Oru Thathvika Avalokanam from Akhil Marar is that superficial exploration of the political reality from the sensibility of someone who scrolls through the Facebook feed. Political satires are not an alien concept, and we have had classics like Panchavadippalam and Sandesham in that genre. Films have got read in different ways over time, and Sandesham is one movie that got criticism for making people think that being apolitical is cool. I am talking about the flack Sandesham got in the long run because Akhil Marar’s Oru Thathvika Avalokanam follows the same tone. While Sathyan Anthikkadu managed to drench his script with well-connected emotional angles, Marar’s version feels more like an extended version of the political satire shows we see on TV.
Shankar is a contractor who is fed up with bureaucracy as they never passed his bill despite having a court order in favor of him. The reason for that was his decision to not donate money to the ruling party (the left). One day he meets this young man who is trying to get into the Police force. Certain events that happen in this young man’s life give an opportunity for Shankar to expose the corrupted system. How he exploits that opportunity is what we see in Oru Thathvika Avalokanam.
At the core, you need a solid story, even if the movie is a satire. Akhil Marar’s struggle is with that aspect of filmmaking. A fed-up contractor who hates the system is an age-old trope. The motivation for Niranj’s character to become a police officer is ridiculously silly, in my opinion. These two characters are there to give the content a shape. The larger emphasis of the movie is to just blame politicians. Since it is Kerala, the Left-wing takes the major chunk of the beating. The other prominent parties also get the flack, but it feels more like a lame attempt to look like an unbiased and balanced satire.
As a writer, Akhil Marar is trying to squeeze in every incident that puts the governing parties in defense. Palarivattam bridge, issues in KSRTC, Sabarimala issue, and several other debates that happened in the last five years get the limelight. All these inclusions would have created an engaging film if it was smartly woven into the plot. But here, the political jokes are almost like the Santhanam/ Vadivelu jokes in Tamil movies. It just doesn’t blend in and feels like they added it to cover all the political issues. I am not saying that a satire based on the recent developments in the political hemisphere is not relevant. Creating a compelling narrative is essential.
Joju George was fine as Shankar. It’s not a complicated character to pull off, considering the kind of characters he has done in the recent past. Niranj gets a major character in this movie. But his dialogue delivery was flawed. Every actor has one scene where they are supposed to score. The interval block of Oru Thathvika Avalokanam was Niranj’s scene, but the dialogue felt too heavy for him. Shammy Thilakan gets a chance to show his humor capability. Aju Varghese is there in his typical style.
Bashing the left is not the demerit of Oru Thathvika Avalokanam. Even movies like Left Right Left have done that and managed to get the claps from the audience. The agenda of such films was primarily to deliver a compelling story with solid drama. The political affiliations were added to that strong skeleton. Here, they are trying to build a skeleton after setting an agenda. It feels like a surface-level outburst that wants to cater to an apolitical audience.
Oru Thathvika Avalokanam from Akhil Marar is that superficial exploration of the political reality from the sensibility of someone who scrolls through the Facebook feed.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended