Papanasam review from South Africa

Papanasam review from South Africa

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If there was any doubt about Kamalhassan being  one of the most talented actors in the world, it will be removed on seeing his latest film, Papanasam,  a  remake of the Malayalam blockbuster, Drishyam. Gauthami makes a return to films after 19 years. The film has a talented supporting cast which includes Kalabavan Mani, Nivedha Thomas, Asha Sarath, Esther Anil, Anant Mahadevan, M.S. Bhaskar, Ilavarasu, Delhi Ganesh, Charlie and Vayaapuri.



Plot Summary (Contains low level spoilers)

Suyambulingam (Kamalhassan) is happily married to Rani (Gauthami) with two daughters (Nivedha Thomas and Esther Anil. Suyambulingam has worked hard to reach his current stable financial positon. He leads a frugal life, much to the annoyance of his wife and daughters but they are a happy family. Suyambulingam one day finds himself in a position where he must risk everything he has worked for to save his family. What the circumstances are and how Suyambulingam deals with the crisis forms the rest of the story.



Kamalhassan’s acting is electrifying and mesmerising. His powerful portrayal sans histrionics and wordy scenes make the film a riveting one. It is a brilliant comeback for Gauthami who shines in a very challenging role. There are also sterling performances from every member of the cast; Kalabavan Mani is in scintillating form, M.S. Bhaskar, Charlie, Vayaapuri and Illavarasu all deliver superb performances.  Asha Sarath, who played the same character in the original Malayalam film, reprises her role in this film in one of the film’s most unforgettable characters. Anant Mahadevan, playing her husband, refuses to be outshadowed by her.


Screenplay and scripting

There are no wordy exchanges, preachy pontifications or filmy lines.The first 39 minutes of the film initially appear to be slow but when the story picks up, the need for each of the earlier scenes becomes apparent. The plot is brilliantly constructed with a neat and seamless screenplay.


Soundtrack and Music

Ghibran does a brilliant job of the background score, driving the scenes without dominating any of them. The two songs are also well done.


Sujith Vassudev shows a great deal of variety in his angles, cuts and lighting, excelling in all of them.



Unlike many remakes, Jeethu Joseph’s Papanasam has enough in it to firmly ground it in the Tamil ethos. Joseph must be praised for the level of excellence extracted from his cast.



Papanasam is a film that reaches out to its audience, grabs them and sucks them into the world of its characters and the environment within which they operate. This combination of family drama and tense suspense is what adds to the commercial flavour of the film but it is the synthesis of good acting and a sensible screenplay that makes Papanasam the kind of film you would want to take your non-Tamil friends to savour and admire.


Rating :9 / 10





Devan Nair

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