Orkuka Vallappozhum Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film
Sohan Lal's debut directorial venture Orkkuka Vallappozhum' is a mixed bag. An appreciable attempt, with the highlights being excellent performance by Veteran actor Thilakan, rather good songs, excellent cinematography, the film however, is not bereft of defects.
Orkkuka Vallappozhum tells the story of Sethumadhavan, an aged man who embarks on a journey to a hill station. His wife had died at childbirth and his only son and family are settled in the US. Now he is all alone, living in a flat and looked after by a house-maid. Knowing that his end is near, Sethumadhavan sets out on a journey to the hill-station where he had spent his childhood and early years.
He goes and stays in the very same Bungalow where he lived along with his parents in his early years and which was then theirs. But now, the dilapidated bungalow, which is owned by someone else, is in a desolate state and is looked after by a caretaker named Kashi.
Once Sethumadhavan is back in the bungalow, his memories travel back to the good old days of his childhood and adolescence, when he had as his constant companion a girl named Paru. In their adolescence there blossomed a very romantic relationship between the two. And now, there is a girl called Devayani, who is the exact image of the young Paru.
Thilakan gives a good performance as Sethumadhavan, but there's no doubt that a more experienced director could have elicited even better performance out of him. Debutante Shilpa Bala, who plays Paru as well as Devayani, is good, though she falters in some sequences, something that's pardonable in a debutante. Jagadeesh as Kashi is his usual self. Rejith Menon of 'Goal' fame is OK as young Sethu. Same is the case with Vinu.Y.S and Meera Vasudev, who play Sethu's parents in the flashback sequences. Chali Pala gets to play a meaty role as Paru's stepfather while singer-actor Krishnachandran, who appears in just a couple of scenes, is good in one while his performance tends to be artificial in the other scene.
M.J. Radhakrishnan's cinematography is good and is a highlight of the movie. The songs will stay in your memory for quite some time. The script-writer, who happens to be the director himself, needs to be appreciated for the manner in which he blends the past and the present in a single frame. But at the same time he has to take blame for tending to be excessively romantic, which lends an air of artificiality to some of the scenes and which may very well disappoint the audience of today.
In total, Orkkuka Vallappozhum is not an exemplary work. It is good on the whole and an appreciable venture indeed. The film no doubt could have been better. As of now, there are many scenes that seem to lack something vital. Let's wish the young director, who had given a very good work in his tele-film Neermathalithinte Pookkal', will improve and give us an even better film next time. He is a director who definitely needs to be encouraged.
Orkkuka Vallappozhum is definitely not for those pseudo-critics who believe they have the last word in film criticism and tend to review trash commercial ventures featuring saleable stars and overlook such better-made films, either dismissing them as 'low profile' ones or getting down to review them with utmost cynicism.
You may or may not like Orkkuka Vallappozhum, but it's definitely a film to be encouraged and has many pluses compared to the stuff dished out these days in the name of Cinema in Malayalam.