When Kamal Hassan is a part of a film, you can do no wrong in buying yourself a ticket. You are definitely going to be bestowed with a standout performance, or something out of the box. But what if one film gave you both? Well, despite the fact that it is a remake, Papanasam brings you both of that in abundance. In trademark Kamal fashion.
When a film is a remake of a film which was a blockbuster in its original language, the comparisons are inevitable. And when it comes to a ‘family thriller’ such as this one, there are not many who will want to skip it. And that’s where Jeethu Joseph plays it safe. Keeping the core of the film intact, the director decides to take a different path by playing around with the dialects, the dialogues and providing more scope to a limitless actor like Kamal Hassan. But how many times has a remake thrilled you when you know what’s going to happen? Papanasam is one of those rare occasions, and that’s what makes it a win.
Kamal Hassan is the linchpin of the film, as he makes your jaws drop in a role which has him venting out every other emotion in the world. Right from the first frame until the last, the Ulaganayagan rules this film completely with his trademark style which we have been yearning for. It is Kamal’s first film as an actor alone after a long time, with the dialect deserving a special mention. Right next to him, is the absolutely brilliant Asha Sharath, who reprises her role with the same amount of effort that she had put into in the original. Barring Gauthami who looked slightly off track, the casting for Papanasam is a coup with everybody right from Kalabhavan Mani to the lil Esther making a mark.
Technically, Papanasam is decent with apt cinematographic angles and acceptable editing. Even at three hours, the film doesn’t feel tedious except for a few scenes at the start. The second half is a cracker, no doubts. Music by Ghibran escalates the film into an all new level, particularly the use of soft instrumentals for the start and tense ones in the second half. The final frames of the film have a wondrous theme to tag along too.
Except for small flaws here and there, Papanasam is an uncompromising attempt. Jeethu Joseph’s golden script must be lauded for working in every language that it has been tried in, for Papanasam is a belter in terms of its paperwork. You cannot ask for a better actor to play the lead role in Tamil. And yes, you cannot ask for a better reason to go watch this film.
Verdict: Splendidly crafted family thriller.
4 / 5