As an emotionally conked out wife battling with depression watches her hunter husband venture out into the wild, determined to send a bullet flying through a tiger's torso, she wishes them - both the tiger and her husband - the very best. One of the many reasons why I believe that they don't make writers like M T Vasudecan Nair any more.
Hariharan's 'Ezhamathe Varavu' follows an archeologist named Prasad (Vineeth), who has arrived at the forests of Wayanad, hoping to unearth a long buried dynasty that lies beneath the deceptive greenery. Coincidentally, he runs into his long lost sweetheart Bhanu (Bhavana) and her planter husband Gopinatha Menon (Indrajith) there, that scratches open bruises that were never healed.
Man meets animal in this tale of hardcore human passion, and the darkness that pervades the jungles is almost metaphoric, pointing to the murkiness and gloom that exists within us. Drenched in mythology, the tiger is an avatar of human vengeance; where a man, crestfallen by the infidelity and betrayal of his wife, assumes an animal form to wreak havoc on mankind, by slaughtering seven women once in seven years.
The puzzle that Gopinatha Menon is, unravels itself ever so gradually, and with each revelation, stuns us further, with his candid expressions. He is much more than an abusive, sadistic husband, who derives immense pleasure at having his wife twirl around the tips of his fingers. The demon that he has offered refuge within himself is that of a narcissist - tremendously in love with oneself , and oneself alone.
Bhanu resembles a wreckage, bits and pieces of which are gently floating ashore. The devastation is complete, and she waits for the end when the final fragment will have sunk deep down into the sea. Drowning herself in liberal sips of alcohol and hiding herself behind clouds of cigarette smoke, she is a woman who has hastily finished writing her own story with a pen that never had any ink.
Prasad, is by far the saner one in the crowd, and with his sense of discernment strives to draw a line on a hazy plot marred by dust winds; where all boundaries have disappeared into the grime that has blown over. His opinions are by far objective and reasonable, and so are his rational conclusions.
Times have changed and so have the people who inhabit this world. Or so we believe. Until we hear of Maala (Kavitha), a beautiful tribal girl, torn apart by human lust. A reminder that tales of oppression will continue to be told as long as money and power rule the world, the cries of Maala and the gunshots from her rusty old gun, will reverberate with renewed vigor.
No prizes for guessing that Indrajth towers over the other two in the leading cast, when it comes to performances. As the scheming, wily Gopinatha Menon, the young actor is convincing to the core. Vineeth, on the other hand comes up with a effortless performance that cannot however be undermined in any manner. Bhavana is impressive for the most part, but seemed quite out of place in a few scenes at least that had her getting drunk. Kavitha, on the other hand, with her large Paravthy-ish eyes, conveys an innocence and charm that is refreshingly delightful. The enchanting visuals by S Kumar, which have captured the lushness and verdure of the forests in all their glory have to be specifically mentioned.
In 'Ezhamathe Varavu' M T Vasudevan Nair and Hariharan retell a story that is as old as the jungles themselves. But it's a tale that I would love to hear again, and maybe again, and again.