'18am Padi' Movie Review: The film is refreshing for its story but gets stretched too much.
Last Modified On: 05 July 2019 | Reviewed By: Saurabh S Nair
The film is about the rivalry between schoolboys is novel, the film has too many characters and is too lengthy.
Cast: Mammootty, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Unni Mukundan
Directed by: Shanker Ramakrishnan
The story is about the rivalry between two school students from a different school in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
The movie opens when Ashwin (Prithviraj) starts narrating the tale of his school days to the first batch of students of his academic institution. Simultaneously, the story shifts to our nation’s border where Ayyapan (Arya) is on a mission combating enemies.
Ayyappan (younger version played by Akshay Radhakrishnan) was the leader of the government model school gang and Ashwin (younger version by Ashwin Gopinath), of the international school, "where the rich kids went". We trace the rivalry from a cycle hockey game. Here’s where one of the romances begins but gets pushed aside since the theme is school rivalry between the boys. From the hockey ground to public transport, there is fighting everywhere, it almost looks like college fights between political rivals.
The story is told through their eyes as a flashback, and there we see a set of students from Thiruvananthapuram belonging to two different economic classes entering into tussles every now and then for any odd reasons. While the students of Government Model Boys School struggle for survival, on the other side we see a bunch of rich kids having a gala time being victims of substance abuse and also victimizing the other school kids for fun. Ayyappan (Akshay Radhakrishnan) is the leader of students from Boys’ school and Ashwin (Ashwin Gopinath) of the International School. They are volatile and short-tempered; their fights never foresee the consequences but only the momentary victory. Thus, they often end up at police stations with suspensions.
That’s when Joy (Chandu Nadh), a teacher in English at the International School takes the first step to bring in some change in the lives of spoilt brats. He sees himself in them and tries to be someone he never had in his teens – an ideal teacher – as he tries to convince the kids that there is life beyond drugs. Things take a different turn when an unfortunate incident at International School lands Ashwin in trouble. The story gets momentum when Ayyapan and friends get a chance to take revenge on Ashwin.
Mammootty, after his much-appreciated performance as a regular cop in Unda, falls back on the superstar formula, of looking great and being unbeatable, becoming the savior at the time of need. Nothing wrong in it, except it sticks out. The rest of the script stays close to the ground and this infusion of fantasy looks odd.
If the length, some of the lines and characters are cut down or reshaped, Pathinettampadi could make for a good two hours of cinema.
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