In a film with such great and talented actors it’s the director that completely steals the show (except for Kalpana in that one scene) and, with that the audience wins. What Sathyan Anthikad has done with Ennum Eppozhum is to make an unconventional movie without calling attention to it. You can see his hand in every scene in the film and, it doesn’t falter often.
So, that’s my quick review, I liked and I think you should watch it if you haven’t already. It won’t disappoint.
Ennum Eppozhum tells the story of Vineeth N. Pillai’s (Mohanlal) hilarious attempts to get an interview with Adv. Deepa (Manju Warrier), after the latter’s unique form of protest against the city’s derelict roads makes her a minor celebrity. The plot point itself was inspired from a real life incident a few years ago.
Between raising a child on her own (she’s divorced) and her work at the court, Deepa has neither the time nor the patience for an interview. That Vineethan Pillai (as his friends don’t call him) makes a bad first impression doesn’t help. Deepa has other problems to deal with. Her ex-husband, who’s never shown on screen remains a very suffocating presence throughout the film. And, the film does a wonderful job of making us hate a guy we never see on screen.
Not having seen How Old Are You yet, this is my formal re-introduction to Manju Warrier and, she reminded my why I liked her as an actor in the first place. It’s easy to take this character and play her like a whiny cry baby like we see in our myriad soap operas. I appreciate her giving me the opportunity to use a phrase I’ve been saving up – “Quiet strength”, that’s the one.
Vineeth N. Pillai has his own problems, although those are entirely of his own making. He’s as arrogant as he’s irresponsible. His disdain for women would be funny if many men (and women) in the real world didn’t share his views. He idolizes his mother and dismisses every other woman who doesn’t fit into his narrow definition of respectable (which deserves air quotes when spoken aloud). It’s very hard to make this character likeable and, in the hands of a lesser actor, he wouldn’t be.
The film, on the other hand, clearly doesn’t agree with him. Every woman in the movie regardless of Vineeth’s opinion of them is shown to be a normal human being. They’re by no means perfect and, making them perfect would have ended up playing into another equally wrong stereotype. This is where the film becomes something truly worthwhile. The film doesn’t beat you over the head with it’s messages and themes, however important and relevant they may be, they’re simply laid bare on the screen.
The reason why Mohanlal gets such enjoyable characters under directors like Sathyan Anthikad and, Priyadarshan is that they don’t treat him like a superstar. They don’t hesitate to give him flawed, horrible, foolish characters who are allowed to be wrong every now and then. And, you know what, he’s good enough take those characters and make them fun to watch. Just imagine if Sagar Kottapuram had been a perfect, flawless human being who never makes mistakes. Imagine how boring that would’ve been.
We’ve all seen movies from every film industry, where the director might as well have built a temple to the actor and offered prayers every day, but I digress.
Ennum Eppozhum is a fun movie, it’s a funny movie. It’s also a thoughtful movie that only occasionally slips into melodrama. But then, what’s wrong with a little melodrama? Ennum Eppozhum also makes good use of it’s supporting cast, from Innocent’s Kariachan and Jacob Gregory’s Maathan to the scene stealing sleazy ward member Bindhu played brilliantly by Kalpana. When everything in the film works well, the credit goes to the director.
Although it’s a little sad that even a director like Sathyan Anthikad has to spend two or three minutes in his film to literally advertise Lulu Mall and Kalyan Silks. Ah, well, you can’t have everything.
Hey, Renji Panicker is in this movie! (I think I’ll do this for every film he’s in).