The last half an hour of the movie Section 306-IPC has Renji Panicker and Shanthi Krishna arguing unendingly about an Abetment of suicide case. The desperation of writer VH Dirar to show off his vocabulary was so bad that when the judge finally asked the accused whether he had anything to add, some guy from the audience literally screamed no. Directed by Sreenath Shiva, Section 306-IPC is a movie that pushes your tolerance level to a new high.
The story is set in Chengottukavu village. The traditional Thira festival was happening as usual. But the day after the Thira, a prominent writer from that village, Aswathy Meleppatt, commits suicide. Because she was scolded by the Thira during the ritual, Aswathy’s boyfriend, Pavan, decided to file a case under Section 306-IPC against the man who performed the Thira. With faith and belief at the other end of the case, the case gets a lot of limelight, and what we see is the court procedure.
Scriptwriting is more of a technical thing, and your vocabulary and knowledge of things do not have to be on display at every point. The most unbearable thing about Section 306-IPC is its writing, outdated by at least 30 years. The police stations and courts in Malayalam cinema have witnessed a drastic evolution, and Sreenath Shiva’s movie has a script that might feel fine if it was released in the 90s. There are movies where you might wonder how the director felt that the audience won’t laugh at them. Section 306-IPC is one such mega misjudgment. The efforts to make it a film about contemporary communal politics are pretty laughable.
Renji Panicker appears as advocate Ramdas who fights the case for Pavan. Well, the filmmakers have definitely made him regret the long English dialogues he wrote in his vintage days through a scene where he completes a whole sentence with words beginning with D. That was such a surprising comedy in a serious courtroom drama. Shanthi Krishna also struggles with “well-written” dialogues that never felt real. Producer Sreejith Varma performed the role of the investigating officer with just one expression. There is even a mass fight scene featuring him where he goes full Mohanlal by taking off his watch and cap before fighting right-wing goons.
No offense, but Savithri Sreedharan’s wannabe Kaviyoor Ponnamma performance with that epic “Thirichu Po” was just NBK-level comedy. Rahul Madhav, Mareena Michael, Sivakami, and a few more names are there in the cast who are clueless about what expression to have on their face, maybe because they could sense the unintentional comedy in those dialogues.
First, it was Vinod Guruvayoor, and now it is Sreenath Shiva; it is actually pretty sad to see former associates of legendary filmmaker Lohithdas becoming experts in making cult cringe films. As a one-liner, it is a fascinating concept as they drag God into the court. But beyond the excitement of that one-liner, there is no effort to think from the perspective of an evolved audience. In a way, I would call this an unintentional spoof of a 90s political thriller. The movie’s editing is bizarre, and the cuts are happening as if editor Zian Sreekanth wanted to show the audience and the producer that he has done something. Just like the movie, the music and the picturization of songs are extremely outdated.
If you plan to watch this film, I recommend you go in as a big group. I watched the movie with a group of people in the front row. Those folks were having a ball as they laughed out loud at all those cringe dialogues and cliched responses. Section 306-IPC belongs to that rare list I flaunt to show off my level of patience.
Section 306-IPC belongs to that rare list I flaunt to show off my level of patience.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended