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Times of India
: At the centre of the plot is the barfly Prof Pavada Babu (Anoop Menon), a middle-aged man whose craving for alcohol has cost him many things in life, including his marriage. His tale is somewhat similar to Joy (Prithviraj), an unrepentant boozer.
: A tender story about two goodhearted common men, G Marthandan's Pavada is sure to touch a chord in Kerala. Evenly garnished with comedy and curiosity, it has got what it takes to keep audience hooked and impressed.
At the centre of the plot is the barfly Prof Pavada Babu (Anoop Menon), a middle-aged man whose craving for alcohol has cost him many things in life, including his marriage. His tale is somewhat similar to Joy (Prithviraj), an unrepentant boozer. Their well-wishers send them to a de-addiction centre and they forge a bond over a few drinks.
Over the course of time, they discover an unforeseen connection between the two that eventually made them alcoholics. The first half is an entertainer, but beneath the lively banter of characters, there is a sense of melancholy, confusion and even despair. How and what next are uncovered in the later half, where it transforms into a thriller-cum-drama.
Prithviraj enacts a variant of the character he played in Memories, but his lungi-clad, swollen-eyed act is mostly impressive. There are a handful of sequences where his performance is over the top, especially the song that shows the bonding between Babu and Joy. Thankfully, there is enough of controlled acting in the rest of the film to make up for those scenes.
Anoop Menon excels in his inebriated intellectual act and his harrowing journey invokes the viewers' sympathy. Asha Sharath's portrayal of a hapless woman in the dusk of her life is splendid and within the confines of her grief-stricken yet bold homemaker role, Miya is winsome too. Though brief, the scenes involving Chemban Vinod add some refreshing humour to the tale.
The movie does try to explain alcoholism as a way of dealing with helplessness and how it can ruin one's credibility. Watch Pavada for its moments of laughter and story.