In an era when cinema is all about slapsticks, violence and vulgarity, ‘Mizhikal Sakshi’ by Ashok R Nath is a good reminder that cinema can be much more. This feel-good movie while raising several pertinent issues lets you walk out the theatre, with something to think about.
The movie tells a tale of a mute mother, who finds it hard to come into terms with the fact that her only son is convicted as a terrorist and is sent to gallows. She, after a long journey in search of her son, finally lands up in a temple premises where food is offered free, everyday. She becomes popular in the area as Kuniyamma, doing necessary cleaning and allied works in the temple environment. But all havoc break loose when someone finds that she is not a Hindu and is the mother of a revolutionary, who is supposed to have planted a bomb on a moving train, killing hundreds. The story does get interesting till the post-interval portions. But the sequence of events then follows the beaten path, till the climax which has its share of appeal.
The narration is simple, yet captivating. The director has used flashbacks to tell the story, using the discussions of an officer on investigation, Aditya Varma, as the tool to move the story ahead. The highlight of the movie is that it’s extremely realistic for most of the times and looks straight out of life. And that being the USP of this grim tale, it’s also a downer considering that the viewer of today is just not interested in watching a drama that’s too realistic.
But as a movie that appeals more too serious audiences, director Ashok has deftly handled the script. He had maintained throughout, a monotonous pace, despite the somewhat predictable plot. Anil Mukhathala, in the scripts have maintained a distinct style and crisp dialogues with reasonable food for serious thought.
‘Mizhikal Sakshi’, presents Sukumari in the role of a life time. The most experienced actress of our times who had never been exposed to such meaty roles gives in a power house performance through her subtle act, all through the sequences. She emotes through eyes on several occasions- a hallmark of an accomplished actor. It is a difficult to think of any other actress who would’ve essayed this complex role with such sincerity. Mohanlal aptly supports Sukumari with an effective cameo, for which he can be proud of. Hats off to the star for agreeing to be a part of the movie, or else the film may not have seen the light. Another actor who made it his best is Kochupreman who had been first rate as Chollu Swamy.
Ashok has also been able to bring out the best from his technical crew, be it in much picturesque and emotive cinematography by Ramachandra Babu or in editing by Beena paul. Another highlight of the movie is the musical scores by veteran Dakshinamoorthy in the lyrics of O N V Kurup. Of all the four good songs set by Swamy for the movie, ‘Chethiyum’ and ‘Thazhampoo’ are real gems, which arose nostalgia of our good old film music. Kaithapram Viswanath also ably supports the director with his skillfully done background scores.
All in all, ‘Mizhikal Sakshi’ is a memorable fare, which doesn’t disguise itself as a high class entertainer. Have a watch, to witness some of the finest performances from one of our best known actress. The movie may well be remembered, more for Sukumari’s bravura performance than for the experience in totality!
Cast: Mohanlal, Sukumari, Jagathy Sreekumar, Manoj K Jayan, Nedumudi Venu, Saikumar, Kochupreman
Direction: Ashok R. Nath
Production: V.R. Das, V. Mohanlal