Ennennum / Now and Forever Review | Exploring the Concept of Love in a Manipulative and Customizable Future

Shalini Ushadevi’s directorial venture, Ennennum (Now and Forever), is a smart emotional drama that is set in a dystopian future / present. What was immediately likable about the film was that it wasn’t trying to appeal to the audience by showing flashy bits of future technologies. The movie manages to create a conversation around the concept of love and how we casually say, I will love you forever. With the film placing human emotions very interestingly in an unfamiliar premise, Ennennum becomes an exciting portrayal of complex human feelings.

The movie is about this couple, Ouso and Devi. We are shown that it’s been a while since they both got married, and some issues are there between them. Ouso’s brother, who died recently, was a prominent political figure. While the family was still grieving that loss, a salesperson of a company that offers immortality to human beings came to their doorstep to show a demo of the product. The issues in their equation prompt Devi and Ouso to opt for the trial pack of that immortality feature. What we see here is the events that happened in their life during that trial period.

In a way, watching this movie is like watching an extended Black Mirror episode. They are not trying to introduce the world and the advancement it has made through educating montages. Everything futuristic about the movie, be it the laptop, calling feature, the farming choices, etc., nobody inside the frame is in awe of that progress. Shalini tries to explore how the usual relationship dynamic, which we all can relate to, would work in a future where we have control over a lot of things. There was this profound and hilarious dialogue about the close connection between love and manipulation, which cracked up the audience along with a loud round of applause.

Deep down, I felt Ennennum had the structure of a social critique. In the present world, we all have this way of saying if that person was not like this, I would have liked him/her. Or if that person was still there, things like this wouldn’t have happened. All these are sort of coming from our assumption that certain things won’t evolve. But Shalini Ushadevi questions the evolution of being in something forever. And if you wish to have something forever, there will always be an element of manipulation that you will do to make that “forever” comfortable for you. The latter half of the movie actually shows us how the husband tries to “fix” the wife and how the tit-for-tat revenge for that makes things complicated. There was this hilarious yet interesting subplot of immortalizing Ouso’s dead brother, and the way they created that AI version of that character from various accessible memories also had this sarcastic tone.

Anoop Mohandas and Santhy Balachandran play the roles of Ouso and Devi, respectively. Even though the dialogue at times had a very stiff tone in its structuring, I would say these two sort of made it sound less dramatic, and the equation between them, on screen, felt pretty organic. Ajithlal Sivalal, as the salesman Jeeva, who says blunt realities in a polite tone was hilarious. Anumol and Sudip Joshiy are the other two performers in this relationship drama.

The movie mainly happens inside the couple’s house, which has a very odd and appealing architecture with a lot of space and shapes, and the construction blends with nature. The movie’s cinematography also has static shots with a precisely staged feel. The pacing created by Bina Paul through the cuts actually helps us think about the complexities and possibilities while we watch the film. The minimal yet blended visual effects elements along with the background score by Rex Vijayan help the film build the ambience. How this film went into the concept, explored the possibility of an unreal facility, and analyzed the prospect of a drama inside that felt very fascinating to me.

Final Thoughts

How this film went into the concept, explored the possibility of an unreal facility, and analyzed the prospect of a drama inside that felt very fascinating to me.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.