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Padmini movie review: Kunchacko Boban and team are delightful in this charming film, blotted only by a terse final act

The first hour of Padmini will have the viewer smiling throughout, thanks to Kunchacko Boban and others’ lovely performances

Padmini movie review: Kunchacko Boban and team are delightful in this charming film, blotted only by a terse final act
Madonna Sebastian, Aparna Balamurali, Vincy Aloshius and Kunchacko Boban
  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 11.04 AM, Jul 14, 2023

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Story: Two years after an embarrassing incident that made him the butt of all jokes, to move on, college lecturer Rameshan must revisit people he had left behind and some who left him behind.

Review: Though most of the Malayalam audience might have only got to see two of Senna Hegde’s movies – Thinkalazhcha Nishchyam and 1744 White Alto, by now, you have a fair idea of what to expect when the filmmaker is at the helm, at least in terms of humour. Padmini is also bolstered – in terms of commercial appeal and cast – with a script by Kunjiramayanam writer Deepu Pradeep, and the resultant light-hearted film benefits from all these aspects.

Aparna Balamurali and Kunchacko Boban in a still from Padmini
Aparna Balamurali and Kunchacko Boban in a still from Padmini

To start off, it’s a welcome comeback for Kunchacko Boban to his ‘chocolate boy’ roots; not exactly as a romantic-hero, but someone with all the love to give but just he can’t seem to find the right person to give it to. And even when he does, the hurdles make it tougher. Seena and Deepu have also peppered the film with references from the actor’s romcom days in the most subtle of manner, be it exchanging of a letter in a library setting, the dance moves or even the song from Kalyanaraman.

The plot is simple. Two years lafter an embarasing incident, Rameshan’s (Kunchacko) life crosses paths with two other women. To move on from a heartbreak he had experienced that also made him the butt of all jokes, he must retrace the people he has tried to leave behind.

Kunchacko Boban and Madonna Sebastian in a poster of Padmini
Kunchacko Boban and Madonna Sebastian in a poster of Padmini

How the makers set up the protagonist’s plight and his present in the first half is what makes Padmini, one of the most charming Malayalam films this year. The first hour will have the viewer smiling throughout and that’s not just because of Kunchacko’s lovely performance, but also those of the other characters and their subplots.

For instance, as Aparna Balamurali’s character Sridevi gets ready to see a prospective groom, for whom it’s his second marriage, her mother tells her that at 32 years of age, she shouldn’t have a sky-high criterion of a romantic man, who would suffocate her with love and surprises. Sridevi’s retort is plain and simple, a reminder to the situation of her mother who has been living with her husband for years now, ‘Where is the husband you had married when you were just 18?’

Madonna Sebastian in a still from Padmini
Madonna Sebastian in a still from Padmini

The subplot between Sajin Cherukayil’s hilarious mattress entrepreneur and his prospective bride also adds to the joy element in the movie, which emanates with positive vibes from all of its characters including Madonna Sebastian, Vincy Aloshius and Anand Manmadhan. The film is breezy, but at the same time, it ensures that we feel and cheer for Rameshan. In a scene, you would smile when he smiles after hearing the name that annoyed him the hell out of him, also becomes the reason for him to overcome that shock.

Where the movie does take a predictable route is when Rameshan has to face a predicament. How the characters go about this, though has its moments and changes the relationship dynamics, it doesn’t quite sustain the momentum that the first half had going for it. The abrupt final act also leaves much to be desired.


Kunchacko seems to be so much at ease with Rameshan and that’s why he manages to hook the audience from the very beginning. It’s also a fun outing for Aparna, Vincy and Madonna, who is a refreshing casting choice in the role. Sajin adds to the humour element of the film and is becoming a natural choice to take over the comedian mantle in Malayalam cinema now.

That said, the duration of the movie, which is just two hours long, very few would walk out of theatres unsatisfied. Jakes Bejoy’s music and Sreeraj Raveendran’s soothing visuals, along with the work of the costume department, give it the sunny treatment it warranted to complete the magic.

Verdict: Boosted by Kunchacko Boban, Aparna Balamurali, Madonna Sebastian and Sajin Cherukayil’s performances, Senna Hegde’s Padmini is a definitely one of the best feel-good movies in Malayalam this year, in spite of its terse ending.