Ayothi Tamil Movie
When I watched the trailer of 'Ayothi' I got hooked on the subject that it was based upon. It bordered on the divide between the attitude of the conservative and the more liberal. The north-south divide in India has always yielded intriguing stories in the past. I can think of 'Abhiyum Naanum' as far as my memory goes. So, on that aspect, the story delves into nuanced territories exploring the mindset of people having entirely different value systems.
'Ayothi' is about a conservative North Indian family consisting of a father, who is crude, staunch, and rigid in his outlook (Yashpal Sharma), a loving mother (Anju Asrani), their daughter (Preethi Asrani), and a son. The father decides to go on a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram on the occasion of Deepavali with the family.
When they land in Madurai and take a taxi to Rameshwaram, things turn ugly when the father gets in a brawl with the taxi driver. The car eventually gets out of control and meets with an accident. Unfortunately, the family loses the mother. The family's survival in the next 24 hours, and their plight form the rest of the story.
The story claims to be inspired by real-life incidents, and it reflects on screen. Debutant director Mandhira Moorthy has done substantial research on the existing legalities and other allied formalities of flying a body from one place to another. The film stands on this firm pedestal and balances out with a lot of emotional drama that flows in measured doses now and then.
Sasikumar has done a phenomenal job as a supporting character. This movie does not confine itself to the formulaic approach of having a leading man and woman. Herein, the story and the screenplay take the lead. Others play their characters. Even the actor who plays the male nurse has a purpose and adds to the layer that impacts the story.
Pugazh, as a sidekick to Sasikumar, was fresh and natural. 'Bose' Venkat had a minimal and substantial role as well. Every actor in the movie has brought in their strengths that augurs well for the narrative at large.
Songs by Raghunanthan were fine. A couple of them were used to address the emotion and convey the mindset of the actors who are immersed in the turmoil. Another song was added as a commercial compromise with the folk artist 'Mathichiyam' Bala. However, the song goes with the flow to some extent.
There was melodrama at certain points. In particular, the scenes at the mortuary could have been trimmed. Largely, the narrative stuck true to its content. The mental turmoil that the victims are subjected to in an alien land and the constant debate between religious beliefs and legal battles panning out in the scheme of things have been brought out well.
A bouquet to director Mandhira Moorthy and team for 'Ayothi' which is an ode to humanity. Unconditional love for fellow humans beyond religious and racial differences is what still keeps us human and preserves humanity. The film is recommended for anyone who appreciates good cinema!