For those who are not aware, Papanasam is Kamal Haasan latest film outing. Unlike other actors of his stardom, there were not much promotion going around about this film and many like you and me might not even know when this film was released. That's the magic of Kamal Hassan. He can do a low key film and yet hit a sixer in it.
Papanasam is a remake of Malayalam film Drishyam which was starred by the great Mohanlal. It was the first Malayalam film to gather more than RS 1 Crore in US and UK and became the highest grossing film in the Malayalam Industry not to forget the awards it won as well.
The idea of remaking the film was first mentioned with the idea of Rajinikanth playing the lead but eventually it went to Kamal Haasan and from here you can already see what a quality film we have in store with Papanasam. With Gauthami making a comeback after many years, Papanasam has all the ingredients to be one of the best movies of the year
The movies starts of at police station whereby a TV program is being telecast about a quiz relating to cinema and films. Kamal answers the question correctly and it is revealed that is a murder accuse. They film than brings you to a flashback which shows Kamal as a man who owns a cable tv network in the town of Papanasam. He is happily married to Gauthami and has two daughters.
Kamal is shown as a movie buff who would spend as much time watching films, where he gains his intellectual knowledge. He is shown as someone witty and smart who jokes his way through mocking people. Scenes with his family later reveals that Kamal is a thrifty guy and that is the basis to how he became successful.
He is shown as a guy who likes to buy second hand stuff only and records down every single expenditure he spends. He follows the lifestyle of the past despite his kids teasing him. In a whole they live a beautiful happy life.
In a twist of events, The Inspector General's son was murdered by Kamal's family and now he is left with two choice. To surrender to the police and face jail or to go all means to prove his family's innocence. This is where you will see the best of the film and Kamal. How a man with a education background of the 4th standard and knowledge gained through his beloved cinema helps him steer away from trouble
Kamal comes up with a genius fool proof story which he makes sure his family remembers when the police questions them. He ensures they maintain the same story no matter what happens and creates evidence to ensure his family is not guilty.
From here to the end is all about the police trying to pin the case and Kamal and his family while Kamal keeps proving their innocence right until a fantastic climax which will keep you to the edge of your seat. The only down side of the film is the running time of 181 minutes which may seem a little draggy although once the movie kicks in a gear you wont feel it.
Director Review: 4.5/5.0
Is there any role this man can't do. He is indeed a genius and it's a gift to be able to watch him on screen work his magic. An actor of true class and isn't afraid to do different type of roles. Here in Papanasam, Kamal plays the character of Suyambu Lingam, a man with an education background of 4th standard who runs a cable tv network in his town.
From the minute go, you will be in awe with Kamal's on screen presence. He carries the weight of the film and he does the comic scenes, the suspense and of cause the emotions as well. He makes it look so flawless as if he wasn't even trying. Such is the man's quality.
His accent was perfect and watch out for the end emotional scene, that is grand master at work. He belts out of the best performance and just schooled every other actor how to act. He shows you the beauty of acting scene to scene proves to you why he is the best ever actor in India.
Making a comeback after 16 years and she shows that she still haven't lost it one drop of it. Playing the role of a middle class wife, yet loving towards her family and husband. She emotes the naiveness of the character so well until you would actually believe it. Her performance is so real whereby you would actually believe that the character can be genuinely brave and gutsy, despite being a timid, naive homely mother.
As all good films does, Gauthami's character (Rani) has proper screen time to make her presence felt and plays a key role in the transformation of the film. I was indeed glad this role went to her instead of other actress. If you felt Jothika did a good come back in 36 Vayadhinile, well Gauthami took it one notch higher as the realisticness of her character triumphs
Niveda Thomas & Esther Anil
Both these girls plays the role of Selvi and Meena, daughter's to Suyambu Lingam and Rani. The girls came up with an excellent yet realistic performance throughout the film. From being the cute loving daughter, to being terrified, scared girls until enduring all struggles to prove the family's innocence, they were top class. Credit to the director for mapping out such strong roles and bring the best from them
Kalabhavan Mani & Asha Sarath
Kalabhavan plays the role of police constable Perumal who is shown to take money out of the people of Papanasam and develops a grudge with Suyambu. In the first half of the film he is shown to be wanting to get Suyambu into trouble while the second half of the film he is shown trying to prove that Suyambu is indeed guilty. He is already not a very flexible and talented actor, but in this film he gave a solid strong performance and one which he will be remembered for.
He seems to becoming Kamal's preferred music director as this is his 2nd consecutive film with Kamal and has another two movies line up with Kamal. No doubt why Kamal seems to be going with Ghibran because the guy is good and knows how to place the songs to fit the film.
In this movie there are only two songs, both very well placed in the film and they are not for you to shake your hips. Instead the presence of the songs won't be notice much as its a medium to let you travel in the film. Credit to the director for placing the song at right place of the film and Ghibran for composing a tune that lets you flow.
His background score and rerecording was terrific. The key reason why those suspense and emotional scenes work is because of the underlying music behind it which makes tweaks with your emotion as well
Final Verdict: Papanasam tells the story of a Superdad, that will go all the way for his family. This is one for all Superdads out there.
Final Rating: 4.5/5.0