Alice a True Story Malayalam Movie Review
When a girl who has a striking resemblance to Uma (Priyamani) turns up at the village, the villagers are dumbfounded, since she had been long gone, after having been cast out of their clan. The mystery girl turns up at an ad agency called Stylists Delhi where she adopts the name Sivaranjini. One of her paintings catches the attention of internationally renowned art critic Melwin Immanuel (Rahul Madhav), who lands on her doorstep to realize that she is Alice.
Now that's what the film 'Alice' is all about, and as it progresses from puzzling to tiresome to plain irksome, it feels a bit too lengthy even with a running time of one hundred and eight minutes.
The initial half an hour of the film is a real pain, and some scenes leave you excited by virtue of their staleness. Like for instance there is this scene where Sabhapathy (Sreeraman) spies on Sivaranjini working in the office, and the scene that shows no signs of ending gets on your nerves in no time.
And then there are the flashbacks that serve no purpose other than confuse you, and a while after having been told that Uma had eloped with a lover, you are shown scenes of her falling in love with a painter.
It's not every day that you come across a film that confounds you; and I do not mean it in a very positive way. There are still several loose ends lying here and there, long after I am done with watching the film, and perhaps they have been left about in purpose.
I still haven't understood why the girl had appeared in the village in the first place, especially if she was a person with a mental disorder, who isn't really aware of the new identity that she has possessed. And how is it that the girl seems to have acquired such precise knowledge of someone unknown to her, including her birth star?
It would be futile to unearth the answers, because even with all them neatly laid out in front of you, it's unlikely that you will find anything interesting about the film. It's almost like this Alice is determined to leave you stranded in wonder land.
There is the psychiatrist who would eventually lead Alice out of the quandary that she has landed in, and its Dr. Shivapanchanathan (Prathap Pothen), who hands out blank visiting cards at the hotel reception. I so much long to see one psychiatrist in films who isn't an eccentric himself.
There aren't any earth shattering performances in Alice' that will leave you spell bound. Priyamani does a decent job of playing the woman with a psychological disorder, but she is severely impaired by the limping script. Rahul Madhav looks pretty fine in most of the scenes, except in a few, where he goes way overboard.
We have seen several psychological dramas, but this one is a dreary as it gets. They say the film is based on a true story, and if it indeed is, looks like life must have flown out of it, as it got transacted on to the screen.