November 8, 2019
Biju Menon,Dhanya Ananya, Saran Jith, Indrans, Suresh Krishna
Kicking off a religion-versus-rationalism debate is a risky business at any given time, more so now when skins in India have gotten thinner than they have ever been since Partition and temperatures are on the rise. Fear of causing offence does not stop veteran director
Lal Jose and writer P.G. Prageesh roll out their story in slice-of-life form, weaving in everyday insights about small-town life and party politics as they go along. Some of it is humourous and endearing, some of it
treatment of the relationship between Ullaas and Bhagyam (Nimisha Sajayan) too feels dated. A young woman chasing a reluctant hero played by a much older star is a ruse many filmmakers have used to establish the attractiveness of that male star. The seemingly liberal Jose’s decision to not pair Menon with a female actor
Dhanya Ananya and Saran Jith along with S. Kumar’s cinematography – aimed not so much at showcasing Kerala’s beauty as at capturing the ruminative mood of the narrative – are the USPs of this film.
Ifdoes not have the fire and grit that would be expected from an exploration of such a potentially powerful theme, it is largely because of what comes across as a hesitation to truly critique the irrationality of faith insensitivity that some atheists direct at religionists, but both groups are spared an unsparing microscope.
This reluctance combined with loose editing results in a film that works only in parts, is thoughtful but just not enough, lacks punch and ends up being ambivalent. It
Rating (out of five stars): **1/2
CBFC Rating (India):
134 minutes )
This review has also been published on Firstpost:
Visuals courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/LaljoseFilmDirector/