Ullozhukku Review | Christo Tomy’s Thesis on Hiding Has Solid Characters and Terrific Performers

The kind of subtlety in the extreme drama in the storytelling of Ullozhukku is what I liked most about the movie. In a way, Ullozhukku is a fight between a generation that chose to suffer versus a generation that decided to call it out and come out of it. Director Christo Tomy finds equilibrium in this debate, happening in the backdrop, using the emotional tool of understanding. With both Urvashi and Parvathy sinking their teeth into their respective characters, Ullozhukku works immensely because of the emotional relatability.

SPOILERS AHEAD IN THE REST OF THE REVIEW! So, we are introduced to this family of three. Thomasukutty, his mother Leelamma, and his wife Anju. Thomaskutty is diagnosed with a brain tumor, and both Leelamma and Anju are having a tough time taking care of him. Eventually, at one point, Thomaskutty dies, and at the same time, the family comes to know that Anju is pregnant. The drama that unfolds in that family during the funeral of Thomaskutty is what we see in Christo Tomy’s debut directorial venture, Ullozhukku.

You can read Ullozhukku as a thesis on human nature to hide things using affection as a shield. The movie’s first half has us as an audience seeing Anju as this girl who chose love over misery and unfortunately, the timing of multiple things going against her. You might not judge her actions, but the gaze is more from an angle of sympathy as she won’t get any emotional support. But what increases the drama in the story is the second half, where we get to know about other hidden lies that have a different dimension from what Anju did. Christo even etches out how the majority still chose to blame Anju, who chose her happiness over others who used their “benevolence” card to mess up Anju’s life. The twists in the tale are not presented in a jarring way, and perhaps we may all have heard similar anecdotes in various stories in society.

Urvashi as Leelamma is just brilliant. Leelamma may be a person with an old-school thought process. But Christo’s design of that character is such that her processing of things is not slow. When Anju explains why a particular contact was saved under a different name, Leelamma understands why it was necessary. What leads to the climax is Leelamma’s ability to understand, and it actually comes from a scene where Anju confronts her by spitting the uncomfortable truth about Leelamma’s whole life. What happens in the climax would have felt a lot filmier if Urvashi’s performance wasn’t this real. Parvathy Thiruvothu, on the other hand, is playing an emotionally suppressed character for a larger part of the movie. She conveys the character’s helplessness beautifully, and the transition that happens in the second half is also performed very effectively. The other major names in the cast include Arjun Radhakrishnan, Alencier Lopez, Prashant Murali, etc., and everyone fits into their roles perfectly.

It feels like Christo Tomy, as a director, doesn’t want to present drama through theatrics. If you look at the scene where Anju realizes her pregnancy, there is no over-emphasis on the whole thing by accentuated background score or excessive focus on the pregnancy stick. Since the movie is extremely character-driven, the cinematography prefers a shallow focus on a majority of the shots. In fact, there is a scene featuring Leelamma, her daughter, and Anju in the hospital, and you can see Shehand Jalal shifting focus from one character to another, telling the audience whose expression they should focus on.

Kiran Das keeps things interesting despite the overall pace of the movie being on the slower side. The movie’s mood is such that I feel Sushin Shyam has restricted himself from scoring in many scenes, as giving the audience a musical cue would be too much of a spoon-feeding. There was this one conversational bit in the film where the background score had contrasting beats playing in between, and I felt that smartly conveyed the sadness and tension in that situation.

Ullozhukku is a solid drama that talks about a lot of elements in relationships that get suppressed due to conditioning. Two people who were on opposite sides of the morality spectrum are eventually getting into the same boat solely because what they both lacked in life was understanding. If you love watching movies that empathize with vulnerable human beings who make difficult decisions, Ullozhukku will stay with you.

Final Thoughts

Ullozhukku is a solid drama that talks about a lot of elements in relationships that get suppressed due to conditioning.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.