There is no point in preaching to the viewer after torturing them for almost 2 hours in the darkness of the theater. Star, the first official theater release in Malayalam after the six months break, is a movie that wants to talk about a sensitive issue. But the making is so bad that you are just waiting for the film to end in order to escape from the theater. And when finally they reveal the real reason, you will feel disappointed simply because they ruined the opportunity to address something that needed attention.
Ardra, a college professor, is our central protagonist. She is married to a businessman, and they have three kids. The usually cheerful Ardra starts to behave oddly from a particular day. She shouts at people for no reason and even starts to doubt her husband. The family life goes through a challenging phase because of Ardra’s unusual behavior. What we see in Domin D’Silva’s Star is the efforts to find the reason behind this strange behavior.
Linking the supernatural myths with science is not something we are seeing for the first time. The classic Manichithrathazhu was a terrific example of the blend of these two aspects. Star is also aspiring to access a similar area. But the writing is lackluster here, and to make it worse, we have Sheelu Abraham trying to pull off the mental trauma of a woman. There is a scene in the movie where she unnecessarily honks, and when a guy on a two-wheeler questions her, she simply stares. That stare is supposed to be “dangerous” but ended up being “hilarious.” It’s almost like every scene in the movie is supposed to be intense, but the output we see on screen is either annoying or unintentionally comedic.
Joju George as the husband is perhaps the only bit of relief in this movie because his performance as the husband is the audience’s reaction to the whole movie. With nobody inside the theater on your left and right, it was comforting to know that the hero was also feeling the same irritation. Sheeelu Abraham is the central character of this Abaam movies’ production, and it’s a role that she just can’t carry. The writing is primarily on the weak side with too many outdated ingredients, and Sheelu’s idea of portraying the depressed woman only worsens the movie’s level of mediocrity. Prithviraj Sukumaran is the Siddique of this Sara’s.
Domin D’Silva, who previously made Pyppin Chuvattile Pranayam, is struggling to give some sense of seriousness to the theme. His ideas are outdated, and there is a phase in the film where a sound effect follows every dialogue to make the scene spooky. If the idea was to bust the myths and give some scientific explanations, then why all those eccentric dramas inside Ardra’s house? The ultimate aim is to shed light on a sensitive subject that probably many men don’t really acknowledge. But instead of adding layers around that core idea, Suvin S Somashekharan stretches a totally different track which becomes a patience tester. The movie’s opening credits have a back story about Ardra’s life (another version of Varuvanillarumee from Manichithrathazhu). But by the time the movie reaches its climax and they have busted the myth, you might find yourself wondering the need for all those backstories.
I still can’t figure out why a doctor would use flower metaphors to tell a man about the physical changes happening to his wife. Domin D’Silva’s Star is a movie that has multiple aspirations. It wants to be a spooky psychological thriller, it wants to be a preachy drama, and it also aspires to be that “female-oriented” film. But unfortunately, it couldn’t fit into any of these zones. For an audience who is now familiar with pausing or stopping movies, the theater experience of this movie feels like a punishment.
For an audience who is now familiar with pausing or stopping movies, the theater experience of this movie feels like a punishment.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended