Remember the movie 4 the people? The vigilante thriller from Jayaraj that became a huge hit mostly because of the song “Lajjavathiye”. Well, the intention of the makers of the movie Safe starring Anusree, Aparna Gopinath and Siju Wilson is to create that kind of a thriller. But the problem is that the idea is way too bizarre. The way they were using the concepts of Apps and Social Media usage made me think whether the scriptwriter took any effort to understand how all these things work.
The new deputy commissioner of police has Shreya Sreedharan is in charge of a human trafficking case. While the investigation was progressing she gets attacked by a gang. The death of certain people and some people going missing makes things all the more difficult for Shreya. There is a parallel story happening in the movie where an activist named Arundhathi is leading a team named SAFE who is committed to helping women when they are physically harassed. The connection between these two links is the story part of Safe.
In the movie, almost every character has a different look (played by a different actor) for the flashback portion. And the funny part is that when one of those characters comes back suddenly, their look hasn’t changed. Even towards the end, I was wondering why such a Himalayan blunder in the movie and the makers surprised me with an even bizarre idea. Shaji Pallarimangalam, who has produced, written and acted in this movie has a concept in his hands; an app to save women from mishaps. But when it comes to the development of that idea, things are not digestible even on a hypothetical level. I think by the time the movie got finished, he realized how banal it was and maybe that’s the reason why the film ended with a quote saying this is an “idea”, now you people work on the rest. It’s quite clear that a discussion about the ethical side of things has not happened during the development of the script.
Anusree as activist Arundhathi has her usual charm on the face. She is like this motivational speaker kind of character and despite being given some seriously mediocre motivational lines, her rendering of the character makes things look fine on screen. Aparna Gopinath as Shreya is trying her best to make the character look like someone trapped in an emotional dilemma. Siju Wilson’s character hardly contributes to the progression of the story. The caricature villain played by Aji John kind of gives you an idea about how ignorant the makers are about the social media obsession. Safe is an app run by a big team and there is hardly anyone in the cast that manages to create an impression through their performance. Both the producers have acted in this film and the artificiality in their English dialogue delivery offers unintentional comedy.
The director Pradeep Kalipurayathu is not at all trying anything to give the movie any authenticity. When you are proposing an idea that you feel needs to be implemented in society, there should be some sort of element that should make the viewer think that it can be done. Some of the tactics applied by the “SAFE” team are purely a breach of privacy. The script has this over the top tone while the making has an extremely compromised feel. The CCTV footage live feed shown in one sequence shows the level of lack of planning in this movie. The cinematography was okay while the cuts were as clumsy as the screenplay. Visual effects are far too polished and sophisticated.
There was a gap in “women safety” films in Malayalam for some time. Safe belongs to that category and it is one more such tacky “issue-based” film that will get promoted by the makers claiming that the subject is socially relevant. Yes, the subject is socially relevant, but a utopian concept is not the solution.
Safe is a film that will get promoted by the makers claiming that the subject is socially relevant. Yes, the subject is socially relevant, but a utopian concept is not the solution.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended