Story telling is an art in itself â€“ one that has as its prerequisites three imperative traits; characters with potential, a decisive plot and cautious attention to detail. A good narrator does not use these in isolation; rather he spectacularly weaves them together in a vibrant fabric of creativity and comes up with a mind boggling story in which they are indistinguishable to the rapt audience.
Balan (Sreenivasan) is the local barber at Melukavu, who leads an uneventful and almost passive existence, and except for the occupational haphazards that have been eating into his life, his worries remain minimal. Until Ashok Raj, the reigning superstar, (Mammootty) arrives for a film shoot amidst much aplomb, and the village gets to know of an alleged camaraderie that once existed between these alarmingly dissimilar souls.
Katha Parayumbol is indisputably one of Sreenivasanâ€™s best compositions of late, in that it manages to redeem a few facets of the writer whom we have sorely missed over the years. The writer wages a battle with the actor and comes up trumps; the story that he dares to tell is one that is told with a whole lot of heart, and hence remains absorbing throughout. The benchmarks of the yesteryear Sreeni scripts are for once, discernible yet again; the remarkable simplicity and the witty structuring of affairs, the pleasant laughs on offer and the distinctive illustrations. And they’re conveyed with such conviction that youâ€™ll catch yourself believing every outlandish detail.
Sreenivasan as Balan is apt; yet another extension of his self-hypnotic persona that is fitfully funny in his usual way. He makes the simplest off the cuff lines burst into life, and we find ourselves laughing at observations that might, in the hands of a lesser actor, land with a thud. Mammootty gets to play Santa Claus this Christmas, and wades in fabulously with a climactic surprise. He is bright and blustery and is a revelation, a supreme sweet froth of poise, bravura and unstoppable confidence.
The cultural slice that Sreeni puts up on a salver deserves all the consideration that an impeccable delicacy demands. Beneath the flimsy decorative toppings lie the sturdy pieces of analogies that are playfully arranged along the margins of a society under scrutiny. Every guffaw that it offers is invariably coupled with a moment of introspection, the result of which is as astounding as it is totally fulfilling. Sreeni does something different with Katha Parayumbol; he sets the story as his focal point, the human drama, and the passion of it all. Rather than attempt a colossal sociopolitical declaration based on a notion that does not require to be further examined, he watchfully links his inventive images with a potent exploration of human life and the vital desire to be remembered. The story does succumb to an over dosage of dramatics in the end, but not in a repellent manner. I find the outlook of it all, and the fundamental message of love and family, to be brilliantly elevating, for this is a thoroughly enjoyable, good-natured movie.
Katha Parayumbol is beautiful in the way it looks, but more importantly, it’s beautiful in the way it resonates. Itâ€™s a rewarding unique film that is well worth the time it claims for its earnestness and inspirational candor that is vividly brought to life. And above everything else it abundantly displays the calm urgency of a story that so badly wants to be told.
(Crossposted at MovieMazaa)