Payum Puli

Director: Mohan Kupplery
Producer: Kabeer Palakkad
Cast: Kalabhavan Mani, Rambha, Jagathy Sreekumar, Sai Kumar, Riaz Khan, Suresh Krishna, Jagdish, Bheeman Raghu, Saddique, Jagannath Varma, Vijay, Sukumari, Nimisha, Shobha Mohan etc.
Music: Mohan Sitara
Lyrics: Girish Puthencherry / Rajeev Aalumkal

After seeing Paayumpuli, you will find yourself exclaiming: “It’s high time a talented actor like Kalabhavan Mani stopped doing such nonsensical stereotyped stuff again and again.” Director Mohan Kupleri, who had cast Kalabhavan Mani in the lead role in Paayumpuli, has failed miserably in providing us something worthwhile. Seeing Paayumpuli is a sheer waste of our time and money.

The story begins in a place called Malacca Colony, where Saravanan, our hero, lives. Saravanan is a henchman and works for Moosa Bhai, once a dreaded mafia-man of Kochi. As his friend and aide Saravanan has Thankappan, an auto-rickshaw driver. Someone comes to Malacca Colony and appeals to Moosa Bhai to let Saravanan come to Kochi to help the Ninan Group of Companies recover from a crisis created by some enemies.

At the behest of Moosa Bhai, Saravanan and Thankappan land in Kochi. An old acquaintance Mujeeb Rahman arranges accommodation for the duo. They are brought to a big, old house named Gokulam Veedu. The occupants of the house are the aged Mr. Warrier, his wife and two young granddaughters Mallika and Maya. Mallika and Maya have a step-brother named Ravishankar, who has decided to sell off Gokulam Veedu to Jose, a real-estate dealer. He has also accepted a huge amount as advance for selling the house and now plans to evict Mallika’s family from there, by hook or by crook.

Meanwhile Saravanan, in the course of working for the Ninan Group, happens to clash with Jose. And when Ravishankar comes to forcefully evict the family from Gokulam Veedu, Saravanan opposes him and fights with him and his goons. And when this is finally brought to the attention of Jose, he swears to finish off Saravanan. What happens then leads to the building up of the film’s climax.
Kalabhavan Mani is his usual self as Saravanan, but he is repeating himself again and again in such roles and we get fed up of this, though his performance is not at all bad. Jagathy Sreekumar as Thankappan doesn’t impress us much and mysteriously his character even disappears for some time in the post-interval section. Saikumar as Jose is good. Rambha, who plays the role of Mallika, is a sheer waste in the film, though the director makes an unsuccessful attempt to cash in on her glamour factor.

There is nothing to be written about the rest of the cast including Anand as Ravishankar, Jagannatha Varma as the old Warrier, Salim Kumar as Mujeeb Rahman and Riyaz Khan as Jose’s son Isaac. Their performances are very ordinary and boring because they have all done such roles many times before.

The songs are not catchy. The technical aspects are not up to the mark. After seeing the film, we begin to feel that though it has actors playing stereotyped roles and though the story moves along a familiar and predictable track, it would have fared better if the script was penned better and the direction more adept.

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