Director: Siby Malayil
Production Co: Nell5 Global Productions
Music Director: M. Jayachandran
Cast: Shine Tom Chacko, Remya Nambeesan, Sudheer Karamana, Siddique, Mamukkoya, Madhupal
Ace director Siby Malayil returns to home turn yet again with his latest film ‘Saigal Paadukayaanu’ that chronicles the life of a gifted singer who despite his earnest efforts, woefully realizes that his music is destined to serve him little in his life.
‘Saigal Paadukayaanu’ has Shine Tom Chacko in the role of Chandrababu, who has a pretty fine start in life, having born into a family that speaks of a rich musical culture. The man however finds little avenues to display his talents, and has to make do with the measly wages that he gets through private performances.
He takes to riding the auto rickshaw to make both ends meet, and decides to get married to Deepa (Remya Nambeesan), who hails from a religion that is different from his own. Post-marriage, Chandrababu finds himself at the crossroads, where fate and fortune leads him on from one misery to the next.
The melodrama that rules over T A Razak’s screenplay punctures it all over, and tries to rake in some sympathy for its protagonist through tearful instances galore. When Chandrababu takes to liquor as a refuge, the pity picture is complete, and the film takes us back to one of those Bollywood films in the 70’s that talked of crestfallen men who tried and tried, but who never made it to the top.
I would be surprised if ‘Saigal Paadukayaanu’ keeps you occupied throughout its running time, and the tension and apprehension that it obviously wants to build on does not have enough pith in it to hold the film strappingly together.
The film gets lost when it moves past its middle point, and the landing towards the climax is nothing outstanding. There is a whole lot of emotional chaos in between, when things go from bad to worse for the protagonist, and at times for the audience as well.
Here is a film maker who has gifted us with some of the most remarkable films of our times, and who hasn’t been able to craft a film in recent times that has managed to eclipse some of his former hits. It should however be stated that ‘Saigal Paadukayaanu’ is infinitely better than Malayil’s recent cinematic outings, though as an individual film it does come across as an almost flat attempt to craft an emotional drama.
Shine Tom Chacko does try his very best to infuse some extra life into his performance as the failed singer, and there are at least a few times when his delivery goes overboard. Remya Nambeesan as the traumatized wife of the musician does a neat job, and the film has a couple of sturdy supporting performances as well.
There is solely the earnestness of the film maker that comes across evidently in the film. But with a script that falls head over heels for umpteen chestnuts, ‘Saigal Paadukayaanu’ is little more than an unfortunate throwback to a couple of decades back, when films and stories as these still used to have takers.
2 out of 5 (Okay)