Movie Review: Papanasam

I’m pretty sure Kamal Haasan had a 100% say in deciding the title of the film. “Papanasam”, meaning “Destruction of Sins”. Such an apt title for the movie, just like “Drishyam” was for the Malayalam original.

When the film certification card read “180 minutes”, it might have left people wondering “3 hour movie in this day and age when most movies end in less than 2 hours?!?!?!”. At the end of it all, the director left us wanting for more. What a movie, Director Jeetu. Take a bow.

Bharadwaj Rangan said, and I quote, “I feel intensely jealous of people who saw Papanasam without seeing Drishyam”.



Papanasam is not a Rajnikanth movie. So there’s no 100% assurance that the protagonist will win in the end. And that’s what keeps Papanasam pacey throughout, except the first 30-40 minutes when the “normal” life of a normal man in the countryside is depicted.

Kamal Haasan as usual excels there. Suyambu Lingam Annachi’s “Nellai Tamil” slang is such a treat to listen to. Let me try and recollect the different slangs he has aced in his stellar cinema career – Kovai slang in “Sathi Leelavathi”, Madras Baashai in Vasool Raja, Pammal K. Sammandham, Aboorva Sagotharargal and numerous other movies, Brahmin slang in Avvai Shanmukhi, Vishwaroopam, etc, Palakkadu Tamil in “Michael Madana…”, and the list will go on. The fact remains that few actors in the world can show this sort of range in language and acting.

Niveda Thomas who plays Kamal’s first daughter in the movie might have earned a few thousand fans in Tamil Nadu through this movie. That girl can act.

Suyambu Lingam portrays the “family first” mentality to perfection throughout the movie. The climax scene where he breaks down ought to be one of the best pieces of acting in World Cinema. If Kamal Haasan doesn’t get an Oscar in his acting career, whose loss is it? Kamal’s or the Oscar Award’s?

Jeetu Joseph and his script are the real heroes in the movie. The movie would have been a hit even if a Sarathkumar or Arjun had played Suyambu Lingam. The fact that Kamal played it is an added treat to the fans.

Having seen both Drishyam and Papanasam, there might be questions about who is the better actor. Mohan Lal or Kamal Haasan. In my opinion, in terms of acting, they are both great (and out of this world). No scope for comparison. But it’s in the other aspects of Cinema (Screenplay, Direction, Dance, Singing, Stunts, etc.) that Kamal Haasan has outperformed his co-star from across the border, throughout his career.

“Alwarpettai Andavaa”, one small request. Your fans prefer 3 Papanasams in a year compared to having to wait for 3 years for a Dasaavathaaram or a Vishwaroopam. More Papanasams, please!

P.S: you might want to read my review of Drishyam, here.


One response to “Movie Review: Papanasam

  1. Pingback: Movie Review: Thoongavanam | My Shillong Diary

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