The number of twists happening in the last quarter of the new Fellini movie Ottu somewhere justifies why they decided to make a movie with a theme that almost every cinephile had in their mind when they first thought about making a film. The plan here is highly ambitious. But the making is so bad that I lost interest in the film within the first 5 minutes of the movie (the exact point would be the moment Kunchako Boban’s character starts to flirt). With too many moments that just don’t connect, Ottu runs out of fuel before it can even hit the highway.

Kichu is a Mumbai-based Malayali who wants to go abroad with his girlfriend, Kalyani. For that, he needs money, and his Chachan connects him with a team of people who offers him Rs 25 lakhs for a job. Knowing Kichu’s ability to mingle with people, they ask him to become friends with a man named David. David used to be the right hand of a man named Asenaar, who controlled the gold smuggling between Bombay and Mangalore. The past of David and what was the information the gang wanted to get from David through Kichu is what we see in Ottu.

Written by S Sanjeev, Ottu is confused about placing its idea of deception. The primary distraction of the plot feels very hasty and hazy. The character of Kichu, played by Kunchako Boban, is presented as an intelligent guy, and I just found him stupidly annoying. The smartness shown by the character in the “feel-good” part was so sloppy. The very obvious cluelessness and the way he gets stuck for reasons just take out all the thrill elements from the story. And finally, when the table turned, more than feeling surprised, I felt there was a considerable reduction in the number of events that looked stupid in the first place.

The movie has been designed as one of the installments in a 3 part series and what has been released is the second chapter. Looking at the way Chapter 2 has been conceived, I think they have pretty much destroyed all the possibilities of a prequel or sequel happening. The script cannot provide enough material to make the viewer feel the same way the characters feel. Kichu empathizes with David, and there is absolutely nothing in the screenplay that justifies this protective intent of the character. The romance with Kalyani also takes this sharp emotional turn when the road journey happens. The Abbas-Mustan style twists in the last 15-20 minutes of the movie with too many people failing to fire at one guy in an open space, the people with whom I saw the film was laughing at the bizarreness of Fellini’s imagination. Gautam Shankar’s cinematography looked slick with attention to detail on color and framing in the initial bits. But it was very hasty towards the end, and the space continuity was a mess in the last 15 minutes. The song placements were terrible, and none of the songs gelled smoothly with the narrative.

Kunchako Boban’s efforts to look like a naive smart guy feel way too deliberate. A significant chunk of Ottu’s success relied on how convincingly he would make us root for Kichu. Thanks to the clueless writing of the movie, the performance never had a chance to make the character of Kichu look interesting on screen. Post Thani Orivan, Arvind Swamy is like the go-to actor for pulling off characters that demand mystery and swagger, and I must say that with the dubbing by Vineeth, Mr. Swamy has performed really well as David. Eesha Rebba was okay as Kalyani. Jackie Shroff flaunted his body for 5 minutes. Aadukalam Naren, Amalda Liz, Jinse Baskar, etc., are the other names in the cast, and none of them were memorable.

Ottu from Fellini fails terribly in presenting its deception. The writing of the film fails to incorporate nuances of history between certain characters. Thus, when major twists happen in the third act of the film, rather than getting thrilled, you question the stretching of the plot in the first half of the movie.

Final Thoughts

With too many moments that just don't connect, Ottu runs out of fuel before it can even hit the highway.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.