It’s a rarity these days in Malayalam cinema to find movies with a homely feel. Those films that were too simple and direct in their storytelling approach with the essence and flavour of traditional Malayali life have almost vanished from the scene. But Krish Kymal’s Olapeeppi has a different tale to tell unlike the kind of cinema we see nowadays.
The movie is a trip down our memory lane, in fact a nostalgic ride to the seventies and deliver it with utmost simplicity. The title itself has that homeliness to it, with something that was a valuable playing thing in those days for children which the present generation kids would have no clue about.
Coming to the storyline, the movie focuses on a rich Tharavaadu that suffer due to the land reforms of the seventies. Unni returns from the United States to his ancestral home after spending a long thirty years of his life abroad to the resting place of his grandmother. He recollects his childhood days that he spent with his Muthassi and goes back to us a satisfied man after realising something new in his life.
The film is very straightforward with its approach without any gimmicks and tells what it wanted in a neat fashion. There are some moments that brings about a feel of sympathy towards the grandmother and her grandson seeing the plight of them now. Many poor people have benefited from the land reforms but some wealthy homes were also at the receiving end. The thing is the ones suffering now are in no way part of or neither responsible for the zamindari and feudal system followed by their forefathers.
Poverty and helplessness are the two obstacles standing tall in front of the kid and her grandmother and the sufferings of the two make our eyes wet and touch our heart. Krish Kymal, the director is successful in conveying the beautiful bonding that the two share through many finer moments. Making side is quite simple and orthodox. It has its share of faults and uneasiness at times but that cannot take any credits from the other positive things Olapeeppi offer.
Biju Menon is casted as Unni in a character that we haven’t seen him in the recent past. Not a challenging role for the actor but nevertheless he did what he was supposed to in a sincere manner. Eighty-year-old Punnasery Kanchana is the one who plays the role of Muthassi with such finesse with a lot of innocence and simplicity to it. She was a yesteryear actress of the sixties if I am not wrong. She is making a comeback and through this performance, she has proven that age is not a factor for making a comeback in acting.
The little boy who enacted the role of Unni’s childhood days was also notable along with Paris Laxmi and Anjali Upasana. Sreejith Ravi in a role that doesn’t have any kindness plays it perfect as a heartless man. Few more unfamiliar actors are part of the supporting side who were okay.
Cinematography handled by the director himself is a major highlight capturing the beauty of Kerala village life with elegance. Background score was done as per the moods and tone of the film. There is one song in the movie and it was okay.
Olapeeppi trying to stress the importance of relationships, bonding, and love is a movie with a heart and deserves a watch. When very little of the traditional Kerala life remains in reel and real life, it is heartwarming to see there are still attempts going on like this which can bring back old memories for the good. My only prayers are that Olapeeppi doesn’t end up as another Torrent hit since we need these films also to make a strong presence in theatres.So the recommendation is to go and watch on big screen itself to give the film a befitting response that it deserves.
Rating – 3.5 / 5