Lal Jose is known for his soft narratives technique, always based on characters in isolated villages. He weaves movies around picturesque locations, enmeshed with soft humour, melodrama and fun. All these feel good factors are once again in the rule in his latest 'Elsamma Enna Annakutty' which may satisfy family audiences for this festival season.
The movie tells the story of Elsamma, the most popular young girl of the ninth ward of a sleepy, high range village, centered around Balanpillai city. Forced to take up the job of newspaper boy of the village following the death of his father Pookkula Varkey, she also works as a local reporter of the most popular daily. She is like a foster daughter to Kunnel Pappan (Nedumudi Venu), who is deserted by his only son residing in the city. Elsamma has three younger sisters studying for various courses, but she is more like a strict father to them always leading them away from troubles. Soon dubbed more as a 'boy'', in the way she approach things, all the other characters of the village like ward member Remanan, hooch dealer Karipalli Soman, the hotel owner Balanpillai, and many others are wound around the episodes of Elsamma's spirit and hard work.
Elsamma's best friend in the village is Palunni, (Kunchakko Boban) the local milkman. Though he loves Elsamma, he doesn't have the courage to tell her about his emotions. The movie takes a turn as the grandson of Pappen, Eby (Indrajith) and his sister arrives into the village to stay with Pappan, after the untimely death of their mother. The arrival of three mischievous friends of Aby from the city with some dangerous intentions, also pose new threats to Elsamma and her family.
The simple movie instantly strikes a chord with the audience from the very humble unpretentious start establishing the village characters .It have some interesting sequences with remarkable simplicity , surprisingly funny dialogues in witty structuring of affairs and good performances. But the problem is that after easily landing into a base track, it hardly takes strides to move on. The film stagnates in the middle part without any intriguing big twists, making the entire proceedings thereafter, pretty predictable.
Ann Augustine makes a decent debuts playing Elsamma. The characterization certainly demanded someone in the league of a Manju Warrier, which Ann couldn't reach up to and hence certain sequences are not wholly believable. But as a debutante she plays safe, not becoming a problem in the proceedings. Kunchakko Boban has the best role in his comeback playing Palunni, who is a sincere uneducated villager. He seems to have improved many folds in his comic timings and manoeuvres. But Indrajith steals the show with his immaculate timing as a ill-mannered city guy who is also a road side romeo of all sorts. He looks much younger with his new looks. Jagathy Sreekumar once again scores big time as Remanan, making it another unforgettable role in is career. Suraj as a marriage broker appears in every adjacent sequences to add to the fun. All the others in the cast are very apt to the characters.
The scripts by Sindhuraj is better than his last outing with Lal Jose in 'Mulla'. He had interspersed a lot of social commentary including concerns for environment, though some of the melodramatic sequences are overdone .Attempts to stick to vintage Lal Jose style are more than evident in scripting as well as in shot patterns. In the technical side, Vijay Ulaganagath must be applauded for his awesome visuals of the high ranges and its eye-catching greenery.
The low point of the movie is certainly the music side with none of the songs reaching up to the level of usual Lal Jose euphonies. Rajamani is sure to have missed a big chance to make a comeback to the list of front line music directors. His second song for the movie, 'Thozhi', is indeed the only big drag in the former half.
The movie puts forward the fundamental message of love and family, in a brilliantly elevating good natured settings. All in all, 'Elsamma Enna Aankutty' will be surely applauded by all Lal Jose regulars of Mollywood. A kind of film that should work instantly with the ladies. Recommended.