CAST AND CREW
Production: Rajkumar Theatres Private Limited, Wide Angle Creations
Cast: Gautami, Kalabhavan Mani, Kamal Haasan, Nivetha Thomas
Direction: Jeethu Joseph
Screenplay: Jeethu Joseph
Story: Jeethu Joseph
Background score: Ghibran
Cinematography: Sujith Vaassudev
Editing: Ayoob Khan
Art direction: Rembon Balraj
Lyrics: Na Muthukumar
Malayalam film Drishyam’s story was such that it demanded a complete actor, a superstar, who’s just not capable of portraying the lead character with perfection but who has also built an image over the years, along with a huge fan following that stands testimony to it.
When the Malayalam superhit was decided to be remade in Tamil without losing its core factors, the obvious choice to replace Mohanlal was Kamal Haasan.
In a scenario, where the young Tamil cinema is busy experimenting rapidly on the unexplored variety of genres, Papanasam comes as a pleasant change with simplicity, realism, family bonding and basic human emotions as its core subjects.
One might wonder why state an obvious fact as Kamal Haasan is brilliant in the movie. But this reputation is what acts as the value addition to his presence in Papanasam. What connects Kamal Haasan and Suyambu Lingam (Kamal’s character in Papanasam) is the image they have earned among their people.
While the nation would vouch for Kamal’s unmatchable skills in the field of acting, Suyambu Lingam has his people in Papanasam to vouch for his character and intellect. Suyambu Lingam also reflects another well known trait of Kamal – the self learned genius.
Enough said about Ulaganayakan! Coming to the much awaited return – Gautami. Her beauty, realistic performance as a caring, intuitive mother and a loving wife reminds us of what a brilliant artiste she is. Nivedha Thomas and Esther Anil, as the daughters of Kamal and Gauthami, make very strong impressions.
Nivedha Thomas especially gets a dream character and she has done it with all her heart. The part where she encounters the first trace of repercussion and bursts of emotions, hiding behind Kamal’s back is something she’ll probably remember as a blemishless portrayal for all her life.
With extraordinary support from Asha Sharath, Kalabhavan Mani, MS Bhaskar, Delhi Ganesh, Ilavarasu and the rest, Papanasam has a galore of splendid performances. Kalabhavan Mani stands out.
Papanasam rides on the tensions it creates and the source of the tension is partly due to the music. Ghibran’s background scores are a huge strength to the film and a special mention to the track “Yeya En Kottikara” and its breezy visuals. Sujith Vaassudev’s realistic and rustic visuals sans the artificial filters and gloss, captures the true colours and the natural prosperity of Papanasam.
At the same time, his contribution is not just a functional one. The overall slowness in the compositions adds a tinge of curiosity, suspense, grip and thrills to the film. Editor Ayoob Khan’s precise editing is also a major player in making this 3 hour long affair an engaging ride. Special mention to the edits in the climax.
Writer Jayamohan’s dialogues have naughtiness that can crack up the audiences with raucous laughters, intellect that triggers rumbling applause and deep, relatable emotions that can move the strongest of hearts.
All that said, Papanasam also has a downside in the form of its runtime (181 minutes), despite its gripping screenplay.
Last, but definitely not the least, all credits to director Jeethu Joseph and his team of writers, for a brilliant tale and for extracting the best from each member of the team.
Papanasam is an honest remake with every bit of element retained to its full strength.