Star Cast: Akshara Haasan, Usha Uthup, Siddhartha Shankar, Anjana Jayaprakash, and ensemble.
Director: Raja Ramamurthy.
What’s Good: Exploration of a woman’s desire not in a stereotypical way, but going on a different tangent that isn’t spoken much about.
What’s Bad: The urge to solve each conflict so easily that the film looks like a slice of life drama all the time.
Loo Break: It’s an eighty-minute film. Hold your horses.
Watch or Not?: It’s a harmless watch while you just relax. Don’t expect any edge-of-the-seat moments, it is literally a day from the diary of a girl exploring her desire.
Language: Tamil (With Subtitles).
Available on: Amazon Prime Video.
Runtime: 80 Minutes.
Pavithra (Akshara) is a girl from a conservative Tamil family. Her mother and grandmother are ace Carnatic singers, father watches local cricket match while sipping his coffee, and she is forced to live the idealistic lifestyle. One day a wet dream makes her want to explore her desire and that is how a adventurous day unfolds.
Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu Movie Review: Script Analysis
The English title of the film is ‘Myth Of The Good Girl’, quite self-explanatory. But the Tamil one goes deeper. It talks about the 4 qualities of a ‘perfect’ woman/girl. The title can be loosely translated to Fear, Coyness, Modesty, and Chastity. What if a woman someday decides to not follow the four principles and live her life on her own terms? Is she still a good woman?
Akshara Haasan starrer explores the same thought in a film that is shaped to look like an adventurous page from the diary of a young girl about how she spent a day finding herself. Raja Ramamurthy who writes and directs this crisp movie breaks the stereotype of an over 25 woman asking for independence, but places a late teen in the same position.
Here is a girl overburdened by expectations and has to fulfil all of them. She blames herself as she feels she isn’t skilled enough to be the best. The writers puts her in a conservative set up where the mother knows nothing more than scolding and taunting and name her Pavithra (pure), doomed. Her relationship with her mother is almost like a human training an alien. The biggest villain in this set up is her mother because Pavithra’s world is restricted to the 4 places she knows.
Raja creates his universe in these limited spaces. He pitches two friends against each other, one supporting a woman exploring her s*xual fantasies and the other talking like the gatekeepers of patriarchy. They serve as Pavithra’s inner voices that are at constant war. Metaphors are quite visible here. A lady always sitting at the gate of Pavithra’s house is symbolic of the society and its judgemental gaze. The shopkeeper saying condoms are for married women only is reminiscent to the moral policing women face.
While all of this is good and fresh, the film goes down hill when it decides to go too vanilla. Every conflict that is created gets solved easily and it doesn’t even feel like a conflict after one point. Maybe scarcity of time must be the reason. Apart from that, there are a few WHAT? scenes too. Like, why would a girl go to buy a condom in a store next to her house for the first time? Why will she allow a guy to mimic an entire incident on the road when she knows the world is watching?
Also the bond between Pavithra and her grandmother played by Usha Uthup definitely deserved more screen time and exploration.
Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu Movie Review: Star Performance
Akshara Haasan plays Pavithra with all the innocence the character needs. The good part is that the she never breaks the character which will make it look like an out of body experience. She did need some more layers, but that comes with the writing and direction.
Usha Uthup as the grandmother is heartwarming. Both Anjana Jayaprakash and Shalini Vijayakumar are natural and impressive. Siddhartha Shankar does his job right.
Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu Movie Review: Direction, Music
Raja Ramamurthy sets his story in as much real world as he can. Nothing exaggerated, no emotion is loud. Some might feel the need for it, some might just love what is presented, it’s subjective. The filmmaker makes the film with a female gaze and that is so good. Men hold no authority in this world until the women tell them to. Because this is the ladies telling their story their way.
The music doens’t play a very big part of this narrative, but is average.
Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu Movie Review: The Last Word
Though not too impactful, this Akshara Haasan starrer talks about a taboo in a very simplistic manner. Watch it at your leisure.
Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu Trailer
Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu releases on 25 March, 2022.
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