Aalorukkam (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


‘Aalorukkam’ tackles the complexity of the issue that it confronts with élan, and does not flounder around in dramatics as is usually the case. And for once, the promise is kept; perhaps it’s the first of its kind, at least thematically, in cinema in this corner of the world.


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Towering above a script that in itself is a scalding indictment on what a society endorses as the norm, Indrans in ‘Aalorukkam’ explicitly demonstrates why the greatest acting honour of the past year had come his way. A sweltering and justifiably lauded performance from the actor is what makes the film the notable work that it has emerged into.

Pappu Pisharody (Indrans), an erstwhile Thullal artiste, lies unconscious on a pavement in the city, his glasses shattered. He ends up at a hospital where the doctor Seetha and her journalist friend Priyan develop a special liking for the old man. He implores them to help him out on the task that he had set out to the city for; to find his long lost son.

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Pisharody’s son Sajeevan had disappeared from home sixteen years back, and the septuagenarian hopes that the boy, now presumably a man aged thirty six years, should be somewhere in this big city. There is nothing much that he could start working on, barring an old black and white photograph of a beaming boy and a bunch of memories that lie scattered around.

There is a stark disparity between the former and the latter halves of the film that the film maker V C Abhilash has so efficiently built on. We initially get to see Pisharody as a jovial man who likes to be around people; he instructs the young man steering his wheel chair to head towards a group of men who sit chattering, and once there, effortlessly joins the conversation.

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There are also plenty of instances when the nimble spirit in the man who is well past his prime surfaces, through the repartees that he throws back with flair. He lies awake at night, with the rain raging on, and in a spectacular burst of energy, sees himself in a reverie, donning the Thullal costume again and frantically moving along the veranda, his darting eyes squinting to see through the haze of the drizzle, to see if his son has finally arrived.

The latter half however has Pisharody in stark silence, and it’s only towards the very end of the film that he finally utters a word or two. The discovery that lies in wait, is one that blows him apart and the sprightliness in his eyes gives way to a frozen numbness that has both bleakness and angst writ large over it.

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‘Aalorukkam’ is not the kind of film that has a cinematic glimmer over it; its limitations are all too obvious, but it does keep them neatly concealed, with no blatant flaws in sight. It remains though that it holds ample scope for improvement, both with regard to the dialogues that at times sound stilted, as well as the essential technicalities.

Apart from Indrans, who pretty much carries the entire film on his frail back, there are plenty of fresh faces around – Sreekanth Menon, Vishnu Agasthya, Seetha Bala, Shaji John, Sreeshma, Deepak Jayaprakash, Sajit Nambiar and Sajitha Sandeep – and a few known faces as well – Aliyar and Narayanankutty – none of whom have delivered a performance that is even slightly off key. Brian Fernandez comes up with a befitting musical score, while Samlal P Thomas’ factual frames are gimmick free.

‘Aalorukkam’ tackles the complexity of the issue that it confronts with élan, and does not flounder around in dramatics as is usually the case. And for once, the promise is kept; perhaps it’s the first of its kind, at least thematically, in cinema in this corner of the world.


Verdict: Laudable Attempt  


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