Cast: Indrajith Sukumaran, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Binu Adimali
Director: M Padmakumar
Even if you go into Pathaam Valavu knowing nothing, it won’t take you too long to realise that the film’s made by the same team that made Joseph. The setting, the music and the situation of a good man going through hell…everything shouts Joseph lite. Change the title and you’ll see how easily the older film’s tagline fits into this one. Solomon: Man With A Scar—there’s even a nice ring to it. Yet one wonders why so much of what made Joseph is missing from this new version.
For one, the writing is a lot more basic. Solomon’s (Suraj Venjaramoodu) arc is far less complex and it follows the basic structures of any revenge drama. What’s even more grating is the obvious way in which Solomon’s own story is revealed to a police officer (Indrajith Sukumaran) who is in the process of becoming a father. The comparison is so symmetric that you’re able to predict Solomon’s tragic past, which quite obviously, has got to do with his daughter. In fact, apart from one or two tiny details, there’s really no new information we’re waiting for.
Even the conflict is too weak to take the film into an interesting zone. Indrajith’s character is too good at his job to let go of the on-the-run Solomon and Solomon’s motivations are too important for it to go unresolved. Which means, there’s literally only one thing that can happen and it’s just a matter of time until it plays out exactly like you’d predicted it would. The making is flat too and the sentimental approach that clicked in Joseph doesn’t really work when there are no surprises. A red herring doesn’t do what it’s supposed to and the other characters are too unidimensional to take you anywhere new.
Add to this the film’s odd statements about youngsters marrying who they wish to and some clunky exposition and you’re left with a barely watchable family drama with the aged soul of an 80’s film.