The master’s writer MT Vasudevan Nair and director Hariharan is back with their Ezhamathe Varavu, four years after Pazhassi Raja. The film is good in parts with a terrific climax but is made in the old fashioned 1980’s style.
The trouble with the film is that it drags and MT’s script and Hariharan’s packaging have an ancient feel about it. However Indrajith Sukumaran as a hunter is terrific and the climax scene with the Tiger is well conceived and executed.
The film is actually a re-make of late Sukumaran- Venu Nagavally film Evideyo Oru Shatru which never got released. The film was written and directed by the same team of MT and Hariharan. Nearly three decades after that Sukumaran’s son Indrajith steps into a role done by his father with the same mannerisms and style.
The story is about man – animal conflict in forest areas of Wyanad. Gopinath (Indrajith) is a rich estate owner a heavy drinker, womaniser and great hunter. His marriage to Bhanu (Bhavana) is a failure as she is craving for love and affection, which he is not able to give. She becomes an alcoholic and needs psychiatric help.
Enter archaeologist Prasad (Vineeth), who is looking for a lost city buried in the forest and he is helped by a tribal girl Mala (Kavitha). He also happens to be Bhanu’s first love in college. Meanwhile a man eating Tiger is causing fear and anxiety among the tribal people.
The film is slow paced and takes time to develop. The last 15 minutes scene in the forest where the hunter becomes the hunted is the highlight of the film. The atmosphere in the forest is eerie and camera of S Kumar is eye catching. The songs written and composed by Hariharan are in mood with the theme of the film.
Indrajith is simply terrific as the hunter who becomes the hunted. He looks and acts like a spitting image of his dad Sukumaran. Bhavana does a good job as the alcoholic wife fighting her own demons. Vineeth is adequate as the soft spoken archaeologist.
Hariharan has done a decent job in Ezhamathe Varavu which may be slow but has beautifully brought out fragile human emotions and the man –animal conflict.