'Pusthakamlo Konni Pageelu Missing' is a 129-minutes-long film that could have been told like a tale tracing the innate human tendency for self-contradiction. This would have been possible if a layer was added to the story.
Sri, playing Vijay Kumar, is all set to tie the knot with Sandhya (Supraja in a cameo) tomorrow. He and three of his close pals (named as Balaji, Salim and Shiva) decide to play a friendly cricket match as they meet in a ground. This proves to be a fateful day in Vijay's life, who meets with a small accident to his head, thereby causing him to lose his short term memory.
The friends Salim and Shiva, ever so easy-going, at first think that Vijay is over-acting. As Vijay continues to repeat one line a dozen times, they grow jittery and take him to a doctor. Raghu Babu (in a cameo) assures them that he will be alright by tomorrow, but fate seems to have something unimaginably worse from Vijay.
The friends now do not want to see Vijay's life falling into an abyss of jeopardy. They decide not to let his family members and Sandhya know his state of mind. The rest of the film is about how the three friends pull wool over the eyes of everyone.
PKPM has a few positives for sure. A remake of the Tamil movie Nadavula Konjem Pakkath Kanum, the film is a treat to watch when the actor who played Salim is around. He is eminently watchable and surely redeems the film almost single-handedly. Big-ticket cinema could benefit from his comic timing in in the coming months and years.
The dialogues are crisp and definitely funny. Since the director, Sajid Quereshi, had the original that was as simple and light-veined as it could, all that he needed to do was select the right face to play the memory loss patient's character.
The male camaraderie is very true to life.
Besides the aforementioned elements, the camera work breathes life into it. BG score is another big asset. The two songs, however, hugely disappoint.
The biggest minus is that, after a point, PKPM is reduced to a laughter show involving the two warring friends. The scenes in the marriage party could have much more intelligent and witty.
In the hands of a writer with rare sensibilities, the idea could have metamorphosed into a script that ferreted out the human frailty, hypocrisy and fleeting mindset with remarkable subtlety. That would have been an artsy treat for sure.
If the wailing mother's dejection over the fate of her son for the last four years lends seriousness and helps to finish the first half on an interesting note, the climax is a let down, which will be reviled by the audience.
The hero saying that he misses his 6th class-time crush could have been leveraged to add an emotional thread to the script.
Vijay's whimsicality becomes tedious after a point, so also the helplessness of his friends.
Verdict: On the face of it, this film is a faithful remake of the Tamil original. A little more imagination could have made it a memorable film. Watch it for the neat humour.