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Last Updated: May 20, 2007 - 10:48:48 AM
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Narein shines in stale 'Panthayakozhi'
Apr 24, 2007 - 8:42:15 AM
The fast pace of the narration makes the predictable fare less of a yawn than it could have been. Alex Paul's music, too, provides a welcome relief from the ennui of it all.

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[RxPG] Film: 'Panthayakozhi'; Cast: Narein, Pooja, Geetha and Lal; Music: Alex Paul; Director: M.A. Venu; Producer: Lal

'Panthayakozhi' was to be the dark horse among Vishu releases this year. It had Narein, one amongst the promising young brigade, with the successes of 'Classmates' and a few Tamil films under his belt. And the film came from the stable of Lal, one of the most reputed producers of Kerala.

You leave the theatre, however, with your expectations belied - though not entirely. 'Panthayakozhi' is just a mishmash of few films like 'Pandipada' and numerous other hits from the past.

But the one - and only - good thing about it is the presence of Narein. He has shown that he is capable of carrying a film on his shoulders.

Director M.A. Venu, too, has helped him by developing the narrative in such a way that the hero gets the maximum mileage.

'Panthayakozhi' tells the story of a young man thrown into a situation beyond his control. The tale is embellished with all masala ingredients like songs, dances, comedy and action.

It begins with the journey of Nandu - to Kalimuthupalayam, a village in Tamil Nadu, where he is sent by his cruel uncle - to sell off a property that he claims to have purchased for his nephew and niece. As the plot progresses, the mystery behind the piece of land unfolds.

The story and the screenplay are packed with predictable scenes and situations. Nandu falls in love with local girl Chembakam -, the event being preceded by the inevitable comic track and the mandatory hero-heroine fights over silly matters.

Seasoned comedian Cochin Haneefa adds no freshness to the tale. Then a villain sprouts in the form of a local political leader who has some old scores to settle with the hero's deceased father, leading to - surprise, surprise - a gory climax.

The fast pace of the narration makes the predictable fare less of a yawn than it could have been. Alex Paul's music, too, provides a welcome relief from the ennui of it all.

But it is Narein, more than anyone else, who makes watching the film an endurable exercise.

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