Debutant director Manoj Kana`s Chayilyam is about the plight of a hapless widow, who is denied the freedom to lead a normal life by the society.
Gauri (Anumol) had eloped with her lover and now she is back with her son in her in-laws` home, after the death of her husband. Her father in law, played by M R Gopakumar, had brought them back but the orthodox society is against this. The resistance ends when the people around start visualizing her as the incarnation of Goddess.
The story is being narrated with the traditional folk art form Theyyam as the backdrop. Gauri wants to lead the rest of her life as a mother and as a woman, but the image of Goddess is thrust upon her.
Manoj Kana should be appreciated for narrating a female oriented theme, the concept of which shows great promise. But the problem is that beyond the outline, the story never really develops and the sequence of events barely looks natural.
Like for example, the film`s climax, which has been done a bit too hastily. On that account this is indeed a lost opportunity as it is a relevant theme, but affected by a fractured screenplay and incompetent execution.
The whole film is focused on the character played by Anumol and the actor has delivered a matured performance. The dedication of the actor is there to be seen in most frames. The rest of the cast, with mostly a fresh cast, is fine.
Chayilyam is perhaps an honest attempt, but it falls short of becoming a remarkable film.
There are some labored efforts to mold into the “art film category”, which has become redundant by now. Still, this one is a decent watch.