papanasam

 In Entert(r)ainment

Every decade has seen Kollywood churn out its its delightful borrowings from the neighbouring country owned by God. Varusham 16, Kadhalukku Mariyadhai, Perazhagan, Kireedam, Chandramukhi, 36 Vayadhinile come to mind. Story backed movies have always been a hallmark of Malayalam cinema while Tamil has been mostly content with the harvests of commercialization. And that is one reason why the critics from God’s own country will never accept the ‘commercial adulteration’ as a worthy, on par remake. Sensibilities differ and so do audience taste. It is the turn of Papanasam to tread Drishyam now

Kollywood has had some worthy remakes while some have fallen short. Papanasam is more than worthy because of the weight that Kamal Haasan lends to it. Remakes are no stranger to Kamal. Drohkaal became Kuruthipunal. Munna Bhai became Vasool Raja. A Wednesday became Unnaipol Oruvan. The beauty lies in the spice that he garnishes for each of these offerings that make it stand apart unlike most of the commercial pot boilers. Imagine seeing a cooking series on TV and your mother cooking to try out the new recipe at home. Call it a push of limits or a rejoice for the actor within, remakes provide an wider opportunity to an artist to satisfy the yearning from within.

A true actor never shies away from a remake as long as the story and character can connect with the audience. Here, the hero is the story and it didn’t require Kamal or his body double to flex his muscles. A good trend, that I see as potentially paving the way for more story oriented movies coming along

Suyambu lingam shows a family nourishing values. You want to go to such a house in such a serene setting in such an environment uninterrupted by mobile phones, facebook, whatsapp. Such wishful thinking!

The human mind is always willing to help us drawing up its intelligence from past experiences, events or observations. The highlight is the mind game between Suyambu Lingam and Geetha Prabhakaran. One is not a criminal but draws up all his native intelligence and weaves a camouflage around the whole event. Completely purpose driven! The other brings a profound police logical perspective with a burning restlessness within as a mother. One mind constructing the event in his thought process while the other deciphering it in her thought process. And both are led by their instincts. Thats the brilliance of the movie

Every story backed movie needs an eco-system of support characters. Lending huge credibility are the support cast of MS Bhaskar, Anant Mahadevan, Master Sriram and Ilavarasu. Nivedha Thomas as the elder daughter and Esther Anil as the younger one deserve special mention. The former is a natural in front of the camera. Niormal people but powerful characterizations. The long applauses are reserved for Asha Sharath alternating as the pained mother and powerful IG.

As a remake, comparisons are inevitable. One cannot help but compare Mohan Lal with Kamal. George Kutty thrived on facing vulnerability while Suyambu Lingam rides on emotions. Each one is a legend by his own right. A remake requires a lot of confidence and it is here that Kamal trusts his audience and plays to his strengths. The comparison must stop there!

While it has been a worthy comeback for Gauthami, Meena from the original did a more authentic job considering she had no reference point for the character’s home work. Watch the climax for that uncut single shot scene. Three characters in a frame – A suffering mother, a reasonable but duty bound father and the hero. Each one conveying their emotions. Priceless!

Is there a message in the movie? Yes – Don’t under estimate the power of the common man (Courtesy SRK)

For those that have not watched the Malayalam original, this one is sure to hook you. Papanasam is on its way to be a successful, worthy Tamil brother of its original. Papanasam is a movie that will emotionally bind you. Drishyam will linger on you long after you have left the theatre.

The cult status is however reserved for the original

Signing off now and will come back with Dhanush’s Maari soon!

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