Puthan Panam Is Not The New Indian Rupee
A good start and a lot of other positives shattered to bits by a flawed script and poor climax, opines Sriram
On Apr 17, 2017


Considering Ranjith’s works over the last two decades, there are two versions of him. One who redefined the notion of character projection for the masses, who pens and executes absolute crowd pullers. The next one is more of a subtle craftsman who carves brilliant creations leaving his signature on them. Both of them are at their best when they impart genuine dose of emotions into their works. In Puthanpanam, the latter’s wholehearted attempts, which are truly praiseworthy are overshadowed by some weak and lazy moves by the former, disappointingly underestimating the viewers.


Puthanpanam, the new Indian Rupee takes off in style feeding the audience with the hopes of something grand to follow. The buildup, showing signs of quality stuff inside points in the direction of a light or satirical thriller. As the movie ends, there is an interesting story on paper which has its moments and even thrilling elements; there are lots of well written characters and intriguing situations they are faced with. But these ingredients are simply half baked and are served to the audience, making it too hard for them to swallow. Even though the story has enough scope in it to establish an emotional connect with the viewers, the movie fails to traverse the depths, in an equally failed attempt to pull the crowds. Very often the flow of the movie seems dictated trying hard to somehow meet checkpoints of the story, leaving a lot of loopholes wide open. There are a lot of elements blunting the intensity of the movie. Ranjith very often seems to be stressing too much on obvious elements in the story, resulting in lag. The good buildup or the spark is provided by the red-hot demonetization issue. Even the title of the movie is based on demonetization which polarized opinions like no other recent national issue. Puthanpanam forgets its launch pad too soon, failing to make any strong statement on the same. If by the climax Puthanpanam is a decent movie with its share of flaws, the ending of the climax kills any life that was left. It is so illogical that the protagonist undoes everything done in the movie through a single scene. It is also worth saying that, the climax with that single scene avoided could have lifted the movie very much.

Despite a flurry of shortcomings flooding the positives, Mammootty shines though as a clean bright spot. Scene by scene he portrayed Nithyananda Shenoy to perfection. His screen presence and the way he handles the Kasargod dialect is indeed a joy to watch. In fact, it is the long patches where Shenoy is absent on screen that robs the movie of the grip on the audience. Just like the characterization, the performance of other actors like Baiju and the child who played the role of Muthu also is very good.

Like Ranjith’s previous movie Loham, Puthanpanam also starts with a moving song. The rest of the songs by Shaan Rahman are just average. Background Score by Achu Rajamani is effective at times. But the lack of a BGM that stays in the minds of the viewers for the interesting character that was Shenoy, is quite evident.


It is a basic human nature to remember only the latest and give more weight age to it. Puthanpanam’s good start along with a lot of other positives are shattered to bits by a half-baked, flawed script and a climax which almost makes mockery of the audience. Just like the effect of the climax on the movie, this disappointing venture takes a toll on Ranjiths illustrious directorial run. Mammootty’s performance stands out as a bright spot. For those waiting to see the comeback of the actor, The Great Father is still the answer.


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