When you kind of have two narratives within one film, it’s important how you merge both of them. Kuttanpillayude Sivarathri directed by Jean Markose has a bit of problem in merging its two narratives convincingly. Having said that, it’s not like the two plots stays isolated. Both narratives are executed neatly, one with emphasis on humor and the other with emphasis on a tragic event. With an engaging narrative, Jean Markose manages to create an experience that sort of stays with you.
Constable Kuttanpilla is our central protagonist. He is a peculiar character. He loves the Jack fruit tree in his compound, he is afraid of crackers and he believes in ghosts. His son in law has an eye for the Jack fruit tree as he wants to finish the works of his house. There is another story about a bunch of random people who are in a journey in a KSRTC bus. The film eventually tells us the connection between Kuttanpilla and these people.
I know the above synopsis of the plot sounds clumsy and if I go any further that won’t feel like a synopsis. Kuttanpillayude Sivarathri is one movie I can surely say that people won’t get overwhelmed but they will surely feel a sense of shock and surprise. The last half an hour of the movie has the recreation of the infamous tragedy that happened in Puttingal. Jean Markose and the team needs to be appreciated for creating the impact of the huge catastrophe within the constraints of the budget of a normal Malayalam movie. I was wondering how did they do all those stuff and Jean rightly ends the movie with the making of video of the particular sequence. The humorous and society mocking satiric tale of Kuttanpilla on the other hand is pretty engaging.
There is a fantasy factor that sort of bridges both narratives. And when I back tracked all that happened in the movie, it felt like a story about death. Jean Markose’s story ultimately shows us the “Moksha” part of everyone’s life, the feeling of getting acknowledged rightly after death. This element was there subtly at the end and the two narratives had potential. The lesser exploration of the second narrative and the feeling that the blending could have been done in a more intriguing way makes me a bit disappointed. Cinematography was fine and the cuts were impressive. Sayanora’s debut as a composer is notable. Chakkapaattu is already a hit and the first song I went on to listen after watching the movie was the Sivane song. Visual effects team, production designer and the people who did the work behind fire and explosives have done a really good job in stunning the viewer in that last 20 to 30 minutes.
Suraj Venjaramood who is pretty much in the golden patch of his career yet again delivers another character with complete conviction. The humor is never going to the eccentric style and my favorite scene was the dinner sequence where he effortlessly owns it. Biju Sopanam sort of plays a character similar to his Uppum Mulakum avatar. Srinda was convincing as the daughter character who reminded me of vintage Urvashi. Midhun Ramesh, Sreekanth Murali, James Eliya, Rinsa etc plays the main characters in the other narrative. There are numerous new faces in the movie and they all were able to create an impression.
Kuttanpillayude Sivarathri unintentionally becomes a good “package”. It has good sarcastic humor, a huge sentimental element and a nicely included fantasy factor. If the blending of the two narratives were a little more stronger this one would have been a real gem.
Kuttanpillayude Sivarathri has good sarcastic humor, a huge sentimental element and a nicely included fantasy factor.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended