Pullikkaran Staraa is peppered with moments reminding us of the Mammootty that once was, still occasionally is and could still be — an expression of tenderness here, a comical interlude there, a flash of thoughtfulness and hurt, a shot emphasising that handsome face and towering frame on which the advancing years rest so well. This being a Mammootty film, it is obvious that there will be expressions of romantic interest from both the lovely ladies. This being a Mammootty film, it is obvious too who the script will choose for him.
Mammootty stars as a much-misunderstood man called Rajakumaran in director Shyamdhar’s latest film. The opening sequence shows us a series of unhappy coincidences that give the child Rajakumaran the reputation of being a pervert. You can guess from one of his nicknames Kuli Scene Rajakumaran what he might have done (or been thought to have done) to earn this rep.
Mammootty has made a habit of courting and/or marrying characters played by actresses half his age over the years, but watching him get coy with Deepti Sati — who is 22 according to the Net and looks it, while he turns 66 next week — is a last straw. It is like Bollywood audiences used to watching heroes cast opposite actresses who are aeons younger, but being particularly repulsed at the sight of Salman Khan with the baby-faced Sneha Ullal in Lucky: No Time For Love (2005). Sheesh!
Asha Sarath plays Manjari, Rajakumaran’s childhood love. The actor, who had delivered some gripping performances in the past, has been reduced to a mere distraction to keep the audience from seeing the obvious conclusion. Other characters have mostly been used to tell Rajakumaran that age is just a number. Hence, there is nothing wrong in marrying a girl half his age.