Appatha has moments that have our hearts, but the narrative loses focus as the story progresses. However, the film deserves a watch for Urvashi's fantastic performance
A still from Appatha
Last Updated: 11.18 AM, Jul 30, 2023
Story: Appatha, who has a fear of dogs, is asked to take care of her son's pet dog in their absence. Will she be able to get over her fear?
Review: With Appatha, veteran actress Urvashi completes the milestone of her 700th project in cinema. The feel-good heart-warming tale, helmed by Priyadarshan, can be billed as a tribute to the actress, who shines in the adorable titular character. Needless to say, it's Urvashi's show all the way.
Kannamma, who is fondly known as Appatha in her village Kaayilanpatti, is the darling of the masses. Her handmade pickles are to die for and Appatha ensures that she takes utmost care while making them, adding some dollops of love and a secret ingredient, which she is reluctant to divulge. She has single-handedly brought up her only son Paavadai Saami (Amit Bhargav), after the demise of her husband, by making a living out of the very same pickles.
And that's not all. She is also the go-to person to solve any problematic situation, be it a case of domestic violence or even to help get hold of a government certificate. The brave and adorable Appatha, however, has one fear - dogs! Appatha, it seems, was bitten by a dog when she was young and the fear has stayed on. So,when her son, who barely talks to her, invites her to his Chennai house after a long hiatus of eight years, only to take care of their dog Zeus, things go haywire for Appatha.
What follows is how Appatha and Zeus get along during the home alone situation even as the rest of the family is out the trip. For animal lovers, this film is straight up their alley as a chunk of the film revolves around the bond between Urvashi and Zeus.
However, Appatha falls short of being a good film for these reasons. Firstly, the comedy drama seems to go back and forth with the conflict between Appatha and Zeus and that of Appatha and her son. It doesn't clearly establish which one is the crux of the story!
That said, Amit Bhargav's character is extremely poorly etched as one doesn't get to see any other dimension of him other than the fact that he despises his mother and her love of pickles. The way he finally apologises to her, too, comes across as extremely superficial and doesn't really make the cut.
Likewise Appatha's brawl with Azhagu Sundaram, too, becomes redundant after a while. The rest of the supporting characters pass muster. What also didn't work is some parts of Urvashi's initial tussle with Zeus is that how did an old woman who fell off from her cot and had the ceiling fan almost drop over her, did not face any injury?
Many sequences in the film are quite predictable. For instance, the moment Appatha enters her son's apartment, it's clear that she is going to be a hit among the residents and that her pickles will find many takers there. And surprise but no surprise! She also goes on to expand her business back home in Kaayilanpatti.
As for Urvashi, the star of the show, the veteran actress proves why she continues to be one of the most sought-actresses in the industry. The way she switches from one emotion to another effortlessly is a sheer delight to watch. Urvashi has the audience eating out her hands during the comedy scenes, which seem to be a cakewalk for her.
While the cinematographer has managed to beautifully capture the picturesque village, the only one song in the film comes across as a speedbreaker.
Appatha might not be anything extraordinary and has many flaws, but the film has its moments. Watch it for the performance of Urvashi.
Verdict: Despite its flaws in terms of narration and character development, Appatha has moments that have our hearts. Veteran actress Urvashi is a delight to watch and that's a good enough reason to watch the film.