Orkuka Vallappozhum Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film
Sohan's film portrays a man, Sethu Madhavan (Thilakan) who is ravaged by the memories of a girl whom he had been enamored with during his youth. Traveling back home, he realizes that times have changed and fresh stories have been written over and over. With the new scribbles donning the hazy scripts and the older ones having faded away, the septuagenarian settles down to do some erasing to lend some life to a tale that he had long lost touch with.
In 'Orkkuka Vallappozhum', Sohanlal hops aboard a wagon that's bound for times of yore. Though he manages to keep it straight on track, shortly after having run out of steam, his defiant engine grinds to a halt.
There's a faint familiarity to this whole affair that's markedly pleasing. Perhaps you have been there or have been through all these yourself. Seldom passes by those formative years without falling in love with someone, and the reception or rejection of it all, does remain unsullied in the minds for a very long time.
This is one such journey back to one's own sense of loss; striking by its texture splattered all over with a whole lot of ifs and buts.
There are quite a few directorial flourishes that become evident time and again. It's charming to see the protagonist occupy a corner of the frame as several events unfurl back somewhere in time. But the overdo of the technique lessens the impact and soon it wanes out without much of an outcome.
The climactic torrential downpour does challenge the viewer on multiple levels. It's also a pertinent pointer to the fact that Sohan is a director who could skillfully blend the best nuances of his script with such fine visual detail, that it leaves his audience overwhelmed.
The clichés that abound cannot be hastily pushed aside. There are plenty of them, ranging from the rustic ones with a peacock feather donning its helm, to the more earthy ones that pop out of prone corners.
Perhaps the semblance to the 1975 Gulzar film 'Mausam' is unintentional. Perhaps Sohan might have been inspired by 'The Judas Tree' instead, that depicts a man who cannot bear the voices from his past anymore and decides to shut them out once and for all. One can never be really sure, but the inevitability that leads these men on their courses lies across all these tales.
Thilakan turns in a plucky, quietly riveting performance as Sethu Madhavan that makes the material more human and reachable. Equally proficient is what Shilpa Bala turns out to be, coming up with an effortless feat that's quite a triumph.
Despite a few fumbles, this is a voyage that is bitter, spicy and poignant. An exceedingly promising first effort from a debutant filmmaker, Orkkuka Vallapozhum does not really disappoint.