Mysskin has come out with another heart wrenching story. He tries to create a hero out of a mentally challenged person and an 8 year old school boy, who he befriends on a road trip as both of them are in search of their respective mothers.
The film works in bits and pieces, as the pace is very slow and not even. The running time is 2 hours and 5 minutes with the first half dragging on for 80 minutes and post interval it is just 45 minutes. In a nutshell the film is a road trip of two unlikely buddies who bond and become inseparable in their quest for motherly love.
The premise for the story is interesting as a lonely boy Akhilesh (Aswath Ram) living with his grand mother, embarks on a journey in search of his mysterious mother armed with her photo and a map .Early in his exploratory trip he comes across a mentally challenged person (Mysskin), who joins him on the trip.
They journey across the state bumping into various kinds of people and situations, which bring out the different facets of human behavior. Along the way, a commercial sex worker (Snigdha) joins them. Finally they realize the ugly truths, which they should never have gone looking for and realistically withdraw into their shell.
The plus point of the film is Ilayaraja’s outstanding melodies and background score, it is soothing and in harmony with the theme of the film. ‘Melle Oorundhu..’ sung by the maestro himself is the pick of the lot. Another major highlight is Mahesh Muthuswamy’s camera, which is eye-catching and makes Pollachi and surrounding locations look better and greener than English country side. Mysskin for a first timer is ok, though he speaks like the way Kuruvi character spoke in Anjathey. The boy Aswath Ram is impressive in his first outing.
Now coming to the big question- Was Mysskin inspired from the Japanese Kitano Takeshi film Kikujiru ? The answer is a loud and clear “Yes”. He has taken the basic framework of the Japanese film reworked it to suit local nativity with loads of human emotions that work with our audiences.
The over the top characters that they meet during their journey like the bald two member biker gang guys, the farmer, the lorry driver were there in Kikujiro! There are too many scenes in the first half which are unbelievable like cop not suspecting a boy in school uniform travelling with an insane man. However the scene of Mysskin bashing the beer bottle on the head of the teaser boys in their yellow car is hilarious.
On the whole if you are the art house type who likes films that explores the realms of anguish and despair, Nandalala is worth a look. If you are looking for another Anjathey, you will be disappointed. So make your own choice.
Verdict – Slow and Melancholic