It had been one of the most expected movies of the year, as it was planned as the relaunch of Manju Warrier after a long gap of 14 years. 'How Old Are You' by Rosshan Andrews succeeds hands down not only for providing this mother of all comebacks with one of her best roles in her career, but also for becoming an inspirational, simple and beautifully told tale about how a woman, who has buried her active real self to her familial duties regain her vigour and emerge as one in her own path to glory. A powerful film with a nearly perfect script and direction, the movie is armed with exceptional performances from all in the cast and technical sides.
The movie has Manju Warrier as Nirupama Rajeev, an old fire brand during her college days who currently hides herself as a UD clerk in a government department . With nothing exceptional to do than to be in her household chores she strives hard to become a good mother and wife to her school going girl child and her husband Rajeev, an announcer with AIR. The movie opens with an interview of an Irish firm which Nirupama fails because she has just turned over age at 36.
Her regular boring routine coupled with the dejection that she faces from her husband and child, wounds her identity but she stay with them for the well being of her family. One day Nirupama gets an invitation from the president of India for a breakfast meeting as her daughter impresses him during an interaction. Nirupama gets maximum media coverage and starts to enjoy it but faints in front of the president, which calls for a lot of humiliation and jokes from all around and in social networking sites.
One day she finds that her husband and daughter are migrating to Ireland, leaving her alone as they needs to escape for a better future and even from her and the disgrace that she brings around.As a shattered Nirupama stands disgusted, comes in Susan David (Kaniha), her old classmate who urges her to get back to what she has been to in her heydays. How and whether she manages to belittle the societal urges of her age forms the rest of the movie which pompously declare that it is never too late to start or to restart.
The careful observations of Kerala society sprinkled all along helps the scripter's Bobby-Sanjai to place Nirupama in every day situations that every lady of her age in Kerala goes through. From the addiction to TV soaps to the furtive looks of the autorickshaw driver on seeing her coloured hair, they connects wisely with the viewers. Adding to that the sheer awkwardness at her husband being mistaken for her younger brother, and the inability to rose to the family's expectations are some other private concerns of our protagonist. The highlight of the movie is that it seldom becomes preachy but effectively carry forward the message of starting to have a dream at any stage to better ourselves. The transition of the protagonist here is gradual , suggestive and realistic. The movie share plenty of comparisons with the other hit movie of the year 'English Winglish' that also talked about the age related issues. Though there are some slight cliche' at some places they also sink well with the film.
Manju Warrier appear more mature and has got a homely charm and magnetism in this role too, which will definitely makes you realise we have missed in these decade. As she and her onscreen characters set their priorities right, we are rightly gifted one film that works due to the exceptional rendition of Manju. We are sure even her wardrobe and style of sarees are quick to get into the fashion trends, like this movie too. Kunchako Boban'also establishes that when pitched with more gifted artistes, he has a knack to bring out his best, which helps him to make his solid presence as the selfish, chaunist husband Rajeev.Their poor onscreen chemistry also works for the types of characters and relation they are in the film. Amritha Anil as the couple's daughter, Kala ranjini , Kunchan and Sethu lekshmy are all in their fine depiction of the characters they are on.
The direction from talented Roshan Andrews is perfect as he is able to bring out the best from all his actors and to evoke the needed emotions in the viewers in measured quantities .This is one of his finest too, as he uses the best of technical sides, be it in cinematography by R Diwakaran or editing by Mahesh Narayanan. The BG scores by Gopi Sundnar are also brilliant.
So, we here take pride in prescribing this 'How Old are you? as a must see for all who like quality cinema. Have a go and get inspired.