The gangster genre has been a favourite through the decades for cinema lovers. Be it a small-time goon or a powerful don, they’ve all got tales of their exploits to keep us hooked to the screen. In all fairness, Rafeek Ibrahim’s ‘Padayottam’ sports a few moments of genuine hilarity, but finds its ambition hampered by a script that endeavours to pump up an elaborate journey that lasts for about a couple of hours and a few minutes more, out of a mere vacuum. Chengal Raghu (Biju Menon) is the life and soul of ‘Padayottam’; a good natured goon based in Trivandrum, who has people staggering up in veneration as he drives by on his bike. His assistance is sought by Senan (Dileesh Pothen), Sree (Saiju Kurup) and Renju (Sudhi Koppa) who have set out to wreak vengeance on the nameless man who has allegedly bashed up their dear pal Pinku (Basil Joseph) in what sounds like a late night street brawl. On the way, they collect thugs from different cities, including Kochi, Thrissur, and Kasargode. One among them is Chengal Reghu (Biju Menon), who is an intimidating thug. How the society perceives him forms the crux of the story. What makes this gangster movie directed by newbie Rafeek Ibrahim stand out are the huge dollops of rib-tickling comedy present throughout the film. Biju Menon once again raises the bar. Sudhi is a natural as also is Ravi Singh, who plays the villain. Saiju is effortless using his face and repartees to evoke laughter. The camera work is mind-blowing and the music good. For a debutant, Rafeek has done an excellent job and deserves applause. A must-watch film to laugh your heart out.