Sundar Das' 'Rebecca Uthup Kizhakemala' lacks the verve to hold up as an arresting sports drama. It's almost impossible to spot out the positives from this mundane film that seems to be a hotchpotch of several films that have formerly lulled us into a sleep.
'Rebecca Uthup Kizhakemala' has Ann Augustine playing Rebecca, a young female athlete who wins a Gold medal for India at the ASIAD. She is all set to reap further honors for her country at the Olympics, when into her life walks two young men, who drive her to a quandary.
Somehow this is a film that had almost proclaimed itself to be a 'Million Dollar Baby', and the viewers who walk in hoping to see a sports drama unfurl on screen are in for a huge disappointment. This is a film that is certainly not about sports, or even the travails of a sports star. The sports arena merely serves as a backdrop for the action, and at times it does not even hold that purpose.
At the core of the film, lies an age old story of a woman who had eloped with a man on the day of her betrothal, thereby bringing upon her family immense shame. Her brothers are in no mood yet to forget, and even after years having passed, they plot and plan to wreak vengeance upon their sister's family.
It is this very same story that we have heard a hundred times already that is told in 'Rebecca Uthup Kizhakemala'. To bring about a change in the proceedings, they make their female protagonist (if she could be called that) an athlete, and try to wedge in a triangular love story in between. The results are the least impressive, let me assure you.
Rebecca is engaged to Kuruvilla (Jishnu Raghavan) and just about the same time is blessed with a young coach Arjun (Siddharth Bharathan), who also happens to be her childhood friend. Arjun looks depressed and miserable, and is struggling to walk his way out of a relationship that ended up bad. He falls for Rebecca in no time, and the lady has to obviously make a choice.
The mess of a screenplay has in its store no surprises, or sharp revelations for that matter. It's all rudimentary, when it comes to the plot developments, and you wonder how someone can still be convinced of making a film as this in an age of experiments when diverse narratives and plotlines are enthusiastically tried out by film makers.
Ann Augustine is strictly okay as Rebecca, but the physical agility and fitness that is required of an Olympian is nowhere in sight. She doesn't have to move mountains here as a performer, despite being offered a title role. Jishnu and Siddharth are both good, and Shari is quite convincing in a role that is probably more convincing than the title role. As for the music, there is the remix of the 'Kizhakemala' song of yore, that is quite pleasing on the ears.
There is hardly anything worth remembering in 'Rebecca Uthup Kizhakemala', that runs for a massively long time of one hundred and forty eight minutes. It's a very pale imitation of some of those imposing sports dramas that we have seen before and remains brashly formulaic throughout. It loses steam and halts half way on its running track exhausted, thereafter exhausting us to the hilt.