I wouldn’t say I hated the film Somante Krithavu. It is not one of those hastily made movies with creative laziness. But the end result of Somante Krithavu is pretty disappointing, mainly due to the scattered nature of the movie. Throughout the film, when it was jumping from one space to another with different topics, I wondered what this movie was about. But when the last act sort of revealed what it was, the preachiness in those moments made it a pretty conventional “message” movie.
If I remember correctly, the story begins in 2009, when our hero, Soman, an agricultural officer, is a bachelor. He is someone who believes only in natural and organic things. He won’t eat meat, he won’t buy pesticide-sprayed vegetables, he won’t go to the gym, he won’t use a vehicle, and he doesn’t believe in superstitious stuff like religion, horoscope, etc. His honesty and ethics got some limelight when he protested to protect a tree in his office compound, and he got a lot of admirers. One of them eventually married him, and what we see in Somante Krithavu is the life of this organic man as a regular married man.
If we look at the movie as segments with half an hour duration, it is a collection of watchable segments, each with a genre of its own. In the initial parts, I thought it was a satire. Then, it gradually transitions into a usual rural comedy. In the second half, when the antagonist gets a prominent space, we sort of sense a metaphorical shade to the movie. A movie that treated its character and his views very satirically at one point, changing its tone and empathizing with him through emotional sequences, has this stark tone difference, which I found a bit odd. When you look at how the second half changes the movie’s tone to a social commentary, everything we saw in the first half starts to feel unnecessary.
As the title character, Soman, Vinay Forrt, gets into the character’s skin very quickly. Even though it has the shades of some of those insecure characters he has played before this, Soman never really becomes an absolute caricature in Vinay’s hands. Fara Shibla, whose performance in Divorce had a pretty lousy dialogue delivery, this time gets it right for a large part of the movie, and the pairing kind of gives the film a sense of realness. Seema G Nair was hilarious as the hero’s mother. Jayan Cherthala is your typical antagonist whom we used to see in movies set against the backdrop of villages. Riyas Narmakala, Deva Nandha, Ganga Meera, Mano Jose, Sruthy Suresh, etc., are the other prominent performers in the cast.
The script written by Ranjith K. Haridas wants to show the audience the entire life of Soman in order to establish him as a mad yet pertinent figure. The problem is that it makes the movie very episodic, with no solid conflicts. If you read the second paragraph of this review, you might think that Soman’s married life is the conflict zone in this movie. But that’s just an event. The film’s final act, which has the antagonist plotting against the hero, has no significant link with whatever we have seen until that point. The climax almost felt like something they wrote in order to finish the story. Because they could have taken the story forward until Soman turned 60.
Somante Krithavu had the scope to be a passable satire with a quirky central character. But instead of building something niche, director Rohith Narayanan and writer Ranjith K. Haridas are trying to add more drama into the story through events that just squeeze out the “organic” possibilities of the script. With the writing deviating from its initial intent, the safe landing tactics make it an underwhelming experience.
With the writing deviating from its initial intent, the safe landing tactics make it an underwhelming experience.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended