09 Oct 2015 ● Malayalam ● 1 hr 58 mins
What a touching and fine film "Pathemari" is..For starters every Indian who leaves his homeland to help his family in desperate times will identify with the emotions told through the story of Pallikkal Narayanan(Mammootty returns in resplendent form..It is a performance so nuanced like the one I saw in Mohanlal's Drishyam and Prithviraj in the recent Ennu Ninte Moideen).
The first half an hour is a build up on the young Pallikal Narayanan as he leaves his hometown to toil in the deserts of Dubai.These portions are quite a test on your patience but nevertheless enacted well.Director Salim Ahamed is no hurry to kill the leisurely pace and it helps that the director keeps the plot focussed and every character gets enough screen time in the heart wrenching.
Being a Non Malayali and sitting with a beautifully sub titled movie, there were moments where I found myself pulling out my handkerchief to wipe those moist eyes and even the occassional lumps in my throat which couldn't be avoided.Take the scene where Maammootty is given the burden of arranging his niece's wedding as his sister is widowed and he is unable to be physically present on the occasion due to visa expiry issues.This is contrasted well with the scene when he calls home on the D day only to find his call being an unwanted nuisance in the midst of a house filled with marriage cheers and chaos.There is another fine moment when the Man who first ferried him to the lands of camels and Cadillac sums it up in his monologue that the only worry is when the money and goodies stop coming, no one bothers or realizes the toil of the sacrifice r, the pain he endures being away from his family and friends back home.
The dialogue and music( Bijibal) echo with migrant sentiments and add great strength to the film.Apart from our leading man in fine form, Sreenivasan as his best buddy Moideen, Jewel Mary as his caring wife and Joey Mathew as his self centered brother in law stand out.Madhu Ambat's camera work breathes life and pathos into the movie.The film ends in a fitting finale where the entire family back home after Narayanan's sudden demise and the post death rituals sees a television recording where our leading man pours his heart out and I bet there will not be a single dry eye in the theaters.May be predictable but for all its simplicity and for the excellent work in front and behind the camera, this one is a deserving watch.Applause, applause.Well made and delivered with sensitivity and intelligence.