Cast:    Harisree Ashokan, Jyorthirmayi, KPSC Lalitha, Bindu Panicker, Saikumar, TP Madhavan, Jaffer, Niaz, Mammu Koya, Innocent, Baby Nayanthara, Baby Ria
Direction:    Sunder Das
Music:    Mohan Sitara

The Sunderddaas-directed Aakaasham is a film that has been released without much media hype and fanfare. But the film, which could be called ‘small’ in every way, is good and watchable compared to many other films of recent times. It tells the story of Manoharan, who is a mechanic working in a car showroom. His family consists of his wife Bhanu and two daughters. His mother Lakshmi Amma too visits them often and stays with them.

Manoharan leads a rather happy family life though he has financial difficulties. The story begins with him running helter-skelter to arrange money to buy a plot and house since they are to vacate their rented house shortly. He manages to get the money on interest and buys the plot with help from Mammaali, a green-grosser and do-gooder.

Manoharan is a good worker and is precise about everything he does. He is also very suspicious of others. One day something unexpected happens. The Police publish the sketch of a terrorist who is suspected to be behind a bomb blast that happened on the very same day that Manoharan had travelled out of station to get the money for the purchase of the house. The sketch has close resemblance to Manoharan.

Though those near to him, including most of his colleagues and neighbours do not take it seriously, Manoharan himself is quite disturbed. He doesn’t get peace anywhere and cannot even concentrate on his work. He feels that everyone around is looking at him suspiciously. Things get aggravated when people at a bank where Manoharan goes for a loan recognize his similarity to the newspaper sketch.

Harishree Ashokan, who plays Manoharan, handles the role quite convincingly. Jyothirmayi as Bhanu is good. Mammookoya as Mammaali impresses a lot. And so does Saikumar as the Police Officer Reghunandanan. KPAC Lalitha as Lekshmi Amma is her usual self. Innocent as the car-company MD Varghese Abraham is good. Others in the cast like Anil Murali as Manoharan’s colleague Ramdas , Jaffer Idukki as yet another colleague Sainuddin, Bindu Panicker as Manoharan’s aunt Bharathi, T.P. Madhavan as Manoharan’s neighbour Subrahmanyam Potty, Niyaz as Bhanu’s brother Jeevan etc are good and do justice to their respective roles.

The songs fit in perfectly with the film and don’t harm the tempo at all. Cinematography and editing are good. Script writer T.A. Razak and director Sunderddaas deserve to be appreciated for having come up with a good film with a rather good story-line. Of course one may feel that things could have been handled better and in more depth.This of course right, but the film as such is good and worth a watch. It should at the same time be added that Aakaasham may not make it at the box office for want of a heavy star cast and because of the much-hyped simultaneous release all over Kerala of the Tamil blockbuster Shivaji. Nonetheless, Sunderddaas deserves to be appreciated for having come up with Aakaasham, and hats off to Ashokan for a sterling performance.

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