30 Jul

The name Joshiy in Malayalam film industry is often equated to films set in a large canvas. His latest offering ‘Paappan’, the Suresh Gopi starrer is also not an exception. These two veterans have given us a few gems in the past like ‘Lelam’, ‘Vazhunnor’, ‘Pathram’, etc. and moreover Suresh Gopi has played an integral part in many earlier Joshiy films. The duo coming together for ‘Paappan’ after long a time itself was something worth waiting and the trailer promised a decent thriller too. For me, ‘Paappan’ written by RJ Shaan, produced by Gokulam Gopalan, David Kachappilly and Raaffi Mathirra is an engaging film and Joshiy could maintain the suspense till the last frame with a story comprising numerous twists. 

The film begins with rather a quiet introduction of the central character, Abraham Mathew Mathan (played by Suresh Gopi), formerly CI of Kerala Police fondly called as Paappan. As the title cards fill the screen, we also gradually enter into an engrossing narrative. Soon, a dead body is spotted and the Police arrives to the crime spot. The officer-in-charge of the proceedings is ASP Vincy Abraham IPS superbly essayed by Neeta Pillai who is also the daughter of Paappan. Questions regarding the identity of the deceased confuses the Police and soon the mystery gets solved. Later, a series of killings are reported including people from different strata of the society with the murderer leaving confusing clues. In the meantime, we also get to know the past of Paappan and Vincy’s strained relationship with his father. Due to the pressure of the Bhaskar Shenoy IPS, (Vijayaraghavan), Paappan also joins the investigation. From that moment onwards, the film moves at a brisk pace through unforeseen instances and events leading to a striking climax. Since the film belongs to the crime thriller genre, I do not wish to share the vital details as it will spoil the suspense. Joshiy, the master craftsman has packaged the 2 hour 50 minutes long film in a mesmerizing manner and the audience would never feel the length of the film.

The specialty of the film is that, its narrative has many layers embedded. Though, an investigation thriller on the surface level, the film also reveals the personal side of a Police Officer. Paappan is a reputed officer but also an ordinary man with all emotions. He is extremely attached to his wife and daughter and takes care of people who are deprived of family and other things. He believes in the philosophy that, “ultimately, man is a born animal”. All the characters are well-written and Joshiy has given ample screen space for them. Paappan is assisted by Michael performed by Gokul Suresh Gopi and he has done a good job. The other major actors who are part of the film are, Asha Sharath, Kaniha, Nyla Usha, Chanthu Nath, Nandu, Ajmal, Shammi Thilakan, Tini Tom, Sajitha Madathil, etc. 

Coming to the technical side, the Director of Photography, Ajay David Kachappilly deserves a special mention for the enthralling visuals which has enhanced the narrative to another level. He is able to create an impact through the use of the high-angles, wide-shots and close-ups. Shyam Sasidharan, the Editor too has done a commendable job especially in juxtaposing the past and the present episodes in the lives of the characters. Jakes Bejoy’s musical score is good enough to keep the tempo of the film. RJ Shaan’s script is good but not a gripping one which is essential for crime thrillers. Things happen at a slow pace but Joshiy has kept all such flaws at bay through his making style. 

Suresh Gopi has played Paappan’s role to perfection. The veteran is back on screen and I felt so happy seeing him perform in a composed manner. Do not expect the usual fire-brand type cop of Suresh Gopi in Abraham Mathew Mathan. Here, we see an experienced officer who has faced several trials in both personal and official life, as a man who regrets putting his duty over family. He looks classy and absolutely stunning with the ‘salt-n-pepper’ look in the film. It was exciting to see Neeta as Vincy Abraham. She has excelled in her performance, bringing in the body language and appearance of an investigative officer and also the emotional side of the estranged daughter. Watching a lady sorting out the things itself is a delight to watch. The scenes involving Suresh Gopi and Gokul are quite interesting alongside the chemistry between him and Nyla Usha. Asha Sharath too proves her prowess as Dr. Sherly Somasundaram. Shammi Thilakan, Tini Tom, Ajmal, Vijayaraghavan, Nandu and so on have done justice to their roles. 

Though it is watchable, the film has its own share of flaws. There are many loopholes in the script and the makers failed to avoid certain cliches. At times, it turns a bit melodramatic and also deliberately tries to mislead the audience. It also reminds us of many other films though it is not actually a fault. But, overall Joshiy, Suresh Gopi and the team deserves applause for the dishing out a film like ‘Paappan’ and I felt really happy to see the two veterans getting back to form. I’m sure that ‘Paappan’ will bring a new lease on life for the theatres in Kerala. 

Watch ‘Paappan’ for a few thrilling scenes, emotions, acting brilliance, the Suresh Gopi factor, for somewhat a riveting climax and above all, for the stylish making of Joshiy … I’m sure, you will enjoy ‘Paappan’…

Ranjith Krishnan K R

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