After a number of films from newcomers, who decided to somehow stick on to the formula stuff, here comes one debutanate who thankfully thought to surprise, shock and charm you with a narrative style that you haven't witnessed earlier on the Malayalam screen. Yes, 'Konthayum Poonulum' coming from Jijo Antony is one such film which gets it right in the effort to break the mould, to go beyond the stereotype and to push the envelope.
The movie works on the uncanny fascination for the supernatural, much narrated stories or incidents concerning paranormal occurrences. Though lacking scientific explanation, the movie narrates multitude of unrelated tales that defy logic, but lure the audience for its share of spine-chilling moments. With many moments that give you goose bumps, Jiju and the writers attempt to make the viewer break into a cold sweat.
In the number of unrelated tales which even makes it difficult to chalk into a narratable story , Kunchakko boban is Krishnan working in a bakery at Palakkad, away from his fully pregnant wife left unaided at Kovalam. As he learns that she is now left alone , Krishnan decides to take a leave for some days to see his wife and sets off on a journey. At the same time in another city Sethu, a harsh money lender who mends stories about the ghost of a man named Johny who follow him everywhere, suddenly witnesses an disaster where the daughter and granddaughter of Freddy (Janardhanan) mets with a road accident. Sethu transports the wounded to the hospital. But within a day he finds the real Johny following him everywhere. In the same time, Mathew(kalabhavan mani) a police officer who doesn't believes in the myth of Yakshy scolds his wife for wasting time praying in the mangroves. As a few girls in the women's hostel is eager to try the 'Ouija Board, a photographer(Joy Thomas) specialised in taking pictures using his old SLR camera is confused as his pictures finds double exposure while taking photos of the deceased. The movie in unfamiliar manners weaves a thread amidst these incidents which definitely engages the connoisseurs of experimental cinema.
Jiju works around frenzied, furiously fast-cutting frames or fine visual effects. Silence and stillness at intervals also creates a stronger impact and talks about the passion and knowledge of the film makers. The movie which oscillates between the beliefs and reality about the concept of ghosts, while the concluding moments offers great originality.
Mejjo Josseph's background score helps resurrect several ordinary sequences and the sound design does startle you.. Cinematography by Pappinu is inspiring with the unsteady and rickety camerawork providing the movie with a sense of realism, while plenty of high angle jib shots also delivering the pompousness to its making. The editing is also lazer sharp for the type of genre.
In the case of histrionics, Kunchakko handles his part with ease, while Shine Tom Chacko and Manoj K Jayan catches your attention with a fine act. In fact, every actor including Bhama, Indrans, and Joy Thomas enacts his/her part with fervour.. I'd like to single out the sequence where in Johny comes after Sethu, besides a few sequences that do not make you believe in paranormal activities, but the film stagnates towards the latter part with lengthy sequences, with its characteristic narrative design.
On the whole, 'Konthayum Poonulum ' is a daring attempt, a innovative endeavour as far as Mollywood is concerned. Except for the title which may've diverted your attention from the genre, the movie does it in its entirety. It doesn't have any saleble commercial ingredients, though! 'Konthayum poonnulum 'definitely reinvents the genre with its non-formulaic screenplay and skilled direction. Absolutely recommended, only for the supporters of experimental genres. The fans of formulaic flicks , please don't take a chance.