Ottaal is very much that considerably compromised art house film which emphasize on a particular idea without the verbal explanation. The success of the movie is actually in creating that emotional suffocation in our mind seeing that lonely hopeful child. With a casting that couldn’t create a charm on screen, Ottaal is a haunting tale presented using an unimpressive cast.
It is actually the story of this small boy named Kuttappayi. His grandfather (his Vallyappachayi) and he are living together in their temporary shelter in Kuttanadu, taking care of their ducks. The lower class life and the high aspirations of Kuttappayi to learn is what the movie ultimately depicting. Using its small running time of 90 minutes to the fullest, Ottaal succeeds in showing us the tragedies and ironies of the society.
In the making part, Jayaraj succeeds in making the movie in a less melodramatic raw format. The way he slowly familiarizes us with the backdrop of the movie is definitely commendable as it helped the film in creating that pain towards the end. Screenplay also is a winner in building the life of the grandfather and grandson in a rooted way. The failure from the director is apparently in choosing the actors. Except for that small cameo appearance from Shine Tom Chacko, there isn’t much of a solid performance in this film. And as the emotions have a significant part to do in creating that feel the inexperienced actors drags the movie backwards. M J Radhakrishnan once again visualizes the canvas beautifully and it was great to see all those rare visuals of ducks, lotus field and a lot of less explored side of Kuttanadan beauty. Edits were fine and the BGM’s from Sreevalsan J Menon also creates a positive impression.
As I said, the strong technical backup hasn’t really got any help from the acting department. Kumarakam Vasudevan and Ashanth K Sha are perfect for the role in terms of appearance, but both weren’t that great when it came to performance. The other minor supportive roles were also given to least known actors who also had that artificiality in portraying.
Even after having least impressive performances to back it up, Ottaal do create an impact at the end and has done justice in giving limelight to the central issue it wants to convey. The rating for the film is 3/5. I guess the awards don’t really look in to the quality of performances in the case of “Best Film”.
Even after having least impressive performances to back it up, Ottaal do create an impact at the end and has done justice in giving limelight to the central issue it wants to convey.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended