Priyan Ottathilanu

Priyan Ottathilanu, the new movie starring Sharaf U Dheen as the central character, is a film that tries to impart positivity in an unattractive way. When Priyan justifies his accommodating nature by taking the example of the Lemon n Spoon race, it felt more like a desperate attempt to hide his inability to say things sternly rather than a quality that would earn him any empathy. There is no denying that Sharaf U Dheen is terrific in being a real and relatable Priyadarshan. But his Ottam was relatable only in parts.

Priyadarshan is a Homeopathy doctor. He has a wife and a kid and he is the secretary of the flat where he is staying. He is an aspiring scriptwriter who is also looking for a chance. The story of Priyan Ottathilanu is about a day in Priyan’s life when he had too many commitments and how he managed to do all that despite unprecedented roadblocks that came his way.

I wouldn’t say the character of Priyan is an impractical one. We all know people who have a hard time saying no to people. The script written by Abhayakumar and Anil Kurien manages to establish the character of Priyan very effectively in the beginning portions of the movie. But after a point, they want to suffocate him with issues for the second half to work. Those additional problems and complications don’t feel organic. The way he “helps” everyone by compromising his schedule is too much goodness. And just when I thought whether it was a script that Jayasurya rejected, the film went for a climax that made it look like a Ranjith Sankar movie.

Sharaf U Dheen as Priyadarshan was terrific, in my opinion. He knew how to underplay the character who was unreally optimistic. Nyla Usha was in her typical angry mode of acting. Aparna Das as Neena was fine, and there was a massive improvement when compared to her performance in Manoharam. The character played by Biju Sopanam was somewhat a burden to the script. Jaffar Idukki, Sminu Sijo, Harisree Ashokan, Sudhy Koppa, RJ Mike, Hakkim Shajahan, Anarkali Marakkar and a few more names are there in the elaborate star cast.

Antony Sony, who previously made C/O Saira Banu, has gone after a feel-good drama this time. It felt like he stuck to the script too much that some of the scenarios felt a bit loud visually. For the audience to empathize with a character like Priyadarshan, everything he does needs to have that emotional connection. The cousin brother track, the issue with the colony people, the parents’ arrival, the last-minute detour of Priscilla, etc., have this forced comedy feel that it just takes out the realness from the movie.

Ultimately, whether the movie works for you depends on how you look at people who can’t say no. If you think that’s a good character trait, well, this movie will be a watchable flick for you. If you believe that it is something that needs a fix, Priyan Ottathilanu can be really difficult to sit through. Unfortunately, I belong to the second category.

NB: To the film’s promoters, if you offer free tickets to people to fill up the theater, tell them not to make it difficult for the people who actually paid for the tickets.

Final Thoughts

There is no denying that Sharaf U Dheen is terrific in being a real and relatable Priyadarshan. But his Ottam was relatable only in parts.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.