Pattaalam features real schoolchildren as the main characters -
something that had not been tried so far. And to their credit, all of them have
acquitted themselves well and supported ably by the seasoned actress Nadiya
playing the school principal `Daisy` to perfection.
The storyline is on expected lines though.
Daisy abhors corporal punishment and uses subtle counselling methods to help groups of adolescent students at loggerheads to turn a new leaf after one of them attempts to commit suicide.
Films centred on children rarely do well except in the exceptional cases like Aamir Khan`s Taare Zameen Par.
The commercial success quotient of the 2006 Malayalam release Notebook continues to be a controversy.
Pattaalam is somewhat weighed down by the avoidable long-winding sermons.
Else, Krishnaswamy`s visuals are excellent, the musical foil by Jassi is apt and Rohan`s endeavour to direct obviously mischievous children is commendable.
In all, it is a good outing during the ensuing school holidays.