The very first thing that puts you off while watching the new film The Teacher from Athiran fame Vivek is the dialogue. Co-written by PV Shajikumar and the director, The Teacher is a basic revenge thriller that struggles with bland writing and radio drama-like conversations. With its feministic narrative almost looking like bumper sticker captions, The Teacher is a total letdown.
SPOILER ALERT! Devika is a school teacher who is right now going through a bad patch. She got raped during one of the sports events that took place in her school. Since she was unconscious, she wasn’t sure whether the culprits had taken her photo or video. What we see in The Teacher is how this incident gives her intense trauma and how it affects her family life.
The writing of the film that has dated ideas from beginning to end is the fundamental problem of The Teacher. The conditioned patriarchy that doesn’t help the central protagonist get over the trauma is a crucial element in the story. The usual scenario of blaming the woman for whatever bad happened to her is also there. But the flat writing just doesn’t know how to create those moments effectively, and it sounds so deliberate and preachy. Towards the end, the solution Vivek gives to the problem also looks very superficial, and it feels like a male perspective to have closure.
Amala Paul is trying her earnest best to make us empathize with Devika. But the writing is not helping her in showcasing the sensitivity of that character. Hakkim Shajahan as the blaming husband, was okay. Manju Pillai’s character is given a mass entry in the film, and after that, she is forgotten, and I still don’t know why Munroe Thuruth was essential for the politics of this film. Prasant Murali gets a character who is a blatant male chauvinist. Anumol, Chemban Vinod Jose, Maala Parvathy, etc., are the other names in the cast with very little to do.
Vivek is not making an effort to understand the characters in an empathetic way. The way he addresses the issue and provides the solution for it comes from a very superficial observation. The way he depends on dialogues for character exposition is so silly. As I was watching the film, I wondered what convinced many actors in the movie to deliver those lines, which sounded really odd. It was almost like those Malayalam dubbed central government advertisements that never sounded like how we would talk in real life. In order to have a surprise in the climax, they have included a subplot that just doesn’t blend with the story.
The Teacher is a movie that wants to show the fight of a survivor. But unfortunately, the theme is no longer fresh, thanks to a patriarchal society. Rather than creating a story that would look at the whole thing from a different perspective and deliver something emotionally unsettling, Writer- Director Vivek just uses the pertinence of the topic to show a lazily written revenge drama.
The Teacher is a basic revenge thriller that struggles with bland writing and radio drama-like conversations.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended