Jayaraj’s ‘Ottal’ is already in the limelight winning multiple awards at National level. It also happens to be the Best Film at the Kerala State Awards in the year 2014. Now the film has reached theatres and about the movie it won’t make you disappointed but rather it will make you root for the character of Kuttapayi and Vallyappachaayi, the two central characters around which the story of Ottal move along.
Adapted from Anton Chekhov’s acclaimed short story ‘Vanka’, this film through a simple narrative will definitely touch you. Jayaraj has added some finely crafted moments without any gimmicks, exaggeration and melodrama that form the very basic ingredients to create the required feel making us instantly connect with the plot.
Vallyappachaayi, also called ‘Thaaravu Mappila’ and Kuttapayi are the two pivotal characters here and Ottal show us the deep bond, love, friendship and the relationship that the old man share with the boy. As a flashback story, the film show the hardships and cruelty that the boy suffer later on but not on a detailed level and is conveying a strong message against child labor.
Be it extracting excellent performances from the actors, telling the tale through utmost simplicity and directing it to a level that should make a film look remarkable, Jayaraj has succeeded in giving each and every aspect of direction deliver the goods.
After the final moments and one comes out of the cinema halls satisfied, there are finer moments as a takeaway for the audience which will stay with us for sometime. Credit for that goes to the writer and the director for the execution of the screenplay in the best possible manner.
There are only a very few actors in the film as the central theme is knitted around two characters. Kumarakom Madhavan and Master Akshanth are rank new comers but never show that they are facing camera for the first time except very few scenes where they couldn’t deliver the expected feel.
Shine Tom Chacko as the ‘Mesthiri’ has very little role to play but was able to make sure he did his part in a positive way. Few other supporting actors are also part of the film and they didn’t create much of an impact.
The visuals of Kuttanad have been brilliantly shot from the camera angle of M J Radhakrishnan. His frames looked too beautiful. Music is composed by Kavalam Narayana Panicker and background score done by Sreevalsan J Menon. Both of them did their part as per the demands of this film.
So here is a film that you shouldn’t miss. Ottal is successful in conveying the message it wanted to. Served to the audience in a raw and different format without any commercial flavours, the film has the stuff in it to make the audience appreciate the effort behind it. I will go with three and a half out of five for this work from Jayaraj.
Rating – 3.5 / 5
Ottal Malayalam Movie Review
Reviewed by Chandra mohan gopinathon Nov 08 2015