As you watch Lal Jose's 'Ezhu Sundara Ratrikal', you cannot but help wonder over the lack of emotional frisson that is evident throughout. For every enlightening moment of jagged insight in the film, there's an infinity of inane smiles, bumpy conversation and awkward glances lying scattered all around.
Aby (Dileep) is happily engaged to Ann (Parvathy Nambiar) and is eagerly looking forward to his wedding. On the spur of a moment, he decides to invite his ex-lover Sini (Rima Kallingal) to his marriage, and on walking into her apartment, finds that she has the perfect family life that anyone can dream of.
If after the first half an hour, 'Ezhu Sundara Ratrikal' fails to hold your interest, it's simply because it does not have anything worthwhile to tell. Yes, the twists are definitely there, but when the disclosures are made one after the other, you wonder what the hullabaloo was all about.
When Sini soon makes the revelation that all isn't well in her marital life, you anticipate what is to follow, and Tyson (Murali Gopy), her boxer husband turns out to be the insensitive, uncaring brute that you expect him to be. What you do not really foresee is the golden heart that beats somewhere inside. Phew!
There is a subplot that involves Franco (Tini Tom) and his doctor wife Daisy (Praveena), and it takes a while to connect the two parallel narratives together. And of course several other characters spring up here and there, like the police officer in love with Ann (Sreejith Ravi), the mysterious lady bike rider (Krishnaprabha), the restaurant owner (Suraj Venjarammoodu) and Baijuraj (Anil Rajgopal), who add further complexity to the account.
Sometimes it so happens that in a particular scene, there comes by someone who is expected t be lurking in the background, and yet who grabs all the limelight and walks away without as much as a word. As an anxious Aby waits for Ann's call, a group of merry kids brush past him, as they scamper out of the house on to the courtyard. And then you see someone scurrying after them, a toddler in a diaper, who just seems to have mastered the art of walking, who spreads mirth all around.
And the last half an hour is an extreme drag, and you wait for the inevitable to happen. When the wedding bells finally ring for Aby, and the end credits start rolling, you realize that a bit of truth could have saved us a lot of time. But then, if that was the case, this film wouldn't be here at all.
There are a few hilarious moments here and there, without doubt, in the film, but that does not relieve you of the monotony that is to follow. The animated sequences that are expected to be side-splitting at times hit the mark, and at other fall short by a mile.
Dileep is perfectly cast as the man who finds the seven nights prior to his marriage messed up beyond repair, and Rima looks gorgeous and lends ample support. Parvathy Nambiar makes a fine debut, while Anil Rajgopal turns out to the scene stealer in the film, with his compelling presence and self-assured performance.
Losing out around midway, and never quite recovering after that, Lal Jose's 'Ezhu Sundara Ratrikal' fails to generate any sensitivity beyond the baffling squabbles that are playing out on the screen. It's this prevailing bleakness that drags the film down, despite having a gifted director and an impressive cast at its helm.