The element of surprise that is so vital in 'Olipporu' (guerrilla warfare) is nowhere in sight in the film that goes by the name, that has been directed by Sasidharan. The plot however plays hide 'n seek all through and stays in hiding even after the film, which is perhaps the sole reason why the makers opted for a title as this.
Ajayan (Fahad Fazil) is a blogger who writes under the pen name Olipporali (a guerrilla activist), and just as he is about to launch a show with his fellow bloggers, he disappears. Having met with an accident, he waits for his end at a local hospital in Bangalore, while his friends search for him frantically all around.
It's mostly through flashbacks that Ajayan reveals to us the kind of person that he is. Or rather has been. We start off from his Malayalam classes, where he has trouble pronouncing the different variants of a sound. He carries over this trait that he mistakes for a disability into his youth, and meets up with a psychiatrist to get his tongue working all right.
The blogging world opens up before him a new universe, where he meets up with other individuals who share similar interests and thoughts. One thing leads to another and before long he ends up sharing much more than ideas with another blogger, Vaani (Subhiksha). And it's Vaani who leads him to the realization that death lurks just around the corner.
'Olipporu', for most of the time, flits from one superficial visual to the next, as Ajayan keeps whispering to us the secrets that he had held close to his heart. His mother and grand dad walk into the picture, and so do several issues that range from Endosulfan to Kaathikoodam, the Delhi gang rape to the Solar scam. And yet, none of these leave an impact.
They say, when it rains, it pours. And almost everything seems to have gone wrong with this film that is a misfire from the word 'Go'. The script, the narrative, the characterization, the music and at times even the performances fail to carry through.
The film sometimes even makes you wonder if it was conceived as it has eventually turned out to be. Perhaps it's the expectations associated with a title as 'Olipporu' that lead us to the anticipation that it's going to be all about a blogger's fight for justice. And when you realize that it's far, far away from the something even remotely similar, disillusionment sets in.
All said and done, Fahad is the sole saving grace of this 109 minute long film, and though cast in an unbelievably preposterous role, he tries hard to make do by appearing to believe in what he is doing. Kalabhavan Mani in an equally bizarre role is around, and together they sing a song, the lyrics of which defy all customary categorizations.
As you settle yourself down resignedly, waiting for the song to end and the story (or the lack of it) to unfold further, the credits start rolling, forcing you to throw your mouth open in disbelief. And then you ask yourself the vital question as to what the film has been trying to convey to you all this while. With neither a head nor a tail of a resolution in sigh, you walk out, pretty much like Ajayan, who has been doing the same for the last couple of hours.
Happened to read somewhere recently that Fahad had almost turned down 'Olipporu'. Well...I guess his intuition, was after all, right on spot.