When a film manages to create its own world through its characters and convey some thoughts through the totality of those people, the cinematic experience it provides becomes more special. One fine example for such a story was Anuraga Karikkin Vellam. Nearly a year after that we have got another movie that has achieved similar goals in the form of Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela. With realness in treatment along with a hearty story at its core, Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela has portions that are beyond the usual entertainment tag.
Kurien is this lazy guy who is in London, but he wasn’t doing anything great there. One day he gets a call from his mother asking whether it would be possible for him to come and visit the family. Kurien thought it might be about his marriage, but his mother had a bigger unpleasant surprise for him and the entire family. How the whole family collectively faces this situation is what Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela all about.
You might have a got an impression that the film is a bit too dark and highly sentimental. But that is where debutante Althaf Salim plays it smart. He places this story in a relatable real middle class (upper middle class) family and dips the narrative in sensible humor. The kind of jokes we have seen in films like Neram and Premam are the ones we get to see in Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela as well; subtle humor that blends with the situation. While a majority of its runtime is on that lighthearted real world jokes, there is this heft of tackling that monster decease somewhere in the backdrop. And in one scene where Kurien talks to his siblings about his mother, Althaf and George Kora sum up a lot of things.
Althaf has casted the Aluva gang in the film and has given them memorable characters. Nivin Pauly is good in being lazy on screen (Oru Vadakkan Selfie for eg) and this time also he plays it naturally. The scene I mentioned previously, Kurien talking to his sisters, the performance from Nivin’s side was flawless. Lal as the frightened caring father was good. Ahana Krishna and Srinda looked perfect for the roles. Siju Wilson as the brother in law and Krishna Shankar as the friend were also pretty effective. Sharafudheen in his minimal role was hilarious. Dileesh Pothan, Antony Kochi, Saiju Kuruppu are there in supporting roles. The heroine Aishwarya Lakshmi is a promising talent, but this film doesn’t really have much space for her. Well the star of the show was definitely the one who made the comeback; Shanthi Krishna. The role of that mature, strong woman who takes care of the whole family was performed gracefully by the actress and nothing was caricaturish about her performance.
Althaf is definitely a promising talent. He is never glamorizing the scenes to make it look artificial. The realness in the conversation and the natural reaction of the characters to situations make the film an endearing one. Small elements that were put at the end of certain scenes where reused skillfully in other parts of the film. The only major negative is the weak love story of Kurien and Rachel. But still it wasn’t that unreal. With mostly static frames with occasional symmetry Mukesh Muraleedharan helps his director in keeping things real. The music was really nice and the background score was minimal and effective. The sound design was good and so was the editing.
On the whole I enjoyed watching Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela. It is definitely funny, entertaining and more than that it has got a soulful story which will make you smile once you finish watching it.
It is definitely funny, entertaining and more than that it has got a soulful story.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended