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Aashiq Abu kept a low profile without much hype for Rani Padmini, his latest release after the debacle of his last flick. There is not much to say about the plot that doesn’t have much of a depth but the film provide a different visual experience as a road and travel movie.
Narrating the adventurous journey of two young women through the Himalayas with a parallel plot of a Himalayan Car Rally and a group of gangsters chasing one of the lady protagonist, Rani Padmini is devoid of the regular entertainment stuffs but not a movie to be discarded citing this petty reason.
I would say Aashiq Abu makes a good comeback after a disastrous box office result for Gangster. Syam Pushkaran is the script writer here and his screenplay is an exciting one providing a novel experience for our eyes. Of course on the story part, its a pretty wafer thin one but that’s not a fault to write off a movie like Rani Padmini.
For the first time, I am seeing a movie in Malayalam with a short running time. Out of the one hundred and forty two minutes of running time, the pre-interval portion is limited to just fifty minutes or so. Beginning with the story of Padmini and then to Rani the film brings them together to form a strong bond though they are poles apart in terms of personality, behaviour and character.
Without the presence of any major stars, two ladies Manju and Reema carry the film entirely on their shoulder and pull of a winner here. Such a thing is not a new thing for Manju Warrier but for Reema it should be a first of her career and both of them deserves equal credits for their individual performances. The way some humorous situations were handled by the two and the way the dialogues were presented bringing the lighter side of the movie deserves special mention.
Sajitha Madathil as Padmini’s mother in law delivered a clean act along with Jinu Jacob in a surprisingly dual avathar (not a double role). His wedding video where we see him in a traditional Kerala attire was a surprise and it was quite a good makeover considering we have been used to seeing him always in a stylish getup.
Soubin Shahin as a cameraman for a local channel had a very limited role to play and was utilised very little here as per the demands of the story but still he was able to make a mark along with the actor appearing as the reporter. There were some laughs created by the gangsters chasing Rani. The gang leader had a notable presence in the movie. Sreenadh Bhasi makes a cameo appearance in the second half in a good way.
Its the technical aspects that score here. Cinematography is brilliant helped by the picturesque locations as nature plays a big part in the movie. Editing is not bad while Bijipal has done a brilliant job on the music side. The title song was a homely and a lovable one. One more song with the same feel is also nice to hear. Sound design is another notable area that has been done in an apt way.
Overall with good visuals narrating an adventurous and bold journey of two women characters, Aashiq Abu’s Rani Padmini is a movie providing wholesome entertainment in a different form. I enjoyed it except a brief portion in the latter half. its a watchable movie with no masalas, less in content and high in visual beauty, that’s how I would sum up this film.