It took around six years for director Sibi Malayil’s Ayirathil Oruvan to reach the theatres and no wonder, the movie looks a tad and ancient for the times. Worse still, it narrates the age-old story of a brother losing his grip, trying to repay the debts that he had to shoulder, on his own. Similar themes have been told far more effectively on screen earlier. Remember T.P.Balagopalan MA?
Aravindan (Kalabhavan Mani) runs a ration shop in a small village. He finds the going tough after a while, but he can’t say no to anyone who approaches him for some help. He decides to get married and in fact, it was the only way for him to find the required dowry for his sister’s marriage. But his plans take a beating and to save face, he falls into the trap of some local financiers. Besides his wife, played by Sujitha, no one really tries to understand him and things get from bad to worse for the hapless man.
There are a few nice moments in the film but that is barely enough to hold the viewer’s interest beyond some time. Kalabhavan Mani tries a bit too hard to play the virtuous soul that his character is, and the problem is that it is evident on the screen as well. While the inimitable Mohanlal conveyed his feelings with subtle expressions, Mani tries to express himself with the unending dialogues but there too his accents keep on changing from time to time.
Among the other actors, KPAC Lalitha comes up with another memorable performance once again as Mani’s mother, though she has done similar roles in several other films. Actors like Thilakan, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Senthil and Sudheesh have brief roles and they never really get the focus in the story. On the technical front, the visuals are generally nice but the music is a major let down.
Ayirathil Oruvan tries to make some statements in between, but its weak premise does not really help in registering the same in the viewers’ minds. It has been made with noble intentions and has its heart in the right place as well, but is perhaps too melodramatic for these times.
Banner: Kokers Films
Cast: Kalabhavan Mani, KPAC Lalitha,
Salim Kumar, Janardhanan, Senthil
Direction: Sibi Malayil
Production: Siyad Kokker
Music: Mohan Sithara