Ramante Edanthottam Malayalam Movie Review
In Ramante Edanthottam, writer-director Ranjith Shankar is on a mission to expose the highly patriarchal nature of marital relationships in Kerala, for which the characters Malini(Anu Sithara) and Elvis(Joju George) become fictional examples.
Here, the filmmaking style is an acquired taste. Madhu Neelakandan's visuals are predominantly handheld, steering away only to capture the picturesque locations in gliding motion. The handheld look gives the film a modern feel in spite of its age-old themes. The poor dubbing and overwhelming music sometimes hurt its technical quality but it is the urge of catering to a modern audience- consolidated by a flawed but mature view of the married woman's psyche- that takes the cake.
It will be a mistake to go by the pre-release promotions and see the film as a Kunchako Boban-starrer. Yes, he plays a pivotal role in triggering plot developments as the eponymous character, but this film is essentially about Malini. Even Ram(Kunchacko Boban) is mostly seen through the perspective of Malini; as a free bird with a philosophical worldview and a sorry past. This also helps the makers greatly idealise Ram for the viewers and root for him.
The rhetoric in Ramante Edanthottam is admirable. Ranjith Shankar casts Anu Sithara, a naturally expressive actress gifted with beautiful eyes, to play the female lead. He uses close-ups extensively to help her speak with her eyes alone. This helps her character tell a different story altogether from what is happening outside. Besides, he wants the character to get that much-needed liberation through a dazzling character arc. Only the director's idea about feminism and women empowerment is broken. While we cheer for her when she stands up to injustice and oppression, it is disheartening to realize that a heroic, almost-perfect male character catalyzes all of it. The titular Eden Garden can take credit for it too, but only so much, because we see all the crucial changes in the heroine's life directly stemming from Ram's actions of sympathy and attention towards her. By the end, Malini has fought her battle but does not attain the height of independence which was intended in the first place. All said and done, this is still a good place to start for a film industry dominated by the male perspective since its very beginning.
Ramante Edanthottam takes us back to the good ol' days of middlebrow Malayalam cinema that relied on realistic drama, dialogues and everyday characters and issues. Moreover, the well-scripted comic reliefs in the likes of Ramesh Pisharody and Aju Varghese evoke more nostalgia than the typically nostalgic backdrop of Vagamon itself.
The one-liners and character relationships seem cheesy and dramatic but they have a charm quintessential to a vernacular cinematic style that has been missing after the advent of the so-called New Generation Cinema; a hallmark of its conscious simplicity.
Like all the Ranjith Shankar films, this one too starts slowly and grows in you as the time passes, and ends perfectly. ... Show moreLike all the Ranjith Shankar films, this one too starts slowly and grows in you as the time passes, and ends perfectly. I watched it with my family, and we enjoyed it a lot. It's a good film.
There is nothing much to comment about this movie other than the excellent photography and good music. The story lacks p... Show moreThere is nothing much to comment about this movie other than the excellent photography and good music. The story lacks punch. Some of the characters are dragged into this movie just to have enough matter to fill two hours. Joju and Muthumany have enacted their roles commendably well. Kunchacko Boban had nothing much to do in his passive role. Good looks apart, Anu Sithara has yet to prove as an artiste. The sickening thing about the movie is that it gives a wrong message to society.