The themes of entrepreneurial struggle and regional dialect have always been the winning cards of Malayalam movie makers. Films like ‘Varavelpu’, ‘Midhunam’, ‘Thoovanathumbikal’, ‘Rajamanikyam’ and ‘Pranchiyettan and the Saint’ are best examples. Ranjith Sankar’s latest flick ‘Punyalan Agarbattis’ is the marriage of these two successful elements-entrepreneurial struggle and the use of regional dialect.
‘Punyalan Agarbattis’ depicts the struggles of Joy Thakkolkkaran (Jayasurya) to run his business of producing incense sticks from elephant dung. Since the story unfolds in Thrissur, the slang plays a key role in the movie.
As Ranjith Sankar has failed to deliver well in his last two attempts, there wasn’t much hype around this film. Though his debut film ‘Passenger’ had won many accolades, the other movies ‘Arjunan Sakshi’ and ‘Molly Aunty Rocks’ only helped him to gather the label ‘one time wonder’. But ‘Punyalan Agarbattis’ is a good attempt to jiggle this belief.
Joy Thakkolkkaran wishes to become a Dhirubhai Ambani by selling incense sticks to the world. He is married to Anu (Nyla Usha). Greenu Sharma (Aju Varghese) is his obedient assistant. Joy’s company faces problems from the newly in-charge Temple Devaswom board committee as they refuse to supply the raw material-elephant dung- to him. Joy seeks help from advocate Sai (Rachana Narayanankutty) who helps him to win the case against the Devaswom.
Since he had to collect elephant dung from temple on a hartal day called by the Revolutionary Independent Party, Joy falls into another trouble as a result of his confrontation with hartal activists. He decides to fight against the party and files a case against them.
Humour is the major highlight of this movie which has an engaging first half. The effective usage of the Thrissur slang is another plus. Sreejith Ravi, as truck driver Abhayakumar, dons one of the best roles in his career so far.
However, the engaging tone of the movie suddenly slackens in the second half as the film portrays stereotype characters and events. Certain twists in the end are not easy to digest. It is an entertaining movie with excusable flaws.