Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum review: An out-and-out entertainer with a strong message

Akhil Sathyan's directorial debut is laced with subtle emotions and good humour. The long runtime is a shortcoming though.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published:Aug 10, 2023

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum Malayalam movie
A hilarious watch!

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum (Malayalam)

  • Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Anjana Jayaprakash , Chhaya Kadam, Indrans, and Innocent
  • Director: Akhil Sathyan
  • Producer: Sethu Mannarkad
  • Music: Justin Prabhakaran
  • Runtime: 2 hours 51 minutes

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum (Pachu and The Magic Lamp) marks the debut movie of Akhil Sathyan, the son of ace director Sathyan Anthikad.

Sathyan Anthikad’s films have a pattern: they all have a protagonist who becomes the saviour of the victims. This can be seen in Snehaveedu (The Affectionate House, 2011), Oru Indian Pranaya Katha (An Indian Love Story, 2013), Njan Prakashan (I’m Prakashan, 2018), and Makal (Daughter, 2022).

Now that his son turned into a filmmaker, it’s natural for audiences to compare them with each other. And I must say, Akhil Sathyan’s debut follows a similar pattern.

But then, it thoroughly entertains the viewers with the one-liner comedy punches delivered by lead actor Fahadh Faasil and other actors.

Message-oriented plot

Fahadh Faasil in Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum

Fahadh Faasil in ‘Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum’. (Supplied)

The title hints about the storyline — Pachu aka Prasanth (Fahadh Faasil) gets a magic lamp; whether he uses it or not forms the crux of the film.

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum starts with the introduction of Pachu, 34, who runs an Ayurveda pharmacy in Mumbai. He lives a content life and plans to open new franchises across the city.

He travels to Kerala for some business needs where a hilarious incident leads to the cancellation of his return journey to Mumbai. This is the turning point of the movie.

Pachu is told to accompany his building owner Riyaz (Vineeth)’s mother Ummachi (Viji Venkatesh) to Mumbai from Kerala. Ummachi is a bold lady and has a mission to complete which her son doesn’t approve of.

On their way to Mumbai, Ummachi gets down at Goa while Pachu is asleep. But Pachu traces her to Hamsadhwani (Anjana Jayaprakash)’s residence in Goa.

He finds out that Ummachi wants to teach Nidhi (Dhwani Rajesh) who hails from a backward class.

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Nidhi’s mother Naani (Chaaya Kadam) used to work as a maid at Riyaz’s house. It’s then that Ummachi realises that Nidhi is good at her studies. She wants to provide her with a good education. However, the mother-daughter duo leave for their ancestral home in Goa due to certain reasons.

Now, Ummachi makes lucrative offers to Pachu to accomplish her mission. She even assigns him the task of abducting Nidhi from her ancestral home as her relatives — who are local goons — don’t agree to her pursuing higher studies.

How Pachu accomplishes his task is better watched on the big screens.

Fine performances

Akhil Sathyan's Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum

Akhil Sathyan’s directorial ‘Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum’. (Supplied)

Mukesh appears as Pachu’s father Rajan. It’s just a cakewalk for the veteran actor who is a champion in comedy sequences.

His chemistry with the late actor Innocent is hilarious. Innocent played an interesting character who is fond of smartphones and uses (iPhone’s) “Siri” to get his tasks done.

Anjana Jayaprakash as Hamsadhwani is the female lead in the movie who has a tragic backstory. She works as a designer in a firm in Goa and is in a toxic relationship with her boyfriend Vivek (Sanju Sivaram).

The scene where Pachu offers advice to Hamsadhwani about her boyfriend is quite hilarious.

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Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum is pretty engaging because of such comedy scenes by Fahash Faasil.

Althaf as Pachu’s staff in the pharmacy complements the actor in humour.

Viji Venkatesh, a well-known cancer-care specialist and country head of Max Foundation, as Ummachi is unbelievable.

Actress Anjana in Pachuvum Athbutha vilakkum

Actress Anjana in ‘Pachuvum Athbutha vilakkum’. (Supplied)

She essays a character who does anything to educate Nidhi; in a scene, she even uses pepper spray in self-defence!

Senior actor Vineeth gets a good role as Riyaz and this is a bit different from his previous ones.

Debutante Anjana Jayaprakash is impressive. She delivers a good performance in emotional scenes.

Dhwani Rajesh Nidhi always has sadness in her face which is static. But her static face needs a smile at some point in time!

Santhi Krishna as Pachu’s mother has nothing much to do.

Ahana Krishna Kumar gets a small role to play as Aiswarya.

Indrans as Ravindran is good.

Technical crafts

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum talks about the options that come in the form of vices and virtue Pachu has to choose. The way he deals with the situations and overcomes the obstacles makes for an interesting watch.

In the duration of two-hour-fifty-one minutes, the director gets ample time to narrate the story.

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Since he is also the editor of the film, Akhil Sathyan should have shortened the runtime. Nevertheless, he manages to engage the audience with situational comedy.

Justin Prabhakaran’s music sets the mood for the movie which is mostly high on emotions.

Final take

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum is a message-oriented film that flaunts good performances by the lead actors and a strong message: right to education for girlchild.

Comic timing by Fahadh Faasil, Mukesh and other actors makes it a worthy watch.

(Views expressed are personal.)