Papanasam- Remastered brilliance with the touch of Ulaganayagan
Drishyam blew the world away when it released. It had one of the best scripts in recent times combined with pure class in terms of acting. It broke the barrier of language and its praises were sung all over the country. It was clear that there were going to be regional remakes with just a single question, can it live up to the brilliance of the original?
When Kamal came out with the news of Papanasam, people were delighted. Who else to portray the beautiful role (that Mohan Lal pulled off with brilliance) other than our best. But the movie had to be planned out perfectly. Now the problem of remakes is that every moment in the movie is compared and contrasted. The movie goes under heavy scrutiny and nitpicking starts. This problem becomes worse in a thriller because we know every twist and that is what makes the movie the epic it is. The final hurdle is that the entire movie is in a local accent (Nagerkovil if I’m not wrong) and this could be difficult to comprehend for many (mainly in the ‘A centres’).
Jeethu Joseph and Kamal have played it smart with respect to these issues. They know that in Tamil Nadu, the ones who have already watched the movie are from these A centres. They cant expect the audience to be blown away because they already have been. The target for them is B and C centres who could be more comfortable when it’s a familiar tongue. You don’t see the usual English and jargon-throwing Kamal but a more localised and identifiable figure. But this isn’t to suggest that there is nothing for the rest. For the effort put in by the cast, Papanasam is worth the watch. Since much can’t be analysed on the direction, script and screenplay as it has already been established and recognised, we move directly into the story and acting.
Papanasam tells the tale of an uneducated but shrewd villager who has strived and toiled to make a name for himself. It is about the little nest he has created with his family and the extents to which he goes to save it when trouble brews. It studies deeper themes such as the different ways we wish to see the same truth, perceptions of justice, family solidarity and the thin line between victim and attacker.
With respect to acting one has to be tired of hearing every adjective used to describe Kamal. The man is on a different league but his performance can be only appreciated if its taken on its own and not compared to a pre set standard of Mohan Lal. Despite the difficulty of understanding his tongue one can understand what he says for such is his performance (Nayana Bashai definitely). Gauthami has supported him brilliantly but the two kids come off as a bit overboard which is understandable given ones age and the other’s role. Asha Sarath has done a fantastic job to balance her polarised role for she is both a cruel investigator and a worried mother. The supporting cast has done its job with Kalabavan Mani taking the cake. When a villain makes you truly despise him, you know he has done his job.
Ghibran jumps from one beautiful composition to the other and this has been another in his brilliant journey. Though the movie is slightly on the longer side, it needs all that time for there is so much to be established and understood. Kamal has drawn up a hectic schedule for himself. He gave us art with Uttama Villain and he has given us a fantastic thriller with Papanasam. One can only hope this ride continues with Thungavanam, Vishwaroopam 2 and so on.