Ayyappanum Koshiyum (2020) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


The dramatic pressure is way too grim, and the film grinds on persistently, finally ending up a riveting piece. ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’ remains without doubt a commendable endeavour, whichever way you look at it, but it just falls short of entering my top favourite list, because it does take a bit too long to get where it wants to be.


Sachy’s ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’ talks of a petty squabble between its lead characters – Ayyappan Nair (Biju Menon) and Koshy Kurian (Prithviraj) that snowballs into a man-eat-man conflict, where the two have a go at each other like wild boars in fight, locking horns and snorting threats and steadily advancing towards a point of no return.

A routine vehicle check by the police in the midst of the night lands Koshy in trouble, as he is caught in an inebriated state with a few bottles of liquor up his sleeve in a locality that takes it liquor ban policy way too seriously. Koshy commits the grave mistake of bashing up an officer on duty, that brings the Sub Inspector to the action front. SI Ayyappan Nair is quick to teach the drunken man a lesson or two, but little does he realize that he has made an enemy for life.

Sachi’s script delves deep into the dynamics of the male ego, but does not, confine itself to it. It crosses over the boundaries and shines the light on the caste, creed and even gender politics and in doing so, he brings in Koshy’s dad Kurian (Renjith) into the picture as well. A self proclaimed patriarch who wouldn’t hear a ‘No’ for an answer, the man insists that the police man be made to pay for his deeds. Snatching the bows from what seems like a rusty, yet sturdy armour, the man jumps right onto the battle field, unsure of his son’s combating skills.

The character building is top-notch, and its admirable the way Sachy has not let the women disappear behind the curtains in an all too male scenario.  Ruby (Anna Rajan) finds it scary to let her breath be heard in a house where the men roar and rule. And yet she speaks when she realizes that everything that she holds dear, including her family is at stake and is in no time slapped to silence yet again.

Far away from her palatial mansion, in a tiny house that is propped up a hillock, Kannamma (Gowri Nanda) doesn’t hesitate before walking down and meeting Koshy straight on the face. She furiously spats at him, the glare in her eyes leaving him aghast, and in a war that he hopes to easily win, Koshy comes across a warrior that he wouldn’t prefer to meet again.

All said and done, it is impossible not to draw comparisons between this film and the director’s recent script for ‘Driving Licence’ that has been much appreciated as well. Granted that tonally they are different, but ultimately it cannot be denied that both are thematically much similar. This could perhaps be ignored in the larger scheme of things, but the running time of the film that clocks close to three hours is a bummer. The tit for a tat tale goes on and on, and progressively gets dramatic with a whole lot of bulldozing and even some fireworks thrown into the fray.

This is a film that has exceptionally impressive performances from both Biju Menon and Prithviraj, and there are also moments when actors as Renjith, Anil Nedumangad and Anu Mohan prove theiwr worth beyond speculation. The women are equally impressive and both Gowri Nandha and Anna Rajan have been perfectly cast.

The dramatic pressure is way too grim, and the film grinds on persistently, finally ending up a riveting piece. ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’ remains without doubt a commendable endeavour, whichever way you look at it, but it just falls short of entering my top favourite list, because it does take a bit too long to get where it wants to be.


Verdict: Laudable Endeavour


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