Coming from Vijayaprasad, the director of acclaimed movies like Sidlingu and Neer Dose, Petromax was surely a much-anticipated film. The makers also promised a crafty film with mature themes, and it definitely delivers. Petromax is an out-of-the-box film that mostly runs on hilarious conversations and simple narratives, and it ticks all the right boxes.
Having said that, Petromax is strictly meant for adults; especially with plenty of double entendres that are well balanced in a touchy subject that impacts everybody’s life. Narrating the life of four orphans — Oodbati Shivappa (Sathish Ninasam, a food delivery person), Agarbati Madappa (Arun Kumar, an electrician), Krishnamurthy (Nagabhushana, a practicing lawyer), and Kavitha Krishnamurthy (Karunya Ram, a beautician). The film tells the tale of their lives after moving from the orphanage.
The trouble comes when they plan to look for a rental house, and it is then that Meenakshi (Hariprriya) comes into the picture. While this is one part of Petromax, the other story talks about responsibility and balance in a family, especially lending a refreshing take on a son giving up on his parents for the sake of his wife. Such simple narratives bring out creativity laced with enough humour for the film to sail through. Petromax is truly a Vijayaprasad film with an overdose of mischievous dialogues that flows easily with a strong emotional connect.
The director has also justified the title, Petromax, which becomes an important aspect of the lives of the protagonists. The intention behind discussing children abandoning their elderly parents adds value but the core message does not strike a chord. There is hardly a dull moment in the first half, and the spontaneous one-liners from the various actors leave the audience in splits. However, the slow narrative in the second half tests the patience.
The film is armed with good performers, and the protagonists maintain affable on-screen chemistry with each other. We see effortless acting from Sathish Ninasam and Nagabhushana. Karunya Ram is a surprise and shines with her role, and Arun Kumar delivers a good act. Hariprriya, who has been a director’s actor, has a convincing role as a real estate agent. The supporting cast played by Achyuth Kumar, Vijayalakshmi Singh, Padmaja Rao, Sudha Belawadi, and Ashwin Hassan adds a lot of value to the whole proceedings.
The film has an average soundtrack by Anoop Seelin. Petromax, highlighting light and life, is an honest and bold attempt by the director that ends with a hint of a sequel.
Cast: Sathish Ninasam, Hariprriya, Achyuth Kumar, Karunya Ram, Nagabhushana NS, Suman Ranganathan, Padmaja Rao
Director: Vijay Prasad