OTT movie Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu review
Akshara Haasan starrer Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu, which did rounds at several international film festivals, traces its meaning to the popular adage which emphasizes that these are the foremost 'ideal' qualities that every good Tamil girl must possess.
Akshara stars as Pavithraa, a coy teenage girl who struggles to strike a balance between societal norms and her own desires.
Written and directed by Raha Ramamurthy, the film chronicles Pavithraa's experiences and dilemmas and in the process, sheds light on the importance of an inclusive and taboo-free culture in society and at home.
She is cocooned in the 'good-girl' image and is trying to figure out how to crawl out from its shackles.
Pavithraa hails from a very conservative family where non-veg food is strictly forbidden, and to think of having an affair before marriage is a serious crime !
She has two friends who are contradictory in their thoughts and that baffle her more. While one of them encourages her to break the barrier and enjoy the carnal ecstasy with her boyfriend, the other strictly disapproves it.
At her home, she has an empathetic, forward-thinking granny( played by Usha Uthup) who boosts her confidence and gives fillip to her thinking.
Ramamurthy crafts this film as a slice-of-life, easy going and light hearted dramedy and urges you to immerse yourself in the protagonist's world with a mélange of nuances, but the execution is sluggish and suffers pacing issues. Sometimes, it feels like watching a docu-drama.
There are moments of humor like the one when the girls go to buy a contraceptive at the general store, but they are short-lived and outweighed by the somber tonality.
Akshara Haasan performs with oodles of confidence and imbues her character with unbridled naivety. She overdoes at some points, but that is balanced by the natural innocence of her persona. Ramamurthy surrounds her with a good ensemble - Usha Uthup, Anjana Jayprakash, Malgudi Subha, Janaki Sabesh and Suresh Chandra Menon.
It's a positive step towards breaking the gender barrier and Ramamurthy does a commendable job in delving into the woman's psyche maintaining the sensitivity around it.
But a film also needs an interesting garnishing over its noble intentions.
I go with 3 out of 5 for Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu. The 1 hour 20 minute film is streaming on Amazon Prime.