Thinkalazhcha Nischayam (2021) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen

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I am yet to see a film maker in recent times who has crafted a tale, a universe and its characters with as much finesse as Hegde, and his tact and sensitivity renders ‘Thinkalazhcha Nischayam’ an exquisitely premeditated movie. It’s a whole lot of fun as well, brimming with the film maker’s flourishes that are worked out with extraordinary deftness and tact, and the result is a stunning cultural construct for all to see.

The ornate Kanhangadian setting that Senna Hegde designs for his film ‘Thinkalazhcha Nischayam’ is deceptively simple, and harbours within, layers of cultural details and deepfelt emotions. It is probably one of the finest films that you will get to watch this year, and is the kind that makes you want to whimsically lose yourself in.

Hegde wins you over in no time, with his magical manner of storytelling, and sets up his cinematic camp at a middleclass household in the northernmost district of Kerala, where the world revolves around Vijayan (Manoj KU), a middle-aged man who has finally settled down back home, after an extended job stint at Kuwait.

Distraught by his elder daughter Surabhi’s (Unnimaya Nalppadam) decision to wed a bus conductor much against his will and wish, Vijayan has all his hopes pinned on his younger daughter Suja (Anagha Narayanan), for whom he has unearthed an admirable alliance with Lakshmikanthan TK (Anuroop), a young man who works in Sharjah. Things move much faster than he had imagined, and it’s decided to get the couple engaged in a couple of days – on Monday to be precise – and Vijayan along with his best friend Auckarcha (Narayanan) get busy with the arrangements!

The quirky characterisation is what makes ‘Thinkalazhcha Nischayam’ so delightfully engaging, and Hegde’s miniature world teems with humans that are at once accessible and relatable. Vijayan, for one, is a patriarch who has no intention to budge from his self-set throne any time soon, and stuns you with his almost startling mood swings, that border on the bi-polar.

In a spectacularly designed dinner table scene, Hegde establishes once and for all, the man who decides it all, both for himself and for the ones around him. Peeved at the absence of his favourite bitter gourd curry on the dinner table, Vijayan commences a dinner table poll, with an intent to rule out his wife’s opinion that the curry has few takers. Not quite pleased with the results, he pushes his elbow down on the table, pushing out the piece that has been wedged under to keep the wobbly table leg up in place, and causing the table corner to topple with a thud. In a moment, he blows up in rage, and finishes the rest of his dinner in hurry and angst, even as the rest of the members edgily gobble down their food in silence.

Vijayan’s wife Lalitha (Ajisha Prabhakaran), has by now resigned herself to a life, wherein she has comfortably assigned herself a place that’s somewhere near the base of her husband’s seat, and is quick to adapt herself to his fast-altering temperaments. She has no qualms though, in giving it right back to the men who threaten to affront her family’s dignity, as is seen in her fiery interactions with the money lender Baby (Anish Kuttikol).

While Surabhi is disappointed that her father is yet to accept her husband into the family, her spouse Santhosh (Sunil Surya) seems to have taken it in his stride. With a broad, welcoming smile plastered for most of the time on his face, Santhosh goes out of his way to impress his father-in-law, who seems totally oblivious of his presence. Not one to give up though, Santhosh volunteers a hand in any action that crosses the corner of his eye, hoping to earn himself a place in the upcoming family portrait.

‘Thinkalazhcha Nischayam’ takes a definitive turn when it is revealed that Suja has other plans in her mind, pretty much like her elder sister. And its here that two of her lovestruck hangers-on enter the picture, bringing in along with them some utterly side-splitting moments. Girish (Ranji Kankol) had almost persuaded his distraught mind to give up on its aspirations to win over Suja’s heart, but is deluded into reframing his love story. The consequences are hilarious, and along with his subordinate Machiniyan (Sarathlal S Madivayal), who is found outsourcing his tent construction job to a couple of migrant workers, the duo keeps you beaming right through their scenes.

And that final scene that involves Lekshmikanthan, that has him venting out his frustrations via a Facebook Live session, is a side-splitter. You immediately rewind back to the first scene where you get to see him making polite, awkward conversation with Suja, and with the alliance almost set, squeezing himself out of the car window to wave at a group of people whom he believes will soon be family. He does maintain an eerie online presence in the film thereafter, and is only fleetingly visible through his excited activities on a social networking site, until of course he makes that gala appearance at the end. And yet, Kanthan appears so masterfully outlined that you feel like you know the man like the back of your palm. This is precisely what makes the writing unbelievably sharp and efficient, and in a film that runs for 109 minutes, not one of the several characters, seems out of time or place.

Take for instance, Mary (Suchitra Devi), Lalitha’s neighbour-friend who splashes a pot of Pulissery all over a way-too-curious Girish, Sujith’s friend Hari (Ananthakrishnan), who’s often found perched atop a wall or a tree, and who reminds you of a pixie that has gone bonkers, Srinath (Sajin Cherukayil) who still hasn’t gotten over Surabhi’s rejection and who wouldn’t miss an opportunity to smugly display his superiority over Santhosh, Baby’s assistant (Jimmy Danny) who is more of a voice than a figure and who keeps asking if the money has been returned, or the drunkard Ambuvettan who remains fiercely loyal to Vijayan – they all methodically gel into the madcap proceedings around with prolific ease.

‘Thinkalazhcha Nischayam’ also has a gentle ‘hero’ who appears on a motor bike, and who on realizing that his girl is getting engaged, agrees to chop some wood for the kitchen without a word. The coy young man Ratheesh (Arjun Ashokan), is whom Suja wants to spend the rest of her life with, and who eventually agrees to run away with her, upon some coaxing. The boy admits to being scared out of his senses, and his apparent dread qualifies him for hero material of a new kind. The anxiety, vulnerability and apprehension that the young couple has in mind, is easily discernible on his unsure, yet appealing face, so much so, that these require no further prodding on the plot.

Sujith (Arpit PR), might be the youngest one in the family, but still has his share of love and money travails to deal with. On the other end of his phone call, is Manisha (Lachu), his lovelorn girl friend who cannot accept his sudden absence. Added to it the fact that his dad doesn’t think too high of his nude portraits, Sujith seems on the lookout for some liberation, and it could only be a coincidence that as he waves out to Lakshmikantan’s torso that has made an effort to wring itself out through the car window, the lines ‘Live Young, Live Free’ scribbled on the rear window, stare back at him.

The plot machinations work perfect, and Hegde’s triumph lies in making it all appear trivial, and yet making it lush with detail. I could go on and on about the stellar performances that all the actors have come up with, (there is not one to be left out) and should specifically mention Manoj and Anagha, for their smashing performances that have none of the naïveté of a debut feat anywhere near them. Sreeraj Raveendran’s admirable cinematography is almost of the participatory kind, and Mujeeb Majeed’s charming musical score adds on to the Kanhangadian flavours.

I am yet to see a film maker in recent times who has crafted a tale, a universe and its characters with as much finesse as Hegde, and his tact and sensitivity renders ‘Thinkalazhcha Nischayam’ an exquisitely premeditated movie. It’s a whole lot of fun as well, brimming with the film maker’s flourishes that are worked out with extraordinary deftness and tact, and the result is a stunning cultural construct for all to see.

Verdict: Very Good

6 Replies to “Thinkalazhcha Nischayam (2021) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen”

  1. Just wanted to say , I’ve been following your writing since I first read the review of Bhagyadevatha over at Nowrunning. I have always been a big fan of your writing. Happy to discover your blog. Hope you will keep reviewing.

    I still remember watching Amen and waiting for your review to see if i understood the movie at all. Good times

  2. Welcome Back Veeyen. I always keep a lookout for your reviews and I feared you may have stopped writing. Please dont!! And thanks for the heads-up, I will be checking out thinkalazhcha nischayam.

  3. Very well reviewed. The movie is fantastic and completely agree with your sentiments and analysis of the film! It was a great watch

    Been reading all your reviews before watching a movie. Continue the great job 🙂 well done!

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