Sreenivasan's Padmasree Bharath Dr Saroj Kumar


Almost seven years after the release of 'Udayanau Tharam', Sreenivasan is back to take up from where he left. This time Rajappan Thengummoodu arrives in a new avatar as Padmasree Bharath Dr Saroj Kumar.

Almost all the main characters are taken from Mohanlal-starrer 'Udayananu Tharam', the film that laid bare the filth behind the dazzle. But the similarities end there. Debutant director Sajin Raghavan had made it clear already that Padmasree Bharath Dr Saroj Kumar is not a sequel to Udayananu Tharam. 

Along with Sreenivasan who plays the title role, Jagathy Sreekumar is back as his guru cum manager Pachalam Bhasi. Salim Kumar and Mukesh too teams up as Rafeeq and Babykuttan. 

Mamta Mohandas plays the role of Sreenivasan’s wife while Suraj Venjarammoodu is the superstar’s personal makeup man. Vineeth Sreenivasan also plays a prominent role in the film.

With the script penned by Sreenivasan himself, Padmasree Bharath Dr. Saroj Kumar is sure to be a laugh riot and expectations naturally soar sky high.
After the highly successful Udayananu Thaaram, actor cum scriptwriter Sreenivasan brings back the popular character Superstar Saroj Kumar. There was a decent crowd when I went to watch the film. In spite of the film not being a sequel to Udayananu Thaaram, there was a lot of interest around this film due to the Saroj Kumar character and Sreenivasan’s script. 

Plus, the public were looking up to it as a sequel. Another factor was Sreenivasan’s penchant of making digs at several actors/producers/directors through his films. So naturally, people expected a film with loads of dark comedy with episodes of Malayalam film industry interspersed. However, the film directed by Sajon Raghavan doesn’t actually live up to the expectations and is an average fare at best.
The film starts off showing the present crisis that the Malayalam film Industry is facing. There are some good moments in the first half an hour. Dialogues of producer Babykuttan (Mukesh),  and then the intro of Megastar Saroj Kumar. The intro is fine but from then on, things spiral downwards. Saroj Kumar, who was saved by Udayabhanu in Udayananu Thaaram, has now gone back to his old habits and is as arrogant as they come. His antics are much louder than before. The combat between Saroj Kumar and Mamtha gets boring after a while. The film then proceeds with different events in the life of the megastar and how he gets different honours like the Padmashree, Doctorate and Lt. Col degrees. As the film moves on, the mood becomes more serious and the climax has a small twist at the end.
The film, despite having a good theme, suffers from a messy script. There are few good moments in between but that’s not what you expect from a scriptwriter of Sreenivasan’s class and repertoire. It is better than Sreenivasan’s previous outing 'Oru Naal Varum' but nothing special at all. Considering the weak script that he was handed, the direction is pretty good and the director has done his best with the script. Deepak Dev’s songs are good and are among the rare pluses of the film. The cinematography is passable while the editing is average.

Coming to performances, Sreenivasan is a let down as he is good only in parts. At times, he is good and at times, his gimmicks really irritate you. If his performance in Udayananu Thaaram got a 10/10, his performance here would be 5/10 or thereabouts. The characterisation of Saroj Kumar is another weakness. While in Udayanana Thaaram, Saroj Kumar was shown as a mix of several superstars, the Saroj Kumar in this film is almost the replica of the a superstar ruling the Malayalam Industry.
Jagathy reprised his role as Pachaalam Bhasi and he is at his best. Salim Kumar does a neat job. Suraj Venjaramood as the head of the Fans Association comes up with yet another repetitive performance and he is boring to say the least. Mamtha is totally wasted as she has nothing much to do. Fahad Fazil continues his good work from Chaapa Kurish with another good performance here. Mukesh does a superb job as producer Babykuttan. Vineeth Sreenivasan comes up with an average performance.

Padmashree Bharat Dr. Saroj Kumar is an idea gone wrong. Overall, the film disappoints big time and one sincerely hopes that Sreenivasan comes up with a good script in his future films. If you want to kill your time and have nothing better to do, then maybe you could check this out.

Directed bySajin Raaghavan
Produced byVaishaka Rajan
Written bySreenivasan
Mamta Mohandas
Vineeth Sreenivasan
Fahad Fazil
Music byDeepak Dev
CinematographyS. Kumar
Distributed byVaishaka Cinema
Release date(s)January 14, 2012

Verdict - Average