5 Sundarikal has been announced as 'an anthology of love', with five short films from five directors, each of which is around 30 minutes in its duration. As it happens in films of this kind, this one also has its highs and lows for sure. But as a whole, this film is an engaging watch.
Sethulakshmi, directed by Shyju Khalid comes first. The film is based on a short story by M Mukundan and the screen version has been written by Muneer Ali and Shyam Pushkaran. This is the story of two innocent school kids, whose life changes after a shocking incident.
With its heart at the right place, this bold film handles Child sexual abuse, which is a tough theme to portray, in an amazingly genuine manner. It is certain that the painful faces of the kids (Anikha and Chethan) will haunt you for long.
Isha, by Sameer Thahir, has been scripted by Sidharth Bharathan and talks about an unexpected encounter by two strangers (Nivin Pauly and Isha Sharvani) inside a bungalow on a New Year's Eve. The film is pretty shaky all along until some twists acts as the saving grace towards the end.
Gouri, scripted by Abhilash Kumar and directed by Aashiq Abu, focuses on a married couple (Kavya Madhavan and Biju Menon). With a weak plot and some pretty unimpressive performances, this one is perhaps the weakest in the pack.
Kullante Bharya, scripted by Unni R based on a Chinese fable and directed by Amal Neerad, is easily the best among the lot. Dulquer Salmaan's narration, some smart one-liners and a fantastic presentation makes this voyeuristic account a hard-hitting one. The story could connect with the viewers quite effectively and leave you stunned as it ends.
Amal Neerad gets out of his branded style and mesmerizes the viewers with his innate ease in narrating a spectacular story.
Aami is a fine tale by Anwar Rasheed, based on Hashir Muhammed's script. But the difference here is that this is one film that will be noted for another superb performance by the hugely talented Fahadh Faasil. While the rest of the films may be noted for its content, here his character takes the centre stage.
It is perhaps the similarity on the focus on women or how the beauties of all ages are important in a man's life that binds the five stories here. All the four films, except perhaps Isha, works on an emotional angle, which underlines the theory that it is the woman that makes a man complete. And of course, Isha is not the worst film in this cute portmanteau.
There is not much of strong and cohesive element as such that binds this collection of stories together. Well, that is perhaps the problem with this omnibus as well, which is evidently inspired by films like the fantastic Paris, je t'aime.
After a spectacular start, the film gets a bit weak in the first half but you just get thrilled by the two films in the second half. This one is an interesting experiment and the passion of the filmmakers involved here is there to be seen on screen. The films have been deliciously shot and the music is mostly splendid as well.
5 Sundarikal is almost like a rollercoaster ride with its dramatic ups and downs, but chances are that you come out of the theatres with a smile. Go for this one!
Verdict: Very Good