Lalitham Sundaram feels like this safe bet feel-good script with a predictable ending for a larger part of its runtime. A dysfunctional family is a theme that we have seen in many films, and Madhu Warrier’s first directorial also focuses on the same. But the characters written by Pramod Mohan are kind of shallow, and these peripheral outbursts of anger and love just don’t manage to strike a chord with the viewer. Towards the last quarter, when explanations and solutions come up, you might feel that the title is more of an excuse rather than an apt name.
Sunny, Annie and Jerry are siblings. Sunny has failed in almost all the business endeavors he did. Annie, on the other hand, is a successful businesswoman. Jerry is working in a tech firm in Bangalore, and he is in a relationship. Because of an incident that happened in the past, there is an issue among them, and Sunny is a bit detached from the family because of that. The movie focuses on the events that happen in their house when these three come for their mother’s death anniversary.
In the early portions of the film, where we are introduced to each character, there is a flow to the way things are narrated. Even when you get this feeling that the climax will be predictable, there is a hope that the journey will be humorous and emotional. But when they reveal why the conflict happened, the reason seemed a bit underwhelming. But that underwhelming conflict was less of a problem when compared to the moment where Jerry realizes it was all a misunderstanding. Almost everything that happens in this film after Jerry’s realization is cheesy, and at times, it is almost cringe-worthy.
In his typical style as the man of multiple problems, Biju Menon was convincing, and it was good to see him in a vulnerable space. Manju Warrier actually helps the movie in lightening up. The minimalistic depiction of humor by Manju was really enjoyable. Anu Mohan, as the volatile Jerry, was on the stiffer side. Sudheesh managed to underplay the character assigned to him neatly. Saiju Kurup’s character is a bit too perfect to be true on paper. But he was able to make that character a believable one. Raghunath Paleri, as the father, was also fine. Deepthi Sati hardly has anything to do here, and it was pretty much the same for Ramya Nambeesan as well.
The movie wants to be light-hearted and impactful. Madhu Warier manages to make the film look light-hearted for sure. But to achieve the emotional impact, the script isn’t providing him anything that will generate curiosity in us. In fact, whatever revelations happened in the last 20 minutes were underwhelming even after not having many expectations. Pramod Mohan, who previously wrote and directed Orayiram Kinakkalal (It’s a personal favorite for me), knows how to create subtle-looking humor on screen. The “Annie Mol – Sunny Chettan” moment, the banter between the siblings, etc., are fun to watch. But the scripting tropes are outdated, and the sentiments are far too cheesy. The cinematography emphasizes being light-hearted, and most of the scenes have bright lighting with pleasant colors. The songs were fine, while the background score was disappointing.
Lalitham Sundaram follows the formula we expect it to follow. But when it comes to the most crucial part of the movie, it follows a path that looks ancient. Sunny aspired to be a writer, and the film rarely creates a chance to present him as such an individual. This inability to mark its characters is the flaw with Lalitham Sundaram. When the siblings cried seeing the last video of their mother, it was difficult to feel bad for them.
Towards the last quarter, when explanations and solutions come up, you might feel that the title is more of an excuse rather than an apt name.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended