'Achan' tries hard to take a look at relationships that have turned corrosive in an ever changing world, but the airless and stagy feel that it carries through out doesn't let it leave a mark.
Thilakan's latest film 'Achan' that has been directed by Ali Akbar, is too sad a film; sad because the singular reason why it has been made appears more to be to set a few things straight once and for all, and also because your heart goes out for the distressing plight of the lead actor in it.
There have been so many films in which you would remember the part that Thilakan had played forever, and 'Achan' would probably never make it to that list. And this, even after the actor gets to be on screen for the entire film that goes on for two hours and a bit more.
The veteran actor plays a retired Major in the film who leads a solitary life in a flat, and for whom the only contact with the outer world is a male nurse Rahithan. His sons have migrated to countries far away, and the most they can do at the moment is to appear on pre-scheduled online chat sessions.
The 'Achan' in the film is old, frail and neglected. He moves about the walls of his apartment and along with Rahithan contemplates suicide. The latter talks about getting a better job elsewhere, but maintains that he wouldn't dream of leaving the old man alone in his misery. What juts out of place in a scenario as this is the talk about senior actors boogying with young girls.
Unfortunately, the script of the film that talks about senility and solitary confinement in old age stretches things a bit too far. Perhaps it could have made moving matter on stage, but the overtly long screen time of the film is a real test on the nerves for the film viewer. The core concern of the film that is revealed in the initial ten minutes is what the film dwells on for the following couple of hours, with little more to say.
The Major apparently has some major bladder issues, and the amount of time that is devoted to sketch it on film is surprising. The emotional isolation that the character goes through almost takes a back seat at times, only to re-emerge in the latter half. The son from abroad is astutely named 'Puthran', and the story of the wife who had been plucked away from the Major's life is touching.
Thilakan is an actor who doesn't need to demonstrate any more what an amazing performer he is. He is at his best here, and all the desolation and despair that threaten to engulf the last remnants of the Major's life are safe with him. Rahithan is about equally efficient and almost matches up to the senior actor in skill and effort.
All that said and done, 'Achan' tries hard to take a look at relationships that have turned corrosive in an ever changing world, but the airless and stagy feel that it carries through out doesn't let it leave a mark.
1.5 out of 5 (Poor, A Few Good Parts)
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