When actor Nishan, who plays an important character in the movie Ee Adutha Kaalathu said, “This movie will surprise you” in a tv interview a couple of days ago, I had dismissed it as yet another desperate PR attempt by an actor to promote his upcoming little known movie. But after having watched Ee Adutha Kaalathu in a cinema yesterday I should admit that I was proved wrong, terribly wrong. The movie did surprise me not once or twice but atleast half a dozen times when I was watching it. Brilliantly scripted, flawlessly executed and intelligently performed ,Ee Adutha Kaalathu is a gem of a film that grows on you and lingers in your mind even long after you have left the cinemas. The narrative is totally unpredictable and a new surprise is thrown at you when you least expect it. For instance,watch out for that terrific interval sequence involving Vishnu(Indrajith),Madhuri(Tanushree) and the lover boy(Nishaan) .
A mysterious serial killer is terrorising the city. Half a dozen characters finds themselves embroiled in it. As the movie progresses, the viewer gets to know more about these characters, their life, ambitions and on how they are related to the serial killer . There is Anup menon as the Scotland Yard trained IPS officer who often becomes the laughing stock in the Police department as he is not able to solve the serial killer inspite of the ‘training’ he has got. Murali Gopi is Ajay,the frustrated husband who humiliates his wife to cover up his disability. Tanusree Ghosh plays Madhuri,the failed Bollywood actress and Ajay’s wife who had once acted in a couple of soft porn masala hindi movies. Nishan is the lover boy who develops a crush on Madhuri . Last but not the least we have Indrajith as Vishnu, the intelligent and smart rag picker who loves his wife(Mythili), children and his mother more than anything else in this world. There is also a sub plot involving gangster Watson(Baiju) and his friend turned foe X(oops!forgot his name). All these characters are inter connected and how they are unfolds while the movie progresses. I wont be revealing anything more about the plot here as this is one movie which you will be able to enjoy more if you get into the theatre knowing little about it’s plot or it’s characters.
Taboo topics like Sex, sexual incompetency, Impotency are discussed freely without getting obscene and distasteful. The movie also takes a satirical take on the average ‘Malayalee’ attitudes and ‘his double standards’ in life. The film also has topical references to the recent’Vilappilshala issue(Thoppilshala in the film) , Tata’s Nano car,the influx of migrant labourers from Bengal and North India and even the Malayalam super stars playing their age. As I said before, the movie packs in a lot of surprises. The first half of the movie moves at a very slow pace which is justifiable for the number of characters that the film has got. Though Arun Kumar and his script writer Murali Gopi have taken their sweet little time for character build up in the initial half they have made good for it by spicing it up with a few witty gags, Bible references and a killer BG score ensuring that the viewer never gets bored not even once during the 2.40 min run time of the film.
The scenes which I loved the most are:
1.The one between Vishnu(Indran) and his mother.Watch out for how he compensates his mother for that lost gift his father had given her.
2.The Church scenes(the confession scene) between the priest and Madhuri.
3.The Interval sequence between Madhuri,Vishnu and the lover boy (Nishan)
4.The scene in which Jagathy Sreekumar who plays ‘Theepantham’ Magazine editor barges into Ajay’s(Murali Gopi) cabin and threatens him
5.The post interval sequence in which Vishnu(Indran) and Madhuri(Tanusree) tries to hide their ‘secret’.”Ethu theatre anennu chodikkumbol parayanam,Sreekumar ennu”. Brilliant!
6.The post climactic portions(the wedding scene,the scene where Ajay finds the message written in Hindi inside the coffee shop).
7.The intelligent use of Bible quotes, signature tunes of certain popular T.V. shows in certain sequences in the movie
What could have been better:
1.The back story of Madhuri(Tanusree) seems a bit incomplete. The story of her father ends abruptly. How her mother has reached the present state also remains un explained(may be they might have cut them down during the final edit)
2.The climactic portions leading to the arrest of the serial killer could have been done in a better way.
Ee Adutha Kaalathu is one rare movie in which every other actor has given their best. Indrajith as Vettu Vishnu is terrific and you can hardly imagine any other actor in his place. Indrajith is one actor who inspite of his histrionic capabilities hasn’t really got his due in Malayalam Cinema. Hope this movie gets him the much deserved standing ovation that he has been vying for. The Trivandrum/Parassala slang that has become a bit cliched ,thanks to Suraj Venjaramoodu and his antics is also used intelligently by him in this movie. Anoop Menon as the IPS officer continues his good work here too and so does Lena(Traffic,Randam Bhavam) who plays the young journo. Thanusree Ghosh as the frustrated wife is apt though at places the lip sync is not up to the mark. The usually wooden faced Nishan proves that he can emote too if guided by a sensible director and is backed with an intelligently written role. Baiju who plays Watson, Jagathy Sreekumar as the magazine editor, Murali Gopi as Ajay are nothing but brilliant. Mythili who plays Indran’s wife too doesn’t disappoint though she has a brief role in the movie.
Technical department and Songs:
Arun Kumar Aravind who adapted Butterfly on a wheel as Cocktail last year is back with a genuine and original movie this time. Ee Adutha Kaalathu is a movie which he can definitely be proud of and most importantly Malayalam Cinema has got a sensible and intelligent director after a really long time.
More than anyone else I believe it’s the scenarist Murali Gopi who deserves the maximum accolades for creating a movie as sweet and entertaining as this. It’s hard to believe that this is the same guy who had scripted the disastrous Dileep starrer ‘Rasikan’ a couple of years back. Hats off to you, Murali Gopi. Though the inspirations from Anurag Basu’s ‘Life in a Metro’ and the second story in Dibakar Baneerjee’s Love Sex aur Dhoka (Nishan-Tanusree track) are obvious Murali Gopi never ends up copying from any of these two movies. The situations happen so realistically that you often forget that you are actually watching a feature film. Writing a multi narrative script is no easy job and in inept hands it might even end up confusing the viewer. But that’s where Murali Gopi scores. The links between the principal characters have been worked out really well and by the time the end credits start rolling all the loose ends have been tied and you get an answer for every other event that has happened in the story.
Shahnad Jalal’s frames are captivating and he could successfully give a slick and urban look for the whole film. Expect to see more works from this talented guy in the near future. The editing is crisp and competent. This review will be incomplete if I don’t mention about the brilliant BGM that this movie has got. The re recording is excellent and it adds to the beauty of the film. The movie has got two songs, Farzana and Oru Vazhiyayi. Both of them are hummable and have also been picturised well.
No movie is perfect. Neither is Ee Adutha Kaalathu. Some of the sequences especially those towards the climax seem illogical and could definitely have been done in a better way. But still all those minor blemishes can easily be overlooked as this is one movie which is genuine, entertaining and totally worth the price of your movie ticket
So what are you waiting for? Catch this brilliant movie at a cinema near you for this is one which deserves to be seen in a really good Multiplex and not in a bootleg DVD. Five on five for this excellent film. Miss this at your own risk!