After a while from his award winning ‘Saira’ and not much applauded ‘Raman’, Dr Biju is back with an impressive movie about a journey which ends up as a process of self invention. Rightly adjudged the Best Feature Film in Malayalam in the recently announced 58th National Film Awards ‘Veettilekkulla Vazhy’ is another welcome addition to the topical list of films that is making malayalees proud than ever before. A commendable statement on the irrelevance of fights on the name of religion, the movie is another take on the relation between terrorism and belief, if any.
The movie follows Prithviraj, a doctor with no name working in Delhi, who is forced to embark on a journey to to keep the word that he has given to a patient on her deathbed. The later who came up injured has asked the doctor to let her son be united with his father, who has no clues about his son. As the father of the child is a notorious terrorist, she doesn’t believe the police to do her such a favour and hence she is depending on the doctor to realize her last ambition.
The doctor now takes upon himself the gruelling task of fetching the five-year-old boy (Master Govardhan) from Kerala and to knuckle down to an engaging journey to find out one of the best known terrorist, Abdul Suban Tariq. The film very easily be eligible for a road movie, starting off at Kerala to Delhi, and then to Pushkar, Ajmer, Jaisalmer and finally to Ladakh. In Rajasthan he meets Tariq’s collaborator Rasaq, with whom he engages in a heated but intellectual debate, but soon cool off for their own routes. The film appears very simple and minimalistic in approach, but subtly speaks in tons about the need of a hate-free world.
The camera-work by M J Radhakrishnan is the highlight of the entire movie that captures the soul of the travelogue like narrative with its chill and delight. The sync sound also works well in favour, with able support from the soul-stirring background scores by Pandit Ramesh Narayan.
In this predominantly male cast lines, Prithviraj once again appear restrained as a man with extraordinary act of kindness, to come up with a superior performance. Indrajith as Razaq, proves to his name of excelling in smaller roles. Govardhan, the child actor is also worth a mention for his naturalistic acting abilities. The two female roles of the film, by Lakshmipriya as the child’s mother and Dhanya Mary Varghese as his caretaker are just cameos.
Veetilekkulla Vazhi (The Road Home) with a loud and clear message is more for the discerning audience, for the thinking viewer. All-together, a well-intentioned film that should win praises for its execution and performances