The treatment of the first half of the film Konthayum Poonoolum doesn’t have anything really innovative and in fact our experiences with the usual horror films might make things slightly funny. But in the second half of the movie the writers take the movie to a different level that is less superficial. With horror being the focus of many parallel stories, this movie is a variety which has its ups and downs.
As I said it is a parallel narration of many stories. There is this bakery employee who has a pregnant wife. A rude money lender who has this imaginary friend called Johnny, an SLR photographer, a police constable who has an extra marital affair and also a strong disbelief in Gods, two girls staying in a hostel etc are the main characters. The movie traverses through the reasons which made some sad/spooky chapters in their life.
Except for the story of the bakery employee Krishnan, all other stories have these typical notions of horror movies and Krishnan’s story happens in an offbeat mood. The film shifts its position in the second half and there are some sensible back stories that have this sarcasm over the fear people show in life. The connected stories makes things look less complicated but the level of disjoint feel in the beginning portions really reduces the curiosity level. While all the other stories made fun of the fear side, Krishnan’s story was a bit emotional and it went for this different way of interpreting the soul/spirit/ghost concept. I wasn’t feeling any great excitement for the majority of the film, but the last 15 minutes had this small haunting feel which I believe is going to sustain for some time in my mind.
Performance wise, Kunchako Boban’s Krishnan doesn’t demand any out of the box performance from him, but the actor has done that part nicely. Bhama was good. Manoj K Jayan was impressive. Saiju Kuruppu was nice as Johnny who reminded me of the Jayaram in Aayushkaalam. Kalabhavan Mani and Joy Mathew did well in their characters. A better role for Janardhanan after a long while. Shine Tom Chako was also good in his Mammootty fan role.
Jijo Antony’s direction has its flaws and pluses. The drama and cheesy feel in scenes could have been reduced in the making and there is no real control over the background score. Screenplay was written in a predictable way in the first half and after a point the second half also becomes slightly predictable. The story of the SLR photographer was finding it difficult to synchronize with the overall story. But as I said, there is this reasoning part in the second half which was a surprise and the haunting feel of the climax helps the movie in creating that much needed disturbance in the viewers mind. Pappinu’s camera has captured some nice visuals but the quality of the camera was poor (especially those night sequences). Background score was excessive in the beginning but was apt in those climax portions. Music was good. Edits and effects are okay. Sound design was impressive.
Konthayum Poonoolum is a digestible idea that interprets the typical horror theme in a different way. Looking at the reaction of the audience, I can easily say that this film is not an aimless entertainer. If you have the patience to communicate with the characters, there is an overall positive feel in this movie. My rating is 3/5 for Konthayum Poonoolum. Good flick with less kick.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended