There is a plan for writer Ranjith Unni to make his script look different from a usual revenge thriller in the latest Malayalam movie Ini Utharam. And for that, he decides to shuffle the placement of events in order to create intrigue. But the issue with Sudheesh Ramachandran’s film is that as it approaches the climax, every deliberate detour to create suspense starts to feel very unreal, and you won’t really feel bad for the character played by Aparna Balamurali.
So the story is about a murder. A young girl named Janaki comes to the police station one fine morning, saying she needs to talk to the CI. When the CI reaches the station, she tells him that she has murdered a man and she wants the police to arrest her. The situation changes drastically when the police go to the location to find the person’s body. What is that twist and why Janaki decided to turn herself in is what we see in Ini Utharam.
It doesn’t take so many scenes in movies for us to understand the cinematic sensibility of a director. Ini Utharam starts with the home minister of Kerala laughing with pride about one TV news that says Kerala is ranked number one in law and order enforcement in India. And the scene is followed by a “heroic” scene featuring Hareesh Uthaman before the movie focuses on the main plot. The dated feel of these two scenes gives this film an unexciting start. Even though the idea of showing the central character claiming to be a murderer is intriguing, the treatment of those scenes doesn’t have that gripping tone to its credit.
The writing of the movie is a major bummer. Ini Utharam almost takes an hour to reach the interval point, and even there, we don’t get to see any sequences that will build any intrigue. In a song sequence that establishes the romance between Janaki and Aswin, there are moments like Aswin’s bike getting stolen and his friend asking him to thank the CI who found it for him. The relevance of that song and all those dialogues and sequences never made any sense in totality. Sudheesh Ramachandran, who was an associate of Jeethu Joseph, can be seen replicating the dialogue-oriented drama presentation style of Jeethu Joseph. Towards the climax, Ini Utharam is almost like a wannabe Drishyam with all those revealings you see in a typical Jeethu Joesph thriller.
Aparna Balamurali fits the role of Janaki in terms of body language and the kind of attitude she shows. But the dialogues are very stiff, and sometimes she struggles to say words smoothly. Kalabhavan Shajon as the antagonist was really good, and he was perhaps the only performer who delivered a performance that felt authentic. Hareesh Uthaman’s police character and the heroism that has been added to that character felt like a mismatch when you look at the thriller tone of the movie. Chandunath, Siddique, Jaffer Idukki, etc., were fine in their respective roles.
Ini Utharam is a thriller that misunderstands rearranging the script order with reinventing the narrative. Instead of delivering a layered thriller with valuable details that fill all the blanks, what we get is a bloated thriller that feels very basic even when it has revealed everything.
Instead of delivering a layered thriller with valuable details that fill all the blanks, what we get is a bloated thriller that feels very basic even when it has revealed everything.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended