Saaradhi Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film
It's a weird combination that Gopalan Manoj's 'Saaradhi' has in store, when it blends together some time tested conventionalities with a plotline that serves a few surprises. Zooming ahead at a brisk space, 'Saaradhi' rapidly runs into red lights on its narrative, and takes us along on a jerky ride that is little fun and lot more tedium.
Christy (Sunny Wayne) an ambulance driver, is assigned the task of delivering a dead body to Kulirmala, and accompanied by wailing relatives of the deceased, embarks on the drive. He soon starts suspecting that all isn't well when his co-passengers start making demands that sound unusually odd.
The best instants in 'Saaradhi' appear pretty soon, when scenarist Rajesh K Raman throws in a few shocker elements into the plot all on a sudden, thereby setting the stage for a thriller. When a few characters do a volte-face all on a sudden, Christy is taken aback, and you brace yourself for more gripping disclosures.
However, the film's moments of glory are short-lived, since from then on, 'Saaradhi' goes on a drive downhill and struggles to live up to the expectations that it had initially raised. By the time it finally draws to a close a couple of hours later, it evolves into an aspirant thriller that has to make do with a few decent kicks of excitement here and there.
I'm surprised that film makers still believe that an item number could make a whole lot of difference, and when Christy hops down from the ambulance on to a dance floor, you are a bit taken aback. I couldn't think of an excuse for the 'Kuthu' song to be there in the narrative, and it slams the brakes all on a sudden on an otherwise smooth start.
The digression that appears in the form Christy's lady love (Vinutha Lal) is a drainer on the plot as well, and it's here that it starts getting all wobbly. With the focus shifting away from the central plot, the fundamental thread gets feebler as it goes, until it comes up with a rather shaky climax.
Of all the characters, perhaps it's the police man Subran (Sreenivasan) who could have best served as a vital rouser, driving the action forward. Regrettably, Subran is one of the most unpersuasively written roles in the script, so much so that the conversational exchanges that take place between Christy and Subran towards the very end, sound downright phony.
Sunny Wayne does a decent job of carrying an entire film on his shoulders, and is remarkably effective in a few scenes that require him to tug at your emotions. It has been a long time we have seen Nedumudi Venu in a role as the one in 'Saaradhi' and the veteran actor proves yet again, that old habits (of splendid acting) die hard. Sreenivasan does no miracles in the role of the police officer, while Baiju gets his foil act sharp and perfect. A special word of mention is due to young actor Vishnu Raghav who impresses with his short and yet significant role.
Gopalan Manoj's directorial debut shows the sparks of a promising film maker, and yet seriously lacks the dimensions that are so much essential for an imposing thriller. If one squints hard enough, one might identify an appealing element or two, but 'Saaradhi' is still a road movie that swerves off the road and ends up far away from where it had originally planned to be.