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Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum review: Fahadh Faasil’s charm, feel-good factor prop up Akhil Sathyan’s confident debut

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum review: Akhil Sathyan focuses on the moments between the film’s characters – some emotional, some funny but all infused with life


Last Updated: 02.32 PM, Apr 28, 2023


Story: Prashanth aka Pachu, who runs an ayurveda frachisee in Mumbai, is tasked with accompanying his shop owner’s 71-year-old mother Laila in a train journey from Kerala to Mumbai. Things, however, take a turn when Laila decides to get down in Goa, in search of a young girl named Nidhi. In Goa, Pachu’s path also crosses that with Hamsadhwani, who is Laila’s link to Nidhi. The changes that Pachu brings in the lives of the three women and vice versa, form the plot.

Review: It’s always a refreshing change to see Fahadh Faasil in a role of a common man, who has his fair share of quirks, joys and struggles. The actor hasn’t done such a role since Sathyan Anthikad’s Njan Prakashan in 2018 and it’s almost befitting that he makes a comeback of sorts to comedy in a character, which lets him showcase his ease in handling humour, in the debut movie of the veteran filmmaker’s son Akhil Sathyan.

Fahadh Faasil in a still from Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum
Fahadh Faasil in a still from Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum

Unlike in Njan Prakashan or Oru Indian Pranayakatha, Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum is not a movie that is split into two contrasting parts where the protagonist dominates the first half and the latter goes heavy on the story. Akhil, who makes his debut count, weaves a tale encompassing three women – Laila, Nidhi and Hamsadhwani – with Prashanth aka Pachu’s path crossing their lives at various junctures and bringing about positive changes. A highlight of the film is how Akhil, who has also scripted and edited the movie, has seamlessly done this, weaving a story – that has poignant moments and a strong social message – through Pachu and his journey.

Right from the opening credits, where you see a boy on his way to deliver newspapers across Mumbai, traversing the various tiers of society, Akhil sets things into a flowing motion of how people’s lives and emotions often overlap each other. The movie, despite being 170-minutes long, doesn’t suffer from the duration because the filmmaker uses this method of focusing on the moments between its characters – some emotional, some funny but all infused with life.

Innocent, Fahadh Faasil and Mukesh in a still from Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum
Innocent, Fahadh Faasil and Mukesh in a still from Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum

For instance, there are two sequences between Pachu and Hamsadhwani – a proposal scene in a restaurant and one where Hamsadhwani opens up about her personal tragedy – where you’d feel at the start that the movie has digressed to focus on a subplot. The former starts off in a serious mood, but is punctuated with humour, when Pachu interrupts a wedding proposal. For the latter, Akhil inverts this. The two scenes are pivotal in making the audience as well as Pachu grow closer to Hamsadhwani and though they might seem simple, it adds layers to the character as well as the storytelling.


Most of Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum is designed this way; be it Laila and her son Riyaz or Nidhi and her mother, you get a sense of the relationship dynamics between them and that makes the completion of these arcs even more satisfying. The core of the film, which is about girl’s education and the consequent transformation in society, isn’t spoon-fed, but comes through in this story organically, along with how kindness can go a long way.

The movie, which is soaked with the feel-good factor, is also shot beautifully by Sharan Velayudhan, who captures the different terrains while making them all look bright and cheery – just like its protagonist. Justin Prabhakaran’s music also aids the humour and the heart of the movie.

Fahadh Faasil in a still from Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum
Fahadh Faasil in a still from Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum

Fahadh’s charm as Pachu is what immediately hooks you to the story. The actor is effortless as the titular character and is a joy to watch in the scenes that have him in awkward situations, which are plenty in the film. Viji Venkatesh (Laila), Dhwani Rajesh (Nidhi) and Anjana Jayaprakash (Hamsadhwani) play their roles well, with Anjana, especially, making a confident debut in Malayalam with a character that had ample room to perform. The movie also has benefits from the supporting cast that features the late Innocent, Vineeth, Mukesh, Indrans, Althaf Salim and Abhiram Radhakrishnan.

Verdict: If you aren’t bowled over by Fahadh’s charm, the humour, colourful visuals and music of Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum will win your hearts.


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