When a couple tries to break a conventional institution like marriage and commitment, there is an obvious question of how sure they are about that decision. Sleeplessly Yours directed by Goutham Soorya and Sudeep Elamon shows what happens when a man who is partially on the conventional side meets a girl who was on the rebellious side because of her experiences. And to reduce the possible dryness in the tale, we have a flashback mystery-solving angle to this drama which makes sure that we are always engaged with the content.
Jessy was a journalist who came to Trivandrum for work and eventually met this girl called Manasi (Maanu), a yoga instructor. They both liked each other and decided to move in together. The crazy vibe in the relationship made them do an experiment by not sleeping for multiple days. But the end result wasn’t that pleasing and we have our hero in a situation where he is clueless about where Maanu is. The movie is basically Jessy backtracking all the events to know where to find Maanu.
The exposition the makers have used to give us an idea about the character of Maanu is actually impressive. This is actually a movie about Jessy’s dilemma. Jessy moved in with Maanu thinking that he was ready for that no strings attached kind of relationship. But this wacky idea of not sleeping for multiple days kind of took away all the layers of progressiveness that was covering his conservative/orthodox mindset that demanded love, commitment, and societal acceptance. That is the central conflict of Sleeplessly Yours and it is a subject that can become extremely boring if the approach towards the script is on the emotional side. But that’s where this mild thriller texture comes in and we have a hero who is so puzzled that he can’t even rule out the chances of him even killing her.
Sudev Nair with expressions and body language plays the part perfectly. As a Bombay based Malayali journalist, his dialogue delivery was also fine. But towards the end when we see his character yelling abuses, the dialogue delivery is not effective and it is almost like an unintended comedy. Devaki Rajendran who plays the role of Manasi aka Maanu is truly impressive. She performs the unstable nature of this character in a very believable way and we could understand that there is something bothering her which makes her question societal pressures. The two actors share a good chemistry on-screen which makes the relationship interesting on screen.
The Rama Sethu becomes a metaphor for Maanu’s emotional state in this movie. There is an inhibition inside her about the perfect man and a cruel man. She always tells Jessy that she wants to live under that bridge which connects the “good” Rama and bad “Ravana”. By the time the movie ends, just like Jessy, we are also contemplating the life of Maanu who somewhere becomes a lingering pain. Whether the movie will work for you or not depends on how much disturbance the movie can create in your head about the female protagonist. Goutham and Sudeep have tried to make sure that the treatment will make you take some effort to understand the film. The crisscross narration has some sharp cuts by the editors. They are not really trying to smoothly blend the flashback portions to the present-day narrative. It’s almost like a tricky puzzle for the audience to solve and because this movie isn’t a thriller, I found the puzzle a little too complicated at times. The cinematography by Sudeep understands the mood of the movie perfectly. Within a matter of seconds, we see two visuals of Jessy and Maanu sitting near two windows and them getting closer to each other was established very effectively in those visuals. I just took one instance to show that the movie understands how to use the visual language. The music by Varkey also blended in beautifully.
Sleeplessly Yours is a movie that is dealing with delicate and complicated human emotions. It is not that perfect as the drama at times is too theatrical and we also get a feeling that a little bit more establishing of the relationship between the two would have intensified the climax. The duration of the movie is only 72 minutes and it’s available for free on YouTube. If grey subjects excite you, this one will have elements that will stay with you.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lKc6qe46BE
To reduce the possible dryness in the tale, we have a flashback mystery-solving angle to this drama which makes sure that we are always engaged with the content.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended