Director Sasi Paravoor has won the year's best story award for his movie 'Kadaksham' (subtitled in the movie as 'tearful eyes') that is in theaters now. When one gets into the cinema hall to view a movie which had the best story of the year, expectations were naturally quite high. But sadly, those were never met in the movie, which had a tad slow, conventional style of making and leisurely narratives.
More over, the movie fails to communicate what it originally intended to, giving an air of a half-baked attempt.
The movie's premise definitely had that potential to translate into something that could be called different. Shwetha Vijay (Femina Miss India Earth 2003) debuts playing the role of Janaki, a domestic worker in the house of painter Nathan (Suresh Gopi and Revathy (Shwetha Menon). Though the couple leads a troubled life in the bedroom, they behave as if everything is ok in front of others. Revathy who murmurs the name of her former lover in sleep, to start a big rift between her and Nathan, is pleadingly distancing herself from her husband, continuing with her research works in a distant city.
Meanwhile, Janaki too is a victim of a distasteful married life, as her husband, a drama actor is a drunkard, whose ill manners has forced Janaki to send her only daughter to Bangalore to take care of a kid there. She is always in the constant thought about the future of her daughter who is away in a big city. Nathan gradually starts showing an interest in Janaki which helps him to tide over his creative block. A big twist in the tale is on offer here, which is the high-point of the movie that can make you shockingly travel all the way back in realization of the actual.
The biggest problem with the movie is that the twist though a big relief from the regular proceedings, appears less convincing, as the foretold story finds it difficult to entertain such a big change of events. Moreover, convincing reasons are never laid out about the Nathan's change in attitude towards his wife. The real impact of child abuse on their parents and society's blind eyes towards problems arising from male gaze, gender inequality and child abuse are never addressed.
Suresh Gopi as Nathan tries hard to be with the character but appears jaded. The year's state award winner Shwetha Menon utilizes the best of the intense scenes of the movies, to prove her mettle once again and is charming in a complex roles of a mother struggling between her husband and daughter. Shwetha Vijay's role of Janaki is the most complex one which is indeed harsher for a debutante to play perfect. She delivers an above average performance though a few scenes appear overboard.
The struggle in glamorizing the star model, to suit the mannerisms of a domestic worker is also shows in some frames. But certainly this is promising debut of a star material to lookout in the near future. Jagathy Sreekumar, Vijayaraghavan and Indrans have some role to play in the proceedings.
The technical sides of the movie are good with some fine visuals from Ramachandra Babu. M Jayachandran's songs are fine but the techno remix' of 'Praana Nathan' don't match the quality of his previous remakes in Sasi Paravoor movies. The song though choreographed well also appeared to be forced in the narratives.
All in all 'Kadaksham' attempts to take a different path exploring the issues around male gaze and feminine identity. But had the approach been a little more modern, with a more solid cinematic script-lines, the movie could have been better.