For all those film festival buffs who had been the ardent fans of the Iranian films, that narrated simple emotional stories with children, this one is indeed a treat. Debutant director Mohan Raghavan has created an unusual Mollywood movie exactly in the same league of festival winners, with his debut film 'T D Dasan, Standard VI B'.
The movie has debutant Alexander as T D Dasan, who lives with his mother Chandrika (Shwetha Menon) in a sleepy village near Chittur in Palakkad. Chandrika who is deserted by her husband Diwakaran long back, works in a local matchstick factory and is struggling to get both ends meet. One day, while searching for something in his mother's trunk box, Dasan gets an address of his dad who walked out of their house when he was a year old. Dasan immediately writes one letter to this address explaining all his woes and pains for not being with his father. The letter reaches Keystone Villa to where it was addressed and where Dasan's father Diwakaran was working as a driver.
But as of now, the house is inhabited by an ad filmmaker named Nandan (Biju Menon), who lives there with his only daughter Ammu (Teena Rose), a little prodigy and a short story writer. She gets affected by the innocence of Dasan's lines and starts writing replies to Dasan, as if they were written by his dad. The reply to Dasan comes to him as every sort of blessing, an only chance of reconnecting to his father .But very soon the myths, surrounding the village and coincidences were to take his story to a different turn.
The soft social commentary that runs all along, addressing the anti-coal war to the social forestry promotions that never take a preachy tone, is the highlight of the movie. The marvellous direction coupled with sensitive writing makes Mohan Raghavan, the most impressive debut in recent times. The director gloriously continues his experiments with narratives allowing the ad maker Nandhan to think wild around the frame of the letter addressed to a long gone father.
His attempts on finding its possible later half, for a feature film is constructed inside the narratives in a charming way, never dissuading any interests from the original story. The movie upholds the belief on human values and at the same time gives the multi layered diverse viewpoints of village and town, reality, myths and fiction, and that of children and grownups.
The movie which is definitely a brilliant outcome, is supported by everyone from its lead cast of children, who are spontaneous in their acting .Others including Biju Menon, Vatsala Menon and Shwetha menon plays their parts to true extremes.
The only song by Sreevatsan J Menon is another great piece of work, after his songs for 'Laptop'. Sreevatsan's BG scores are also a treat to hear. The camera work by Arun Varma and editing by Vinod Sukumaran also needs special mention. So is the art work by Sunil Kochanoor and costumes by Rasak Thirur.
At the same time, It is also of great regret to say that the reviewer was only able to watch the movie in his third attempt, the first two becoming unsuccessful due to the need of a minimum audience to run the show in the release centers .If this is the fate of sensible, brilliant Mollywood movies in Box Office, we are damn sure that no kind of producer agitations or financial regulatory measures are going to help the industry from a possible destruction.
The connoisseurs of good cinema, it is high time for you to stand up and parade inside theatres to help such honest sensitive ventures that are going to be the worthy mascots of our industry, everywhere.