Olam Review | This 144P Romancham Would Have Been Bearable as a Short Film

Towards the end of the movie Olam, the central character Arjun, played by Arjun Ashokan, talks about a supernatural element in his life, and the movie actually tries to justify whatever it had shown till that moment with that explanation. But looking at how they have stretched this content, which was at best a bearable 15 or 20 minutes short film into a 90 minutes feature film, that explanation or reasoning just wasn’t enough. Olam definitely has a psychedelic impact. It is only one and a half hours long, but it feels clearly more than that.

Arjun and Romanch are friends, and they drink almost every day. Arjun belongs to a wealthy family, but his addiction has caused issues, and he and his father share a very strained relationship. One day after a fight, Arjun leaves the house, and along with Romanch, he drives to a forest until the fuel got over. What we see in Olam is their time in that forest and the people they met during that period.

When you reveal what happens to two people in the end at the beginning itself, there is no point in showing the same characters struggling to stay alive in the flashback. The audience knows that the characters won’t face much trouble no matter how tense the situation is. And there is a moment in the movie where the police are going up the hill with an ambulance in search of someone, and for an audience who has seen Aparichithan, that’s an extremely predictable scripting style.

Towards the end, it’s like you just hope they will come up with something shocking, but the time VS Abhilash and Lenaa have given us with zero development in the tale is kind of enough to track all the cliches and possibilities to guess the climax. When it is revealed in the last moment what has happened to the leading lady, you don’t get to feel any shock or that wow factor, simply because the movie had become a predictable and exhausting experience by that point. The conversations between the addict and the casual drinker towards the film’s last moments were actually the only relief, as the rest felt extremely pretentious.

Arjun Ashokan’s portrayal of Arjun has the typical elements in his presentation of these naive and excited characters. And considering the tone of the movie, it was fine. Lenaa, who has co-written the movie, plays the role of Hudha, and the mystique the story wants Hudha to have is there in her performance. The costumes and makeup definitely contributed to achieving that result. As the antagonist, Binu Pappu has given his best to make that character look intimidating. But seeing Thomas shift from one mood to another was like a sober guy observing a stoned man. You just don’t know why he is angry suddenly! Noby Markose is your comic relief, and just like the old Suraj Venjaramood, his unnecessary comedy was the only relief in this terrible movie.

When the viewer has to check the watch while watching a movie that is only 90 minutes long in terms of duration, that pretty much sums up how terrible the making is. If they had made this movie as a 20 minutes short film, I think the experience would have been bearable. If you are an editing enthusiast, I think trying to make a compelling short film out of 90 minutes of footage would be a creatively exciting experience.

Final Thoughts

When the viewer has to check the watch while watching a movie that is only 90 minutes long in terms of duration, that pretty much sums up how terrible the making is.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.