41 directed by Laljose is actually an attempt to show how an atheist became a believer when he went through certain life events. But the problem is with the screenplay that wants to mock a lot of things along the way. There is nothing wrong with mocking the double standards of political parties. Someone like Mr. Sreenivasan is a master at doing that. But here, a huge chunk of the movie was simply sequences without any impact.
Ullas is the main protagonist. He is a school teacher, atheist, and a left-wing activist. Even his marriage plans went downhill due to his atheist ideology. There is one more character in our story. Another party worker named Kannan aka Vavachi who is very much like an employed goon of the party. Kannan is a drunkard and when he started to take the party for granted to escape from cases filed against him, the party decided to give Ullas that responsibility to correct him and how that plan goes is the story of 41.
At the very beginning of the movie, there is a sequence where Kannan vomits in Ullas’ well. I am still clueless about why that scene was necessary? To show Kannan is a drunkard? To show Ullas doesn’t have a rapport with Kannan? 41, on the whole, is a collection of a lot of scenes that lands flat. When the movie’s interval scene happened, most of the viewers were a bit surprised considering how underwhelming it was. The movie ends its first half as if the whole movie is about a misunderstanding between Ullas and Kannan. Post the interval we are entering that semi Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala mode and here also we can sense the screenplay hanging on to scenes that just don’t blend with the purpose of the movie. The whole stampede sequence felt more like a desperate attempt to conclude the film rather than a creative addition in the screenplay.
Laljose has this knack to create that quintessential Kerala texture in his movies. Here also the mood is created for that kind of a movie. PG Prageesh’s script unfortunately disappoints big time. Rather than adding layers to a concept, here it feels like they are adding subplots that can be easily removed from the plot. The whole love story of Ullas and Bhagyam for example. I won’t say that the love story was unnecessary. But the script fails to club that love story with the main agenda of the movie. A major revelation that happens towards the end is indeed the point that gave the makers the spark. But instead of creating a smooth road towards that point, they were just delaying that event by adding usual satirical comedy, romantic tracks, etc. S Kumar’s visuals are really good in certain emotional sequences. I really liked the songs created by Bijibal. The edits were a bit too cluttered, especially in that “finding Kannan” phase.
Biju Menon is a good fit for the role and he has done the role with his typical style. The slang he has used in the movie is a weird mixture of his usual one along with the Kannur slang. Nimisha Sajayan’s role here is just to be that bubbly enthusiastic girl and I hope Laljose will do a movie with her in future that will have some importance to her character. Saran Jith as Vavachi Kannan is indeed a promising talent and to be honest he has a better space to perform in the movie when compared to Biju Menon. Dhanya Ananya as his wife Suma was also impressive.
41 is based on a concept that had a lot of potential to score satirically. But instead of exploring it on that level, the movie prefers to follow an old fashioned script where almost everything is predictable for the viewer. Apart from some occasional giggle-worthy moments, 41 fails to engage you in that debate about the existence of God.
Apart from some occasional giggle-worthy moments, 41 fails to engage you in that debate about the existence of God.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended