'Pakalum Pathiravum' Review | Rajisha Vijayan's performance drives this suspense thriller

'Pakalum Pathiravum', just like its title, is a suspense-filled family drama that unfolds in a day. A young man's unexpected arrival at a house leaves the family confused. Yet they remain hospitable to him, till Mariya, the daughter of the house (played by Rajisha Vijayan) discovers that he has arrived with a lot of money and jewellery stacked inside his bag.

Things turn for the worse when she finds out that he also carries a fully loaded gun. Rajisha initially appears to be a typical village damsel. She is probably a disillusioned woman who believes God has been unkind to her family.

She is not afraid to question her family’s belief systems. She makes her aversion to the good-looking young man staying the night in their house. The fact that Maoist activity has been suspected in the nearby forests, also makes her all the more suspicious.

The story has some interesting moments, especially as the film director Ajai Vasudev seeks to keep the purpose of the young man's visit to the house a suspense till the end. Is he a Maoist? Why is he carrying a gun? And why does he carry a bag full of money and gold? These doubts haunt Mariya.

The plot begins to unravel like a typical suspense-thriller. You have a stereotypical bad cop (played by Guru Somasundaram), who is both corrupt and lewd, trying to wield his power on the villagers there. He has no qualms on abusing his power, on whomsoever he deems fit. The other villain is a loan shark, who troubles Mariya constantly as her father (Manoj K U) owes him money.

This also prompts him to make an indecent barter offer -- He demands that Mariya be bartered as his wife in exchange of the money. The family has only five days to solve this issue.

The situation creates tension in the family forcing Mariya to take a couple of extreme steps. The storyline by Nishad Koya, who is known for films like 'Ordinary' starring Kunchacko and Biju Menon, manages to engage the audience, though some of the twists seem inorganic and far-fetched. The sudden and drastic changes that take place within the family does not seem convincing.

Some of the characters, including that of the young man, lack depth, creating loopholes in the narrative. The slow-motion shots, typical of Ajai Vasudev's films, unnecessarily lengthens the duration of the film.

It would have been nice if the cameraman Faiz Siddik limited it to Kunchacko's entry. The story, overall, has it's thrilling moments, like the time when the young man disappears from the house only to arrive after a long time.

The performances by all the actors are commendable. The presence of Kunchacko Boban adds depth to the film, though it might bother you that he has been given lesser screen time in the film. Manoj K U, who proved his calibre as an actor playing the father in the award-winning film 'Thinkalazhca Nischayam', has nailed his act in this movie too. Rajisha once again proves she is capable of carrying any film on her shoulders.

Guru Somasundaram aces it as a bad cop, but it's time he shake off the villain image he perfected in 'Minnal Murali'. The songs and the background score by Stephen Devassy are decent. 'Ulakam Neeye' sung by Vijay Yesudas has a soothing effect.

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