Through Santhosham, director Ajith V Thomas is trying to sneak into the monopoly of Jis Joy for creating feel-good movies. Usually, in movies, by the time the film reaches the interval point, the audience will be given an idea about the central conflict. In the case of Santhosham, the happiness quotient is so high that we find ourselves clueless about what the makers ultimately want to convey through this movie.
The family of Suresh Kumar is the focus of Santhosham. That’s the name of the house, by the way. He has two daughters, Aadhya and Akshara. And the two have a significant age difference. Aadhya is almost like a mother to Akshara. And the little one has some issues with her sister because of that. How the dynamic between the sisters changes when Aadhya’s marriage gets fixed is what we see in Santhosham.
The very sharp mood swings of the kids are a theme that is least explored in Malayalam cinema. Ente Veedu Appuntem by Bobby Sanjay was one of the notable works that addressed the emotions of a kid, which adults usually ignore. Santhosham, in its entirety, had the scope to be something similar. But writer Arjun T Sathyan (who owns Rakshadhikari Baiju’s story credit) opts for a very simplistic narrative. It was so simple that at the interval point, I thought that I was about to witness the first conflict-free Malayalam movie.
The delay it has in reaching the conflict point makes Santhosham exhausting despite being this well-intended package of goodness. And the delay is not because of any unavoidable reasons. The love track of Aadhya and Gireesh, with all those comedy tracks which never worked, is consuming a considerable amount of screen time from the movie. Even the episodes that depicted the family bonding never really blended in with the central idea. The comedy featuring Gireesh and his family was pointless. In the two-hour-long film, it is in the last half an hour, we get to know what the drama is. And they are trying to establish and resolve a sensitive emotion within 30 minutes with too much corny positivity. The music from PS Jayahari was good, but the song placement and choreography weren’t that great.
Lechu Lekshmi as Akshara is a bit inconsistent in the beginning portions of the movie. But I must say that the honesty with which she cried in that post-wedding scene was the only great thing about the film in my view. Anu Sithara, with her pretty looks and casual dialogue delivery, fits the part of Aadhya. Barring that slightly loud presentation of vulnerability in the very last scene, Kalabhavan Shajon was really good as the father. As Gireesh, the performance of Amith Chakkalakkal was pretty disappointing. He is trying very hard to be comical in this Romeo avatar. But almost every scene featuring him has that overdone nature. Mallika Sukumaran, Asha Aravind, etc., are the other major characters in the film.
Spreading some positivity is never a bad thing, as almost everyone’s daily life is stressful. But when you dip your hollow script in a bucket of goodness, that’s cheating. Santhosham from Ajith V Thomas is an underdeveloped script that forgot to create a solid conflict and focused only on being optimistic.
Santhosham from Ajith V Thomas is an underdeveloped script that forgot to create a solid conflict and focused only on being optimistic.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended