Romancham Malayalam Movie
First-time director Jithu Madhavan's "Romancham" (goosebumps) is a film so funny that it will have you rolling on the floor, laughing. The film is about the paranormal experiences of a group of friends living in a Bangalore house. The gang summons a spirit with the Ouija board game. Initially, they have some fun with the game, but it soon becomes a bit serious.
Now, the Ouija board is usually a filmmaking trope that evokes a sense of fear in the audience. Most filmmakers use it to scare the living daylights out of the viewers. However, the makers of Romancham use the Ouija board game mostly to bring out some laughter in the theater.
There is not a lot in the way of plot in the film, but it works mainly on moments of sheer improvisation. It helps that writer-director Jithu Madhavan conceives clever and hilarious scenarios, such as the one where an Ouija spirit reveals a piece of information that casts doubt on who one's father is. The sudden arrival of a new guest complicates matters while leaving room for more hilarity.
There are also other elements that make Romancham such a fun ride. Jithu gives us enough details about his characters to help us better relate to the situational gags involving each of them. One of them has a job, some of them are awaiting the results of interviews, and another has a failed water closet business. It is funny how they use unsold units of the closet. At a philosophical level, the closet symbolizes the low state of their lives to some extent.
Now, I wonder how much Romancham works as a horror comedy. There are hardly any scary scenes in the film, although it has elements of the horror genre. Sushin Shyam's music lacks a foreboding soundtrack. "Aadharanjali" and "Athmave Poo" veer more towards the funny side.
Acting-wise, everyone is in fine form here. Soubin Shahir, Arjun Ashokan, and Sajin Gopu nail one of the funniest sequences in the film. Siju Sunny makes wonderful use of such a thin line of a character idea, and Abin Bino has a killer expression or two. "Appuppan and the Boys" YouTuber Anantharaman Ajay plays arguably the least funny character here. It is such a joy to see the cast at work.
From a plot perspective, however, the movie is not complete. It is unclear how the ghost ends up at their house. One wonders whether there is even a ghost. The film ends with a promise of a sequel. Maybe Romancham Part II will give us the goosebumps that the title promises.