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Pathaam Valavu movie review: Suraj, Indrajith’s emotional drama hits a dead end due to lacklustre writing

The film required either a gripping narrative or had to be a strong emotional drama that explored the ramifications of the shocking incident it is based on; but here it gets trapped in between, doing justice to none.

2.5rating
  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 07.42 AM, May 13, 2022

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Pathaam Valavu movie review: Suraj, Indrajith’s emotional drama hits a dead end due to lacklustre writing
Suraj Venjaramoodu and Indrajith Sukumaran in a still from Pathaam Valavu

Story: On the day of his wife’s delivery, sub inspector Sethunath is tasked with a last-minute assignment to bring back convict Solomon, who has violated his parole. It doesn’t prove to be a simple grab-and-run errand especially after the police team gets stranded near a mudslide, and are then taken through Solomon’s story – why the village’s most-loved man become a convict who is still out for revenge against those who have perpetrated a heinous crime that tore his family apart. Will Solomon finally get his justice or would Sethunath stand in his way?

Review: With Joju George’s Joseph and Mohanlal’s Shikkar, M Padmakumar has already proven that he can conjure up intense and gripping thrillers based on real-life incidents. What aided him in those stellar ventures are most importantly its scripts – by Shahi Kabir and Suresh Babu, respectively. While his latest venture Pathaam Valavu, once again banks of the genre of an emotional drama-thriller based on true incidents, it sorely lacks the intensity that the previous films had and that’s where Pathaam Valavu falls flat.

The movie revolves around Suraj Venjaramoodu’s character Solomon, who is a convict out on parole. After he doesn’t return even after his parole term has ended, a police team is sent to bring him back. The cops are led by sub inspector M Sethunath (Indrajith Sukumaran), who has to reach the hospital for his wife’s delivery but is given this last-minute assignment. Even as Sethunath is on pins and needles, he stops to hear Solomon’s story of how the most-loved man in the village became a convict, who is now out for revenge for a heinous crime to his six-year-old daughter that tore his family apart.

The movie’s writing especially in the first half makes it a tedious affair, with the film exploring Sethu’s day and Solomon’s past. It’s only after the intermission that it does pick up speed, but even then the payoff is rather predictable. The film’s scriptwriter Abhilash Pillai does make earnest efforts to keep things interesting – be it with Ajmal Amir’s character or the ending – but these are few and far between. The film required either a gripping narrative or had to be a strong emotional drama that explored the ramifications of the shocking incident; but here it gets trapped in between, doing justice to none.

Ajmal Amir, who makes his comeback to Malayalam, gets to do a role that lets him show different sides of his character. Aditi Ravi as Solomon’s wife also does a good job, especially in the second half. For the lead actors – Suraj and Indrajith, their roles are a cakewalk. It’s not something that they haven’t done before and that’s also why their performances seem rather redundant. Suraj, who has already established himself as a strong character actor, performs the emotional breakdown scenes well; while Indrajith maintains a sense of calm during the police station scenes that is only broken by the impatience to get back to his wife every time he gets a call.

The movie’s cinematography by Ratheesh Ram does capture the picturesque locations of the high ranges, where the film is set in. Ranjin Raj’s music too aids the film’s setting, though it remains to be seen if the songs have the recall value that Joseph’s tracks had.

Verdict: Compared to M Padmakumar’s previous emotional thrillers, Pathaam Valavu doesn’t quite rise up due to lacklustre writing. While the second half is more enjoyable one, this movie does test your patience and doesn’t quite give its stellar lead cast enough material to perform.

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