Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu movie review: Akshara Haasan stars as a young woman on a journey of sexual discovery.
Debutant director Raja Ramamurthy’s Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu, which stars Akshara Haasan in one of her best roles, is a refreshing adult comedy that doesn’t rely on lame sex jokes – like most adult comedies in Tamil cinema – to talk about a young girl’s sexual exploration. With a highly relatable story and situations that most of us would’ve experienced in our lives, the film works to a large extent, thanks to its lighthearted tone and treatment. The fact that the film presents the idea of losing one’s virginity as just another human desire makes this attempt laudable. (Also read: Salute movie review: Dulquer Salmaan’s film is a fine police procedural)
Akshara plays Pavithra, who has not said in her family. She lives by the rules laid down by her mother de ella (Malgudi Subha), who wishes to see her become a singer just like her grand mom de ella (Usha Uthup). Pavithra is mostly clueless in life; unsure of whether she even wants to become a singer. However, her mother feels otherwise and wants her to learn music anyway. Unable to take the pressure of her parents and her mundane life, Pavithra decides to do something that is in her control: have sex with her boyfriend. But before she takes the plunge, she discusses the idea with her two of her best friends – Rathi and Jessica. While Rathi is excited about Pavithra’s idea of her and even encourages her, Jessica feels the exact opposite of her and wants her to reconsider her decision. The rest of the film is about how Pavithra deals with the consequences of her idea of her.
The idea of adult comedy in Tamil cinema has always been about making content that reeks of double meaning dialogues and tasteless jokes around sex. No filmmaker has treated the subject with sensitivity and has made a genuine attempt to talk about sex education without making a mockery of it. While Tamil cinema has had its share of adult comedies, it has always been from the perspective of men. Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu stands out for the simple reason that it talks about exploring sexuality from a woman’s point of view and it does a neat job in getting the message across.
Akshara Haasan is a very interesting casting choice as she possesses both the vulnerability and naivety to play the character. Ella’s scenes with her friends are some of the best moments of the film which work despite a wafer-thin plot. The actors who play the best friends get to shine in their limited screen space but wish the film focused more on the other supporting cast members as well. Usha Uthup is another interesting casting choice but again I wish her character de ella had more relevance in terms of contributing to the central plot.
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