Skip to main content

Malayalam Movie Review: Rani Padmini asks serious questions but fails to deliver a meaningful impact

I like movies that show strong women. 

I had great expectations from Aashiq Abu's latest Malayalam movie - Rani Padmini. 

The two heroines Manju Warrier and Rima Kallingal demonstrate commendable chemistry despite a poorly paced script and badly written screenplay. 

While Jinu Joseph is impressive as the racer, there is no chemistry with Manju Warrier. The vibes are sangfroid between the two actors. 

The first half of the movie puts you on edge. You keep waiting for a spectacular story but the second half is where the story "begins."  The pace of the film is inconsistent. The 'Ant" story and also the 'paragliding' scenes were stretched to too slow. Then suddenly, the narrative becomes too pacy.

Malayalam Movie Review: Rani Padmini Story
The story goes like this: Padmini (starring Manju Warrier) is a Malayali girl married to a Delhi based racing car driver, whose name is Giri (starring Jinu Joseph). The couple love each other but Padmini is like a caged bird under the watchful eye of a dominating mother-in-law, who makes it clear that "This marriage is more for me than my son so that I have some company."

The movie begins with Padmini about to run away from her home and she begins her dialogue, saying, "My husband has left me to go to the Himalayas." 


                                       [Image: Mollywood Times]

Matters reach a boiling point when her mother-in-law asks her to sign a mutual divorce petition. Her husband has not said a word to her but he signs the petition and leaves to participate in the Himalayan race. 

I love that scene where Padmini calls from Delhi and tells her jealous best friend that her husband signed the divorce papers. Her best friend's reply is catty and funny, "Don't worry. There is divorce happening everywhere. Divorce is trending. It's cool!"

A determined Padmini runs away from her marital home, carrying a bag that also has her gold jewelery that she received from her parents at the time of her marriage. Her journey is to the venue of the Himalayan Car Rally, where her husband is one of the most anticipated participants. 

In the bus, she goes through the typical experience that most Malayali women have experienced at least once in a life time. That's right, a creepy guy pinches her while she falls asleep. Not once but thrice! 

That's when Rani (starring Rima Kallingal) makes her entry - a fiery tomboy like woman sitting next to Padmini. Rani gives that man "the experience" of a lifetime! I can't tell you how much I cheered for Rani at that moment. 

Amidst some poorly delivered dialogues and stale jokes, Padmini and Rani begin to care for each other and fall into an easy comfort zone that usually happens with women who spend time together.  They evoke the curiosity of others. Once when asked, Rani says, "We are lesbians and this is our honeymoon." The dialogue delivery by Rima Kallingal had humor and a spark of cheeky boldness.

We also have a "Don and Gang" who start off as a terror in Rani's life and follow her all the way up the Himalayas.

Malayalam Movie Review: Rani Padmini raises serious questions, answers none

There is a poignant scene where Rani tells Padmini's husband, "You don't deserve her." Symbolic words?

Director Aashiq Abu also raises questions such as:

1. Why are marriages arranged the way they are in conservative Kerala?
2. What is the role of a wife? To sleep, to obey and serve till she dies? 
3. Why do husbands not make an attempt to understand their wives?
4. What holds a woman back from exploring a world beyond her husband?

Aashisq Abu leaves us wondering why these questions were raised and for whom because there are no answers in the movie. The good, responsible wife goes back home to have a baby with the same man who had easily signed the divorce papers.


Aashiq Abu's 'Rani Padmini' is a movie to simply sit back and enjoy in the theaters. A 'good wife' has to pursue her husband to bring him back home even if it is from the Himalayas, then they have a baby, end of story.

Don't think too hard about a wife having to pursue her husband who abandons her without giving any reasons.  

After all, real life doesn't always give you answers. It's up to you to find them. 

Comments

Kanmani Gobal said…
A few things stirred up my curiosity.
When Padmini told her husband that she'll give "it" to him when he comes home, did she mean the "signed divorce papers"? If yes, why did he look so happy?
So maybe the reason he looked happy was because the fact that she said "come home" means there is no divorce, and it is clear he has some feelings for her at least.

However, the finishing scene with her baby took place 2 years later. In that time, it is safe to say her marriage was "active" seeing that she conceived. What if, at the time, she had actually separated from her husband? We did not see Giri after the rally scenes. Could this be a possibility?

Most Popular Posts

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. 
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he became very enthusiastic about chanting the mantras. Following this, my mother taught him the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and he took to …

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

This post on Kerala's caste system has not been written with an intention to ridicule or glorify any caste as such. I do not ever judge or like to be judged on the basis of my caste. I do not support any form of caste discrimination because I know exactly how it feels to be treated differently because of one's caste. It isn't a great feeling.  

First Question is always "What is your Caste?" In Kerala, one of the first things you are bound to be asked by even new people you've just met is, "What is your caste?"  This is not a tirade against any caste but my experience, personally. And just for information, I have never used my caste name 'Menon' to this day. That is something I have learned from my father - who has never used 'Menon' in his name because he believes his destiny is shaped by values, vision and actions, not  by his caste.
As some one who is a Menon by birth, I can also tell you frankly that it often feels like a curse to be…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Earth Angels have amazing super powers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions &  becoming invisible at will
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in this world. But y…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]




Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your feet. Your feet will sparkle an…

Five ways to take charge of your anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward I hear this a lot from youngsters around me: It's fine to rant, vent and lose one's temper. It's fashionable to be scornful and rude to everyone. It's great to vent. What's the big deal about getting angry? After all, if you cannot express what pisses you off, how can you call yourself human? [Also read: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path] Here's what I think: Anger is a projection of our own minds. It stems from layered fears and the need to dominate and differentiate yourself from others whose actions or reactions we want to control. It destroys us first before it goes out and delivers blows to others around. That is why spiritual seekers work constantly towards conquering anger and fear. The two are so deeply inter related. You have to conquer both and not just one of the two. 

Yet, from my experience, I can tell…

Anju Sundarikal Malayalam Movie Review: Dulquar Salman in full throttle, Fahadh Faasil disappoints

Anju Sundarikal, as the title suggests 'Five Beautiful Women,' is a poignant anthology of five short films that celebrate five female protagonists and their tumultous lives. These five films play on different themes and emotions, and on the whole, it is an interesting anthology.

Anju Sundarikal - Sethulakshmi The first film, Sethulakshmi, is a heart-wrenching portrayal of sexual abuse of a small girl whose hobby is to collect newspaper clippings of newly wed couples from newspapers and she embarks on getting a similar photograph taken of herself with her best buddy from school. What appears as an innocent wish is the honeytrap that leads the little girl to understand the meaning of fear. 
Each scene in Sethulakshmi seemed to tear into my heart, particularly in a scene where the photographer's hands and glance linger a tad too obscenely on the innocent, unsuspecting girl whose eyes are filled with fear. There is another scene where she is so frightened that she curls up at the…