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Odiyan Movie Review: Who Killed the Magnificent Concept ?

The film penned by a veteran journalist and national award-winning scriptwriter Harikrishnan narrates the story of Manickan, a member of the Odiyan community in the Palakkad district.

Chandrakanth Viswanath | News18.com

Updated:December 15, 2018, 10:51 AM IST
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Odiyan Movie Review: Who Killed the Magnificent Concept ?
The film penned by a veteran journalist and national award-winning scriptwriter Harikrishnan narrates the story of Manickan, a member of the Odiyan community in the Palakkad district.
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Odiyan
Director: V.A. Shrikumar Menon
Cast: Mohanlal, Prakash Raj, Manju Warrier


It was all unprecedented in the Malayalam filmdom. The pre-release hype for the film as well as the post-release 'cyber-attack against its director.

Odiyan, the film by the debutant V A Sreekumar Menon braved even a hartal by BJP to release in the maximum number of theatres, a record for Malayalam with numbering 3,500, across the globe on Friday. However, deluge of trolls against the director followed as film failed to rise to the hype, which was created in a couple of years. The director, better known as a marketing and ad man had even announced a few days ago that the film was the 'third south Indian film to get a Rs 100 crore pre-release business'. The fans who were overwhelmed by this ' achievement' could not digest the film which fell flat due to the dull script and a poor direction picked up the FB wall of the director to vent out their rage.

Remember, this reaction was the first of its kind in the four-decade-old career of actor Mohanlal with more than 340 films in five languages and a number of National and state awards for his acting, often described as the most natural among his tribe.

The film penned by a veteran journalist and national award-winning scriptwriter Harikrishnan narrates the story of Manickan, a member of the Odiyan community in the Palakkad district. The myth around now-extinct Odiyan clan is horrifying as its members who were believed to have practised sorcery had the superpowers which allowed them to transform into animals to frighten the victims. The clan, which performed their tricks on the darkest hours and especially the new moon, ceased to exist with the arrival of electricity in the villages.

The theme of a sorcerer who could transform into animals is a magnificent concept and a great catch for any filmmaker. It also has an exciting beginning from Varanasi where the hero is in an exile from his occupation and village. This thrill was the selling point of the movie. However, the curiosity ends there as the film revolves around the age-old story of a childhood love, entrapment of an innocent and revenge. The film which set in the backdrop of a hamlet Thenkurssi which is shrouded in mystery, tales of horror and superstitious folklore also stars Prakash Raj and Manju Warrier.

Apart from the banal love story, the film's take on society and its attitude towards the reformist movement, which the state proudly boats even now, is pathetic and the references connecting the dark colour and negative mindset of the antagonist reveal the racist shades of the makers.

The action in the climax brings the high energy which was missing from the beginning of the movie. However, it fails to connect with the previous lacklustre scenes which failed to weave together.
It will be a great disappointment if you are going to watch the film for its USP Odividya, the magic of transformation into an animal, as it ends up as nothing but a glorified fancy dress.

It would have been yet another average film, sans the quantum of hype added by the makers.

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