Vichithram Malayalam Movie
Achu Vijayan's "Vichithram" has the look and feel of a pure horror film but deals more with family dynamics and relationships. This is one of those rare films in Malayalam cinema where the world of the dead is mixed with the world of the living in a non-stereotypical way. A sprawling mansion is where much of the action takes place. Alexander (Lal) lives alone in the mansion, but there are rumors about the ghost of his daughter Martha (Kani Kusruti) among the locals. Alexander's housekeeper, Chandi, is the bearer of the spooky news.
Jolly Chirayath's Jasmine and her sons are Alexander's relatives, who have a long history with the mansion. Jasmine works at a hospitality business and is the only breadwinner in the family. Her eldest son, Jackson (Shine Tom Chacko), is a jobless youth who tries to earn big with fraudulent acts. The youngest sons of Jasmine are identical twins, and the one in the middle (Balu Varghese) is an aspiring content creator. Her other middle-son, Vishnu Anand's Justin, is the only grown-up man in the family with some sense of morality.
The first quarter of the film discusses the financial struggles of Jasmine and her family and touches upon her relationship with Alexandar and Martha. Their relationship is fractured so much that when Jasmine and her sons move into the mansion, it invokes Martha's spirit and invites further trouble in the family. Jackson's greedy behavior and sheer lack of empathy for the aging and the dead only infuriate his twin brothers and Justin. Meanwhile, Joyner (Balu Varghese) experiences the most ghostly encounters in the mansion, like the moment where the ghost gets something that belongs to her back from his girlfriend.
Vichithram has metaphors and motifs that work as themes with hidden implications, like caged rabbits and a butterfly in a glass that represent the once-existent lack of freedom in the mansion. Writers Vineeth Jose and Nikhil Raveendran cleverly work these themes into the script, while the background music and visual filmmaking add to the eerie atmospherics of the film. The contrasting nature of Martha and Jasmine's lives is something worth exploring. There are moments of inspired humor, a bit like the ones we see in the recent hit "Romancham". There is also a twist in the plot that seems a bit contrived but is interesting as a concept nonetheless. The makers avoid easy explanations for the ending, but they give slight hints at different points of the film that explain certain types of character behavior, like an extra glass of black tea that one character leaves behind in the kitchen.