IBTimes Rating: 3 Ib
"You must do what you want to do." Society might have asked us to follow some norms and conditions if you are a woman. Through "Rani Padmini", Aashiq Abu encourages every female to be strong enough to take the right decisions on time.
The film revolves around the life of two female characters, Rani, played by Rima Kallingal and Padmini played by Manju Warrier. While Rani is a short tempered tomboyish person, Padmini is a person who is loved by everyone for being the girl next door.
Padmini gets married to Giri (Jinu Joseph - car racer by profession) and moves to Chandigarh from Ottapalam. She leads a happy family life and wishes to start working as a physiologist in a nearby hospital, which makes some changes in her life.
The beautiful title song "Oru Maarivillinay", penned by Rafeeq Ahamed, is a treat for one's ears and shows the childhood days of Rani and Padmini. A special mention has to be made of the child artistes, especially the one who plays as Rima's younger days.
Padmini is on her mission to meet her husband in the Himalayas, where he is participating in 'The Great Himalayan Rally'. However, Rani is on her way to Leh as her family circumstances and character force her to shift from New Delhi. They also meet a gang of criminals and a trekking group and what happens next during their journey forms the crux of "Rani Padmini".
What is the unique selling proposition of the film? It is none other than the beautiful locales that are captured by cinematographer Madhu Neelakandan.
Looking at the performance of the characters, Rima has done justice to her tomboyish character; seems like it's her real life appearance. We have seen many of Manju's strong characters, but even though she has tried to bring a touch of comedy to her character in "Rani Padmini", she could have improved a little bit as she is more experienced than any other star in the film.
Jinu has appeared in supporting roles in many films before, but his character in "Rani Padmini" is something that stands out in his acting career. Apart from acting, he has also got a chance to showcase his skills as a racer along with late actor Pappu's son Binu Pappu. The racing scenes are a treat for all race lovers.
Sajitha Madathil lives as a society lady and has done her part well as Padmini's mother-in-law.
The "flying" moments of Rani and Padmini with their wet eyes show how happy they are when they found a pinch of freedom in their life.
The performances by Soubin Shahin, Dileesh Pothen, Sreenath Bhasi, Giri's friend and gangster are appreciable.
Drawbacks: Scripting should have been improved a little bit and the first half ended on a quick note, one was left wondering why the interval came all of a sudden.
There were some unwanted portions in the film, especially the "spoof" part where Padmini tells the story of a person named Narayani conveying a "message", but this part was boring.
Final Verdict: Compared to Aashiq's "22 Female Kottayam", the latest film "Rani Padmini" is not extraordinary, but is a one time watch, at least for its fine cinematography. However, it is a comeback film of Aashiq as he was criticised by many for his previous film "Gangster". The film also says that women are not supposed to live just to satisfy others, they need to live for themselves and must be capable of taking strong decisions in their life.
What more? A trip to the Himayalas will be on your bucket list once you watch "Rani Padmini". The film will make you fall in love with trekking and North India.