Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum is a Malayalam movie released across cinemas in the UAE. It is directed by Akhil Sathyan and stars Fahad Faasil, Viji Venkatesh, Anjana Jayaprakash, Dhwani Rajesh, Mukesh, Innocent, Vineeth, Indrans, Althaf Salim, Mohan Agashe, Chhaya Kadam, Piyush Kumar, Abhiram Radhakrishnan, Avyukth Menon

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Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum Review

Twins always fascinate us. Veteran Sathyan Anthikad’s son Anoop Sathyan made the feel-good, gossamer-light rom-com Varane Avashyamundu (2020). Now his twin brother Akhil Sathyan has stepped in with a rom-com which is equally fun but slightly different from his brother’s effort.

Both brothers seem to be fascinated by the cinematic universe of their illustrious father. Sathyan Anthikad is a past master in chronicling middle-class lives. But his view into their problematic lives is always wistful and benign – the soft-focus lens thoughtfully blurring the rough edges. The riffs are always melodic, even if tragic at times.

Anoop kind of borrowed those idioms for Varane Avashyamundu. Now, Anoop also digs into that ethos and creates a movie that engages you with a goofy smile. That a big star like Fahadh Faasil has willingly given himself to ideas of a newbie director redounds to the actor’s credit. For Fahadh, this outing, in a sense, is similar to his film Njan Prakashan, which incidentally was directed by Sathyan Anthikad. In that 2018 movie, Fahadh’s life is impacted by two women. In Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum, it is three.

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum Review 1

Pachu, the short form for Prashanth (Fahadh Faasil), manages a small ayurveda outlet with his assistant (Athlaf Salim). As it happens, Pachu has to accompany the shop owner’s whimsical mother, Laila, to Mumbai. But the journey takes an unexpected detour in Goa as they search for a girl named Nidhi (Dhwani Rajesh).

In Goa, Pachu also runs into another woman Hamsadhwani (Anjana Jayaprakash).  She has a backstory that is emotional and tragic. Pachu and Hamsadhwani slowly fall for each other. But it is not a simple boy-meets-girl-and-love-ensues kind of convenient story-telling. The story is basically about how the interactions with the three women impact Pachu’s life and transform it.

The story, as with other Anthikads movies, is not heavy, but the screenplay moves happily along the vignettes from many people’s lives. The film has a larger message — on girls’ education. But it is felicitously conveyed in the process and not hammered down.

Fahadh Faasil’s moments with his assistant are funny and will bring a wry smile to most people’s faces. Athlaf Salim gets some memorable joke lines. The scenes with veteran Mukesh, Innocent (his last film) and Srikant Murali are all redolent of the world we are so used to in Anthikad movies.

Fahadh Faasil plays the character with the right amount of levity without caricaturing it. It takes special skill to play a simple man’s character and make it interesting. That is a talent that Fahadh has made his own. Viji Venkatesh, as the temperamental old lady, is in her element and is a revelation. Anjana and Dhwani are adequate. 

Sharan Velayudhan’s camera work is perky and pleasant, and so is Justin Prabhakaran’s music, even though the songs are just about serviceable. The film is a tad long at 170 minutes, and for a story that is laid-back, it can seem to drag in some portions.

Overall, Akhil shows enough expertise and is indeed a chip off the old block.

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum

Director: Akhil Sathyan

Date Created: 2023-04-29 22:32

Editor's Rating:
Balakumar Kuppuswamy
Balakumar Kuppuswamy

An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.

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