Pullikkaran Staraa cast: Mammootty, Asha Sarath, Deepti Sati
Pullikkaran Staraa director: Shyamdhar
Pullikkaran Staraa star rating: 2 stars
In Pullikkaran Staraa, to understand the origin of the protagonist Rajakumaran (Mammootty), we should go back to, as far as, the 1970s when India and Pakistan were engaged in a war. In short, he is that old. Rajakumaran is a native of Rajakumari, which is in Idukki. He is the most misunderstood character in his close-knit village.
Rajakumaran has a reputation of a womanizer. He always ends up in a wrong place at a wrong time that drills a big hole in his character in the eyes of the villagers. That makes him wary of women. As far as Rajakumaran is concerned, where there is a woman, there is trouble.
Rajakumaran moves to Kochi as an instructor to give lessons on teaching methods to teachers.
Pullikkaran Staraa, which is directed by Shyamdhar, initially promises an engaging genial comedy but has little to offer for entertainment as the film progress. The culprit is loosely written story and screenplay that fails to appreciate human emotions.
The film kindles the interest when Rajakumaran’s friends, played by Innocent and Dileesh Pothan, try to set him up for some action. Did I mention, the protagonist of this film is a 40-plus-year-old virgin? It felt really unconventional and seemed like the director may have something new to offer to the audience. It was the last time that this film gave me thrills. As usually, our hero messes things up, like the director of this film, due to his unwillingness to go all the way.
He is packed off by his buddies to a pilgrimage visit hoping for some divine intervention to make things interesting in his life. And he runs into Manjima (Deepti Sati), a stranger, who readily agrees to take refuge in him without a convincing reason after her boyfriend abandoned her in a moving train. The story ends there.
What follows next is a series of sequences aimed at establishing the abundant wisdom of Rajakumaran. Shyamdhar desperately wants the audience to fall in love with Rajakumaran. In the process, he has paid little attention to the love story, which fails to strike a chord with the audience.
Asha Sarath plays Manjari, Rajakumaran’s childhood love. The actor, who had delivered some gripping performances in the past, has been reduced to a mere distraction to keep the audience from seeing the obvious conclusion. Other characters have mostly been used to tell Rajakumaran that age is just a number. Hence, there is nothing wrong in marrying a girl half his age.
Mammootty shines in the role. He effortlessly performs a character that is so used to taking the blame for things that he had no role in. Asha Sarath and Deepti do justice to their roles.
The director could have done without the ‘Tapp Tapp’ song and an accident sequence that add no value to an already stretched out narration. Pullikkaran Staraa is not the film we were hoping to watch this Onam.