Oru Mexican Aparatha (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen


‘Oru Mexican Aparatha’ swerves between brisk and blue with its inconsistency in tenor. Which is why when Paul finally stands tall having thrust that red flag in place, the emotions evoked are mixed – that of exhilaration but much more, of relief.


mexican Aparatha VeeyenWe have been through some real overwhelming films in Malayalam that have so dexterously captured the exalting spirit of the Communist ideology, and there have also been awe-inspiring movies on campus life that have since remained re-watch weekend treats to us. You cannot really blame me then for craving to grab a DVD of  ‘Sarvakalashala’ and ‘Lal Salaam’ yet again, while  watching Tom Immatti’s political campus flick ‘Oru Mexican Aparatha’.

Paul (Tovino Thomas) finds himself entangled in the political scenario on the Maharaja College campus, along with his bestie Subhash (Neeraj Madhav). With Roopesh (Roopesh Peethambaran) and his KSQ Union dictatorially ruling over the campus, it isn’t an undemanding task for Paul and Subhash to hoist the red SFY flag on the campus.

The live buzz that makes campus life all too full of beans is what makes ‘Oru Mexican Aparatha’ a standard fare, and when it attempts to make too solemn statements (very rare though the occasions are), they look totally out of place. There are definitely, the sporadic references to Mexico and Che, and the revolution that raged on south of America, and a brief mention of Kochaniyan, a Communist leader closer home. But those inflated comparisons between Paul and Che, should perhaps be kept at bay.

 What surprises most are perhaps the retorts that there is too much of an elevating discourse on one particular political ideology in the film, and even after trying as hard as I could, I could find no such thing. But if you are talking of some peripheral glorification or some veneration that barely rises above the fundamental level, there is plenty of that kind of stuff that should be matter enough to drive an accommodating audience to rapture. Nothing more, nothing less.

There are confusions galore when it comes to the timeline of the film, and there are instances when you feel that this should probably be happening a good twenty years back, and then suddenly someone surprises you with a usage that is way too contemporary. Perhaps this isn’t a film that is too concerned about time as such, and is quite content with the context remaining vague.

‘Oru Mexican Aparatha’ should probably be seen as a little film on campus life and politics and certainly not as a film that intends to disseminate the Communist ideology, since it hardly ever strives to delve deeper into the multiple dimensions of the Communist psyche – the reactionist dimension, the empathetic dimension, the creative dimension or the humanist dimension – like some of its acclaimed predecessors have done. On the contrary it focuses on the squabbles and bickering of two student parties in a rather single faceted way, which makes it a tonally discordant film.

There is an appalling lack of female characters in the film, and the one that makes Paul’s heart skip a beat or two – Anu – promptly disappears, even as Paul affirms that he has replaced his favourite colour violet with red. Politics is an all male affair here, with women either dancing away on Youth festival stages or holding umbrellas and gawking uneasily as a massive fight rages on in the rain.

The best thing about ‘Oru Mexican Aparatha’ are the performances, and Tovino Thomas, Roopesh Peethambaran and Neeraj Madhav  lend it their very best, and the supporting cast is equally impressive. Prakash Velayudhan’s cinematography is fitting to the core, while Manikandan Ayyappan nimbly crafts a peppy musical score.

‘Oru Mexican Aparatha’ swerves between brisk and blue with its inconsistency in tenor. Which is why when Paul finally stands tall having thrust that red flag in place, the emotions evoked are mixed – that of exhilaration but much more, of relief.


Verdict: Average

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