Where most feel-good movies would falter is in keeping the pace throughout, but the writing here is so breezy, with all the hurdles along Priyan's way being equally important, that you never feel distracted.
Last Updated: 12.25 PM, Jun 24, 2022
Priyan Ottathilanu poster
Story: Homeo doctor and aspiring scenarist Priyadarshan is a man for all seasons, but sometimes his family life takes a backseat due to his Good Samaritan nature. On a particular day, where he is set to meet Mammootty to narrate a script, several other tasks - planned and unexpected - come his way. How will Priyan navigate these and will he still be in time to attend what is probably his most important task?
Review: The second directorial for every filmmaker is the litmus test, and based on what C/o Saira Bhanu director Antony Sony achieves with Priyan Ottathilanu, it's safe to say that Malayalam cinema has just got another filmmaker who knows the pulse of the audience. What's more, the movie also is driven by a stellar turn from Sharafudheen.
Antony doesn't try anything new with his film, which is engagingly written by Anil Kurian and K Abhayakumar, but it still is a breath of fresh air, thanks to how well it is paced and some smart humour pieces that add to breezy storytelling. The film revolves around a do-gooder who prioritises others' tasks over his own and most often his family fall short of his time. All of these interactions with people also pave the way for some beautiful stories in Priyan's life, something that the scenarist in him writes down. The film, however, never shows 'when' especially when he is busy all the time solving others' problems. He finally gets an appointment to meet Mammootty to narrate a script. But before he reaches that destination, he has to complete a slew of planned and unplanned tasks. How will he prioritise these and will he accomplish all he sets out for?
In the first half itself, Antony sets up Priyan's life in an unhurried way but still manages to capture the essence of how frenzied it is for him and those around him. This makes it perfect for the second half, where the audience is hooked to see if the protagonist accomplishes his main task.
There's chaos in there, but thrown in almost a homage to the movies of the filmmaker the protagonist is named after. Where most feel-good movies would falter is in keeping the pace throughout, but the writing here is so breezy, with all the hurdles along Priyan's way being equally important, that you never feel distracted. Sure, some of the subplots, especially that of Nyla Usha's character's backstory does slow this down, but the movie doesn't linger too long on this and comes back.
Sharafudheen aces his first central role. There was never any doubting about his comedic timing but here he becomes the 'comman man with common problems' and that makes him all the more relatable. Biju Sopanam's humour-filled subplots also seem an organic fit to the film and the actor keeps the laughs coming. The supporting cast of the film - from Harisree Ashokan, Nyla Usha and Aparna Das to Sudhhy Koppa, Sminu Sijo, Jaffer Idukki and Ashokan - are so well cast and their characters well written to keep the proceedings moving. Also look out for some special cameos.
The film's cinematography by PM Unnikrishnan deserves a special mention as he beautifully captures the lively visuals that add to the feel-good elements of the film, shot in and around Kochi. It also makes Priyan Ottathilanu work beautifully in theatres as a family entertainer.
Verdict: Priyan Ottathilanu is a breezy entertainer that works because of its beautiful moments, refreshing casting and pacy storytelling. Sharafudheen aces his part in this comedy that will appeal to all kinds of audience.