Salim Ahamed, best known for "Adaminte makan Abu" has taken up the subject of Malayalee men struggling in the Gulf. One might think this subject has already been dealt with in many movies, but, none have ever lasted in people's memories. "Pathemari" will make sure it does. Now, I bet, every single person, after watching "Pathemari", would have developed a strong sense of respect for the men who are working in the Gulf (if not already). Such is the impact that it creates on its viewers.
We all know only about the money that people make working in the gulf, or about the people they leave behind, when have we ever thought about the person who does this all. When have we spared a moment to think about the man who struggles hard, in an urban desert, all alone, with only his thoughts for company. He sacrifices his entire life, leading it only to satisfy others' expectations. This movie is a tribute to all those people. With so many seasoned actors, Salim Ahamed has delivered a hard hitting emotional drama that is sure to string at your hearts.
His last outing "Kunjananthande Kada", also featuring Mammootty in the lead, made people take notice of his ability to prudently showcase the travails of a common man, whose struggles we have witnessed or atleast, have heard of. Mammootty doesn't need any more applause or praise than he already gets. This megastar, or Mammooka as we endearingly call, makes us all root for him. There are many scenes where he makes you feel pain in your heart. There is one scene where he calls on his family from Dubai, and silently overhears all the proceedings of a function he is missing out on. The way he smiled when he heard his childrens' voice, and became sad when his wife hung up abruptly, made everyone silently wipe off a tear or two. The entire movie is made up of such scenes where actor Mammootty lives the role of Pallikal Narayanan. Sreenivasan who has already touched upon this subject in one of his earlier films "Arabikkatha", does a great job as always. His character Moideen, as a friend of Narayanan is shown to have been more successful than Narayanan. This was an interesting addition by Salim, making sure he doesn't stereotype people in this movie which is all about breaking another stereotype.
All the actors, be it Joy Mathew as Chandran (Narayanan's brother), Jewel Mary as Nalini (Narayanan's wife), Salim Kumar playing the role of Narayanan's father, they all make sure the effect that the movie creates, lasts in the viewer's minds even after they leave the theatre. Actor Siddique deserves a special mention. Although he has very less screen time, he splendidly portrayed his character of Velayudhan, the man who launched many men into the gulf through his ship Pathemari.
Music by Bijibal was impressive, particularly due to some extraordinary work by Resul Pookutty. One can easily notice that it is the work of a fine artist when you hear muffled sounds of the sea around the inside of the ship. Such is the attention to detail by him. Cinematography by Madhu Ambat was profound. Right from the beginning, till the last frame, his work absorbs you into the screen.
With a runtime of just about two hours, the movie opens with the scene where Narayanan is already dead. We all realise this is going to be an account of a man's struggles in the gulf that gets to a melancholic end. We are stripped free of all hopes of a happy ending right in the beginning, but, the climax will leave you smiling more than you would have expected.