Sreenivasan seems to be losing his Midas touch. His latest Malayalam film Pachamarathanalil directed by debutant Leo Thaddeus is a big disappointment when compared to Arabikatha or Kadha Parayumbol, the films that bridged the gap between critical acclaim and commercial success.
Leo tries to float on the crest of Sreenivasan's luck as he etches out a character that suits the actor to a T but cannot weave a cohesive tale around him. The story of this film is inspired by a few others like Mani Ratanam's Kannathil Mutthamittal to mention a few.
The story goes like this: Sachidanandan (Sreenivasan) is a cartoonist famous for creating fairy characters for a children's magazine. He has a seven-year old girl Sneha (Baby Ahina), an over-smart talented kid representing today's generation. His wife Anu (Padmapriya) has a regular job.
The kid is spotted by an ad-filmmaker during a school programme. He convinces Sachi about the girl's talent. Now it is up to the girl and her father to convince the mother, which is done so in a few funny scenes.
From there the film takes an unexpected turn towards a suspense thriller after the girl disappears during a bus ride from Chennai to Pollachi (to shoot for the ad) in the middle of the night.
The narrative takes different forms as it goes to and fro from the present to the past unravelling a few mysteries that confuse us no end. And the culprit for all this confusion is the screenplay, which never settles on a linear form as the rigmarole continues till the fag end touching upon lethargy in police department to terrorist attacks and communal hatred.
Sreenivasan is his usual self with his self deprecatory humour (making fun of his own physical attributes and penury). Padmapriya as the nagging wife is convincing.
The presence of Naseer as the police officer investigating the missing case is not justified as any second rung comedian could have fitted the role. Suraj Venjaramoodu and Biju Kuttan (as if their presence is mandatory to make Malayalam movies these days) provide some hilarity.
On the whole, Pachamarathanalil, despite being posing as an intense drama leaves us bored.