The new Mammootty-starrer Pullikkaran Staraa (He is quite a star) stands out for the understated presentation of the mega star. This is Mammootty's break from those characters that are assembled with a lavish dose of megalomania. A vibrant script-backed comedy sequencing and clean situation jokes bring back memories of the past where the genre was not heavily dependent on sexual innuendos to squeeze out laughter.
It is notable that the no-frills film banks heavily on its well-thought-out script. The writing by Ratheesh Ravi is a study in how profound thought can be effectively used to drive a film without being jarring on the audience.
Mammootty's breezy performance and Harish Perumanna's aptly delivered one-liners swing the frames to the definite liking of the audience. Innocent and Dileesh Pothen sink in well and add to the nice climactic build-up.
As the first half stirs audience interest by introducing the protagonist and the first ladies, the second half also stays riveting with creditable performances by Asha Sarath and Deepti Sati.
Except for the minor cliffhanger-like adventure that director Shyam Dhar has added to the film, this is an out-and-out entertainer. At a deeper level, the film explores the vicissitudes the protagonist needlessly embraces. It shows how as a society, we are overtly eager to brand people rather than see them in the light of their past.
The subtle beauty of the film Pullikkaran Staraa lies in the fact that the thread of the script braids seamlessly with the anecdotes that the hero delivers from time to time.
The simple love story is also a statement of the Shakesperian adage, 'Age cannot wither love, nor custom stale her infinite variety.' Cheers to a good film.