Mazhayath Review

When a mother forbids her little daughter from sharing a seat with a man in bus, it, in fact, conveys the concerns of both the genders. Here the mother reflects the outlook of certain section of a society while the action inflicts wounds on the consciousness of a male. Venugopal (Nikesh Ram), father of a 12-year-old girl, is apparently annoyed. National Award-winning director Suveeran explores the psyche of this father through the first person narrative of his daughter in "Mazhayathu."

An intensely-conceived family drama, Suveeran gently unravels the man-woman relationship in a family that resides on a hilltop. He shuns the dramatic devices in the treatment to depict the tumultuous relationship between the liberty-craving Anitha, played by Aparna Gopinath, and emotionally disturbed Venugopal. The definitions of relationship attain a gruesome tone as the intimacy between Venugopal and his daughter Sreelakshmi aka Ummi, essayed by Nandana Varma, paves the way for an unfortunate incident and different interpretations.

Anitha struggles to find a space by herself in the warm relationship between her husband and daughter. There is no comprehensive answer to the conflict put forward by Suveeran in the film. It remains as a puzzle but, remarkably, this vacuum leaves little dent in the movie. Instead, this carefully committed imperfection in the plot is the real beauty of this timely flick.

Nikesh Ram shows good temperament as an actor. His stone-faced expressions in the initial scenes get an adequate shift in the decisive parts later as a hapless father. The figurative explanation of a hapless father--one who is destined to drench in the rain sans a shelter-sums up the real picture in the face of an accusation. When charges fall on him like raindrops, he has no alternatives but to get drenched. Suveeran zooms into this helplessness of a male in such an unfortunate situation.

It's a striking performance by Nandana Varma as an innocent schoolgirl, who is emotionally attached to her father. Nandana is charming and emphatically powerful as well in absorbing the subtle changes of the character. Aparna is equally impressive by lending a lot of maturity to the character.

Muralikrishnan's cinematography turns out to be an aesthetic tool and the rain has been personified perfectly with the aid of visuals. It's engaging in many parts and the shocking factor is well enough for you to ponder on the possible answers for it.

'Mazhayathu' is a journey into the psyche of a schoolgirl's father, who is framed in the mire of grave charges. The carefully committed imperfection in the plot is the real beauty of this socially-relevant movie. (2.7) - K. R. Rejeesh