Director Suresh Unnithan's Ayaal is a visual spectacle that narrates the story of a gifted pulluvan, whose life takes some unprecedented turns due to his wayward lifestyle.
Dasan (Lal) lives in a village, where both superstitions and revolution exist at the same time. He has two wives, Janaki (Lakshmi Sharma) and her younger sister Chakkara (Iniya), with whom he has a son. While the love for her husband makes Janaki genuinely tolerant, Chakkara is craving for his presence and wants him for herself alone.
Dasan's skills earned respect for him from the villagers, though he lives his life on his own terms. After a while, the wife of an affluent Brahmin, Devaki (Lena), falls for his ample charms. When the natives and his wives learn about the relationship, things start going out of his hand for Dasan.
No two ways about it, there is an interesting storyline here and the director has made it into a nice film, though things get seriously boring as the narrative goes on and on. After an impressive start, the story meanders along aimlessly for quite some time, before the final turnarounds happen. Also, it could have been perhaps more effective if there were some incidents or characters that connect to the current times.
With a good script by Dr. K Ambady, director Suresh Unnithan, who has made some well-appreciated films in the past, comes up with an impressive show. Of course, the storyline may remind you of some of the yesteryear films like Padamudra or Venkalam.
The cinematography by Sujith Vasudev is top notch. The background score, especially the music when Iniya appears each time, perhaps takes away the seriousness of the plot to a certain extent.
Lal has to maintain almost a stoic face throughout, keeping his feelings to himself, which he does in a nice way. Among the female leads, Iniya seems to take her sensual role a bit too seriously, Lena has nothing much to do and Lakshmi Sharma is good.
Ayaal could have been more enjoyable if it was crispier. The film may end up not being a spectacular movie experience mainly due to its length, but this one has its moments for sure.
Verdict: Above Average