Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu review: A refreshing take on female sexual desire that eventually loses its focus
A coming of age dramedy that revolves around a quintessential good girl, Pavithra (Akshara Haasan), who is from a conservative family struggles to strike a balance between societal expectations and personal desires.
Cast: Akshara Haasan, Malgudi Subha, Usha Uthup, Janaki Sabesh, Siddhartha Shankar, Anjana Jayaprakash, George Maryan and Shalini Vijayakumar Writer and Director: Raja Ramamurthy
Music director: Susha
Editor: Keerthana Murali
Cinematography: Shreya Dev Dube
Synopsis: A coming of age dramedy that revolves around a quintessential good girl, Pavithra (Akshara Haasan), who is from a conservative family struggles to strike a balance between societal expectations and personal desires.
There is a scene in debutant director Raja Ramamurthy’s Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu (The Myth Of The Good Girl) where Pavithra (Akshara Haasan) is being annoyed with her neighbour, Naidu Aunty (Janaki Sabesh) suggestions to improve her singing and tries to escape out of the conversation. That particular scene somehow came as flash of several youths complaining that old age people are advising too much without knowing other person's situation and the mental state they are in.
Leaving that aside, adult comedy as a genre itself isn't any brand new subject. It is being butchered in some way and was an interesting exploration in several other offerings such as Netflix's Lust stories to the recently released Aashiq Abu's short 'Rani' from the anthology 'Aanum Pennum'.
In fact, it felt like the director of this film might have taken inspiration from these because parallels can be drawn from the protagonist of the Amazon Prime show 'Four more shorts please!' to this film's Pavithra as both are compelled to sing in a particular tone and asked to emulate a great singers legacy.
AMNP which is shot in an anamorphic format addresses the topic of adages that are set by alpha males for a 'ideal women' as the title refers to Achcham (fear), Madam (innocence), Naanam (coyness), Payirppu (chastity).
But, as the time has progressed, the term ‘ideal women’ went on to have different connotations to it.
The film begins with introducing us to Pavithra (Akshara Haasan), who is born into a conservative Brahmin family and happens to be two contrasting person. At home, she is timid, shy and listens to what elders say, but with her two friends Rathi (Anjana Jayaprakash) and Jessica (Shalini Vijayakumar) who are also at two spectrum as one believes in a notion that women should save their chastity until they are married and the other, who believes in going for what women desires for.
This is a very interesting premise to explore, but AMNP explores multiple aspects of this topic in the most higgledy-piggledy way.
Although, the intend to explore sex, intimacy and desires of women in a humorous way that doesn’t rely on lame sex jokes is applaudable, but the writing is so unconvincing that the conflicts are solved quickly and the dialogues are sound artificial.
Even the supporting characters can be termed fit for only being unidimensional and are stereotyped in this film that want to shatter the tropes.
Yet, the saving grace is Akshara Haasan's performance who perfectly fit into the character. She brings the sensitivity and vulnerability to her character and her conversation with her grandmother (Usha Uthup) on doing what she desires to do is the only stand out scene.
The score done by Susha and the cinematography by Shreya Dev Dube add much more layers to the characters despite the wafer-thin plot.
When Pavithra gets to do what she desires, the aspect ratio of the film changes and all we were wondering after the film ended is -- if this much thought has been put in, why wasn't the central plot explored in much detail.