Film: Palakkattu Madhavan
Cast: Vivek, Sonia Agarwal, Sheela, Rajendran, Manobala, Arthi
After the average entertainer Naan Than Bala, which was Vivek’s solo film as a hero, comes Palakkattu Madhavan, the actor’s second ‘heroic’ venture. While the earlier one after the initial comic-episodes turned into a serious moody thriller, this one gives more space to comedy, with family sentiment blended in towards the latter part. But the scripting and narration is more like that in a stage play, and the genuine fun moments are few and far between.
Vivek plays Madhavan, a lazy irresponsible family man with a wife and two kids. Changing jobs over trifles, the early scenes has him shifting through various jobs. These moments could have been worked out better. Madhavan takes up the job of a cab driver in a travel agency. But his very first assignment -a kidnapping ‘Nadodigal’ style with ‘Shambo Shivashambo’ reverberating in the background - puts him off soon enough. His next would be as a food taster at the house of a minister (Yogi Devaraj), the simple guy not realising the reason for the sumptuous spread of food he got to eat there, even before the minister did. A couple of more such incidents are there ,but all just mildly amusing. It is then that Madhavan gets a serious job offer and takes it up for the money. He is persuaded to adopt a wealthy elderly woman Pattu Maami (Sheela) ,who abandoned by her sons was staying in an Ashram. Madhavan has to adopt her, bring her home and take care of her, and get paid for it monthly. But she with her eccentric behaviour and a zest for life drives him round the bend with her strange demands. And with Lakshmi his wife (a listless Sonia) not getting along with the older woman , the film is about how Madhavan tries to balance the act. The message being that we need to take care of the elderly. Sheela returning to Tamil screen after a long sabbatical revels in her role.
Vivek does try hard, but with many of the jokes being stale and the moments not generating much humour, there is very little the actor can do to salvage the situation.
One misses his usual wacky one-liners too. The director seems to have a tough time placing the songs, which spring up at inopportune moments.
Rajendran’s entry peps up the narration to an extent.
The scenes leading to the climax takes the sentimental mode, the narration petering off to a predictable ending.
The viewing time could have been shortened to a crisper length, than the roughly 140 minutes that it is.
The film’s plot shares an uncanny similarity with the decade old Malayalam film Manassinakkare, which incidentally also happened to be Sheela’s come-back film on Malayalam screen. An average entertainer Palakkattu Madhavan had a plnot with potential.
If only the screenplay had been worked out in a way more interesting and appealing to the audience.