The tale that Elsamma tries to tell is neither worthy of the top-notch performers in it nor the fine director at its helm.
Lal Jose's 'Elsamma Enna Aankutty' is set in Balan Pillai City, a small high range village somewhere near Idukki, where Elsamma (Ann Augustine), the newspaper girl and Palunni (Kunchacko Boban), the milk delivery boy set things running every morning. Their admiration for each other is never expressed by either, at least until Aby (Indrajith) arrives from the city and casts his eyes on the pretty girl.
Elsamma is yet another girl who has been cast in the survivor role, and she walks quietly behind her several predecessors. You are reminded of Meera Jasmine in 'Kasthuriman' or Manju Warrier in 'Kanmadam' or several other similar women characters who are engaged in a tooth and nail fight with life.
There is nothing much different in the way the central character has been conceived by Sindhuraj, and this is where the film falters big time. Elsamma is the silent sufferer, who has even pretended all her life that she has failed her board exams, since she wanted to give her sisters an education! She remains hawk eyed and wards off unsolicited attention on her siblings.
Sindhuraj's script keeps shifting from being moderately steady at the beginning of the films to intermittently shaky towards the middle and continuously wobbly towards the climax. There are a couple of harmless giggles that it offers in the initial few minutes of the film. The scenario is beautifully set and then the monotony of the tale gradually starts eating into the account.
The sub plot in the form of an anti-liquor campaign launched by Elsamma and her ilk against the local brewer (Vijayaraghavan) lacks the punch. So does all the drama that involves Elsamma's mother (KPAC Lalitha). Aby and his friends serve not much more than being scene props. The culmination of it all, when Elsamma takes the big decisions of her life comes without as much as the slightest whimper. It all gets pretty much quiet towards the end.
This deficiency in excitement is what makes Elsamma a disappointment. Lal Jose has this incredible skill to make even the most modest of scripts look appealing on screen. He does that without fail this time as well, and the ambience of a hillside hamlet is brilliantly built up. But the story strains and struggles
The one big relief that the film offers in Elsamma's characterization is that it doesn't attempt to make her tomboyish. She does wield a cane once in a while or gets ready for a fight with some local small time thugs, but retains a feminineness and even says that to fight injustice one needn't be a man.
Ann Augustine who has done the title role is surprisingly confident in her essayal of Elsamma, and makes an extremely promising debut. Its experimentation time for Kunchacko Boban as well, and the young actor is tremendously comfortable playing the local dairyman. Indrajith looks and acts the city dweller to perfection as well.
The film suffers from a script that is a cumbersome blend of drama and some unsettling moments, which gradually become tiresome as the film trudges to a close. Therefore the tale that Elsamma tries to tell is neither worthy of the top-notch performers in it nor the fine director at its helm.
2 out of 5 (Average)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good