But even then the film fails on several counts as the makers try a bit too much to portray it as an intellectual film. This is no bad film by any means, but it could have been much better.
The story is happening in a village in Kanyakumari district, which was once part of Travancore and was later, included under Tamil Nadu. The confusion in the minds of the natives as they are left behind struggling between two distinct cultures provides a brilliant backdrop.
The film begins when a 55-year-old Meenakshi (Mallika) demands for an Ozhimuri (divorce petition, in simple terms) from her ruthless 71-year-old husband, Thanupillai (Lal). The man had ill-treated her and also their son, Sharath (Asif Ali), all along.
It is through Sharath’s narration to a young lawyer named Bala (Bhavana) that we learn about the trauma that he and his mother had to go through at the hands of the cruel man.
Thanupillai (Lal) had lived his life with a vengeance after being brought up in a matriarchal household, hurt by the deeds of his fiery mother, Kali Pillai (Swetha Menon).
Of course, Balamani (Bhavana) is instantly smitten by the charms of the young man and it is she who unveils certain mysteries concerning the dour Thanupillai.
There is a credible storyline here, no two ways about it. But the problem is the casual way in which the director presented it on screen. There are some amateurish and silly gimmicks like the locations changing frequently after every line of dialogue, when Sharath and Bala are talking.
Thanupillai’s mysterious behavior has some reason and the viewers learn about it gradually. But how come Sharath and Meenakshi had no clues about it at all? Now we won’t discuss much about all these as it could end up as spoilers for future viewers.
The script has some novelty for sure but it is far from perfect. The director has taken no real efforts to present the story in a gripping way.
Most of the performances are fine, but the makeup is below average. Lal is good, especially in the role of Thanupillai’s late father. And though she barely looks like a 55 year old, Mallika is brilliant. Asif Ali and Bhavana repeat their usual style, while Swetha Menon’s poor makeup results in her role looking unintentionally funny. There are some supporting artistes who are really impressive, like the actor who played Mallika’s brother.
In the end, though the film is definitely worth a watch, Ozhimuri gives the feeling that it is more of a wasted opportunity. What a pity if you do not have the passion or conviction to use the available resources in an effective way!
Verdict: Above Average