Nalpathiyonnu Malayalam Movie Review

Feature Film | Comedy, Drama | 2h 14min
It's the conflict of a communist party worker, played by Biju Menon, when he is assigned to go to Sabarimala in a bid to mend the behaviour of an alcoholic party follower. The intended satire is only flickering in the superficial plot, which affects the execution as well.
  Fairly Good
Nov 9, 2019 By K. R. Rejeesh

In his 25th directorial venture, Lal Jose takes the plunge to explore answers to an age-old query in 'Nalpathiyonnu' (41). The film is smeared with socio-political satirical elements in its periphery, and it partially opens the doors for the debate-- if God exists or not. The conflict is shouldered by the protagonist, who is a staunch follower of the communist party. There is an irony in his life and that becomes the interesting nub of the tale.

The tale of a communist party worker and hardcore atheist Ullas is set in a village in Kannur. He is a parallel college teacher and has a good name in the village. His marriage with his student Bhagyasooyam (Nimisha Sajayan) is called off due to his adamant principles related to atheism. Later, her father carpenter Kuttan, played by Indrans, sends her for a job in the town.

Once Ullas gets an assignment from party to mend the demeanour of party follower Kannan aka Vavachi (Sharanjith), who is a drunkard. Forced by Kannan's wife Suma (Dhanya S Ananya) and party activist Ravi Nambiar (Suresh Krishna), Ullas accepts the task of taking Kannan to Sabarimala for pilgrimage.

During the journey, Ullas finds his dilemma regarding the existence of God. Writer PG Prageesh triggers some thoughts regarding this interesting topic but it gasps to become a comprehensive package. Apparently, Lal Jose fails to offer any convincing or satisfying execution in 'Nalpathiyonnu'. While the first half is promising, the latter half is sluggish and the frequent montage of Sabarimala rituals towards the prologue halts the pace of the action. The intended satire is only flickering in the superficial plot and there is hardly any novel dimension in its execution as well.

It's the conflict of a communist party worker that is satisfyingly enacted by Biju with his usual screen presence. Whereas Nimisha gives a vigorous performance with equal prominence like that of the protagonist. Sharanjith shows an admiring dedication for portraying Vavachi and he overshadows Biju in certain scenes.

Veteran cinematographer S Kumar once again proves his versatility in creating appealing frames. Bijibal also deserves pats for his BGM works. 'Nalpathiyonnu' lacks the fizz we expect when two contentious ideologies of this modern era bump into each other. The film has its own answer but the route to it could have been a little more convincing and engaging.

  Fairly Good
K. R. Rejeesh