Senna Hegde’s new Malayalam film Padmini works so well as this light-hearted comedy because of the way the writing sets up conflicts and characters in the script. Made as a 36-year-old man’s attempt to get married, this Kunchacko Boban starrer is consistently humorous and the situations they create in the narrative are genuinely novel and interesting. Yes, the climax is a bit unnerving, as you’d expect the humor to peak. Yet Deepu Pradeep’s writing holds things together.
Ramesan is a college professor whose first marriage failed. On the first night of the wedding, his wife Smriti went with her boyfriend. Ramesan was not interested in remarrying until a guest lecturer named Padmini joined his college. But unfortunately, his first marriage comes in the way of things at a critical juncture and what we see in Padmini is how Ramesan and his lawyer handle the situation.
Kunjiramayanam is writer Deepu Pradeep’s first film and he showed us his ability to create humor through characters and characterizations in that film. Here too, a similar approach to story building can be seen. In a way, Ramesan is a baby Rama. But here the setting is more natural, so the conversational dynamics are slightly different. The flowing screenplay connects all the events very smoothly and there is not really a dull or drawn-out phase. As we reach the final quarter of the film, what ultimately happens is predictable. But emphasis on humor saves the film from that shortcoming.
By Senna Hegde Monday Affirmation By Deepu Pradeep Kunhiramayan. In a way, it’s a combination that has safely cracked the wedding comedy space. Senna infuses more realism in Deepu’s verbal comedy. The visual setting of many sequences evoked humor, especially those featuring Sajin Cherukail. The geographical topography is different from Senna’s comfort zone Kasargod, so Sriraj Ravindran’s frames are more lively this time. Breaking the 180 degree rule of that comedy sequence starring Sajin and Mani Shornoor was kind of obvious, but it suited the pitch of the comedy. Jakes Bejoy’s songs have been adapted to the film.
Kunchacko Boban, as the central character Rameshan, was an apt choice as he fits the image of this eligible bachelor with this desperate and sensitive side. After a long time, we got to see Aparna Balamurali as a humorous character, reveling in those minimal expressions of helplessness (a favorite was that working women’s hostel scene). As a character with her own track in the film, Aparna gets a big space in Padmini. Madonna shares a palpable on-screen chemistry with Sebastián Kunchaco Boban and gives an excellent performance. Despite her scant screen time, Vincy Sonny Aloysius unleashes her inner Urvashi and delivers a restrained eccentric performance. Sajin was comical as Cherukail’s comically toxic partner and I really enjoyed their decision to use his ad during the interval and at the end of the film. Anand Manmathan as the brother-in-law, Ganapathy as Romeo’s brother, Mani Shornoor, Seema G Nair etc gave memorable performances.
I’d say the ending is a little in the middle compared to the laughs generated up until the climax. But it kind of shapes the story, and frankly, the hangover from the laugh-out-loud moments you’ve had up until that point makes it a forgivable flaw. With a runtime of just 120 minutes, the Padmini is a fun watch worth your time.
Senna Hegde’s new Malayalam film Padmini works so well as this light-hearted comedy because of the way the writing sets up conflicts and characters in the script.
Green: Recommended content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not recommended