Critic's Rating: 3/5

Thursday 12 November 2015

Movie Title




Star Cast

Vasudevan, Master Akshanth

Director Jayaraj’s Ottaal, based on the short story titled Vanka by Anton Chekhov, has reached the theatres after winning some prestigious honours at the National and the State film awards.

Beneath the backdrop of Kuttanadu and some ingredients that are integral parts of the offbeat movies in Malayalam, Jayaraj narrates the moving relationship between a young boy and his grandfather. 

The grandfather, played by Vasudevan, is a duck farmer. The young boy, whom he affectionately calls ‘Kuttappayi’ (Master Akshanth), is a livewire. The kid’s parents had committed suicide, as they couldn’t repay their bank loans but he is intelligent, creative and loving. 

The dialogues, written by Jayaraj, are genuine and hard-hitting. The young boy plays his part effortlessly, while Vasudevan plays his character quite well, mostly.

Even while narrating simple things, the director succeeds in conveying certain genuine messages in a subtle manner. Like for instance, the social inequality that is existent in the society, as Kuttappayi become friends with a boy of his age who comes from an affluent family. 

The characters look totally real and the film brilliantly talks volumes about lives around us that we tend to ignore mostly. 

Though the film has been set in lush green Kuttanad, the visuals by M J Radhakrishnan have a somber shade, perhaps pointing towards the tough life that the characters in the story are having. Kavalam Narayana Panicker’s music and Sreevalsan J Menon’s background score add to the effect in a spectacular way.

Jayaraj has mostly gone for raw talents and at times, their acting may not be perfect. But at the same time it gives an authentic feel to the narrative. Shine Tom Chacko is good in a brief role.

Ottaal may certainly be not meant for all, especially for those who are looking for mindless entertainment. But for the lovers of serious cinema, this one is an enjoyable experience. 

Verdict: Good

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