Tamil Reviews

Palakkattu Madhavan Review: Sexism Sold As Comedy, Nothing New


In Palakkattu Madhavan,Vivek plays a middle-aged loser. Loser he is, because what else do you call a guy who quits his job just because his wife earns more? If you thought this was the extent of regressive thinking that went into the making of this project, then think again. Vivek makes a strong statement about protecting the elderly. Just as I heave a sigh of relief, he goes on and spoils it all.

‘Priyamani kedaikkuma?’ he asks.

He meant ‘biriyani’.


Sonia Agarwal plays the dutiful wife; as countless others have before. She doesn’t add much to the film; and I’m left to wonder why she was even approached to do a role such as this.

Especially since Devadarshini could’ve been a better fit. It’s not like she hasn’t done this before. Remember Parthiban Kanavu?

And then this happened. No wonder.


It’s a wonder this film even passed the Censor Board, riddled as it is with crude double meaning and sexist imagery. The film’s actresses are rarely given anything meaningful to do. One is an object of desire; and the other is a means to an end. Needless to say, this one fails the Bechdel Test. By a huge, huge margin.

The overall theme deals with the abandonment of elderly persons by the younger generation. No doubt Vivek’s intentions (and the director’s) are laudable. After all, we should be thankful for the occasional film that showcases an important social issue. But, filling an otherwise commendable idea with offensive and jarring commentary – all supposedly to squeeze a couple of laughs from the audience – kind of kills the point.


Actress Sheela’s presence in this film could have been a saving grace. That is, if the actress had been allowed to play anything other than a caricature. So no reprieve there.

Like Santhanam’s previous film (and like with Soori, when he makes the decision to go solo), this film too would have worked better as a comedy track.

As a two and a half hour long ordeal, it just doesn’t make the cut.