Njan Marykutty from Ranjith Shankar Jayasurya team is more like an informative movie like Toilet Ek Prem Katha or Padman. The ultimate sentiment you have towards the movie is positive and that isn’t really because of the cinematic craft it shows, but mostly because of the subject it addresses. Just like how a superstar like Akshay Kumar was willing to play the lead role in the above mentioned Hindi films, the fact that someone like Jayasurya agreed to play such a character is perhaps the biggest achievement of Njan Marykutty.
So the film is about Marykutty who was born a male named Mathukutty. He wasn’t willing to adjust with the sexual orientation problem he faced for the first 26 years of his life and decides to undergo sex change operation. Now her aim is to get qualified for the SI test to join the police force and the movie takes us through the rough ride Marykutty had to go through.
There is a scene where Marykutty gets a registered letter and the priest next to her is worried about what could be in it. But Marykutty was least bothered about it and she was happy about the fact that the letter addressed her as Marykutty. And there is one more instance where one character casually apologizes to Marykutty. These two moments in the film were really good examples of how much of basic rights and common manners are not shown to transgender people. Like this, Njan Marykutti is a success if you ask whether it addresses all the issues they are facing. And the optimistic director has decided to make the character ambitious by giving her platforms to be an RJ and also to be aspiring to become an SI. The problem is in many places it becomes a lecture. The bumper sticker dialogue level depiction of conflict and confidence reduces the realness of the situation and this has been a common problem with Ranjith Shankar movies off late.
Jayasurya is undeniably fabulous in the film. He hasn’t overdone the character to make it an eccentric version. Even in gestures and body language, he limits it to a zone where we can sense realness. On the performance level, the next star for me was Joju George who made the orthodox-minded police officer a truly venomous representation of a particular mindset with great authenticity. Jewel Mary was fine. Innocent did his part in his usual style. Aju Varghese is there in a supporting role and it was so nice to see someone like Suraj Venjaramood playing the role of a district collector so gracefully.
As a director, Ranjith Shankar very rarely impresses you with the visual grammar or treatment of the film. The predictable pattern of scene structuring and the way drama gets executed are all very familiar and that does lighten the intensity of a topic like this demands. As a writer, he is optimistic and well researched. There was a bit in the earlier portions of the film where the character is talking about the medicine she is taking for the transformation. When I compare this movie with an Ardhanareeshwaran or an Aalorukkam, these are elements that are sort of making an impression. The cinematography is fine and much like most Ranjith Shankar films, there is a compact feel to the frames of Vishnu Narayanan. The music wasn’t really becoming that motivational and the background score becomes loud at times.
As I said in the beginning, Njan Marykutty is a film that is similar to the recent Akshay Kumar films. It has a theme that needs to be addressed and the story built around that subject has emotional warmth. The exceptional Jayasurya at the center covers up the flaws it was due to the lack of craft in filmmaking.
The exceptional Jayasurya at the center covers up the flaws it was due to the lack of craft in filmmaking.