Pullikaran Stara: A shallow entertainer
Mammootty's Onam release is a comic ride that extolls the virtues of teaching
The only claim Pullikaran Stara carried to the theatres is that it is a feel-good movie. Well, it is indeed one. But the problem is, it looks like it has been whipped up forcefully to make one feel good. Every single dialogue, song and sequence are about 'feeling good' that director Shyamdhar, amidst all these exercises, seems to have forgotten, or overlooked, the glaring absence of a credible plot. The result: Mammootty's Onam release Pullikaran Stara looks like it has been made to preach the virtues of teaching.
Cast: Mammootty, Dileesh Pothan, Asha Sarath, Deepti Sati
Rajakumaran (Mammootty) has been tagged a womaniser ever since his childhood for no fault of his. In his words, his moving to Kochi is a bid to start a life and to earn a good name. In Kochi, he meets his old friend Kuriachan aka Stephen (Dileesh Pothan) and Omanakshan Pillai (Innocent). The duo feels Rajakumaran can shed his womaniser tag by marrying a woman. Into his life come two women, Manjari (Asha Sarat) and Manjima (Deepti Sati). The equation he shares with both women changes his life.
That being the crux of the story, the real intention of making Pullikaran Stara is to give a lesson or two about the profession of teaching. It is not bad though. The teachers' trainer that he is, Rajakumaran manages to shed some insight into the profession. A few scenes like the one where he talks to a fellow teacher about making a difference and prompting children to question teachers do make sense. Only that the good work is instantly diluted by senseless sequences like female teachers commenting about how good looking 'Rajakumaran sir' is. In fact, that is exactly what ails Pullikaran Stara. It doesn't have a mind of its own. One moment it is about the nobleness of teaching but the next about Rajakumaran's bid to shed his virginity. How absurd can it can be?
In fact, the flaw lies in the half-baked script. Many scenes do not connect with the succeeding ones while a few serves no purpose to the narrative as a whole. The same applies to the poorly-etched characters too. Both the women characters are superficial, and most times their actions seem to be totally illogical. As for Mammootty, the man's screen presence is the only thing that keeps us engaged. While Dileesh Pothan does a pretty good job as a friend, Innocent is wasted in a stereotypical "perverted uncle" role with cheesy lines. So is Hareesh Perumana who is stuck with his perpetual gatekeeper avatar.
That said, Pullikaran Stara isn't a bad attempt, just that it is too shallow to be taken seriously. However, it can make for a one-time watch if you are looking for some brainless entertainment.