The difficulties of living as an irreligious or secular person forms the premise of the Mammootty-starrer Pothen Vava.
Written by Benny P Nayarambalam, with a proven track record of handling such characters deftly, the film is directed by Joshiy. Usha Uthup, the original diva of Indi-pop is as an added USP.
Pothen Vava offered a heady mix for sure. But how much kick we get out of the mix is the matter of concern. Surely, you get high initially with Usha Uthup showing the energy reminiscent to that of Philomina's character in the Godfather. This is followed by Mammootty's grand second entry (the first one happened before the flashback) and incessant flow of witty dialogues, which builds Vava's character and the supporting players.
Our spirits soar as the film proceed to tell the story of Vava (Mammootty) born to a Christian mother (Usha Uthup) and Nampoothiri (Nedumudi Venu) father who have divorced when he was just a baby. The court gave the baby to the mother and ordered that baby will have the right to choose his religion when he is mature enough. But the selection never happens and Vava continues his nameless, religion-less existence, till one dramatic event forces him to select a religion.
Vava decides to be Christian, but his mother puts the condition that Vava seeks his father's permission before taking the final plunge. Till now, the going is great. We empathies with Vava's travails and when the things loosen up, the humour picks up.
The downward spiral begins post-intermission when Vava chases down his father who has now become a renowned Carnatic singer and saves him after a life threatening accident. It was an attempt on the singer's life for his property.
This film could have been outstanding if it had not taken this angle and gone with the main thread itself till the end like he did in Kunjikoonan and Chandupottu. But the makers here chose the tried and tested route, which leads to a very contrived climax.
Mammootty does a good job as Vava. But later, even though he tries hard to retain the sparkle of the first half, the situations let him down.
Usha Uthup as Mariamma Vakkeel is also good, but her presence is not utilised well.
Gopika as Gladys, the former assistant of Mariamma, who now looks after her professional commitments and appears in court for her son whenever he is entangled in a legal wrangle (wonder why our heroes have to be Tharvadi Themmadi, why not ordinary folks like they were in the past?) exudes charm.
On the whole, Pothen Vava is better than Mammootty's recent outings. But it could have been even better.