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Olapeeppi Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Monday, October 3, 2016 • Malayalam ]
Olapeeppi Review
Eros International
Biju MenonParis Laxmi
Krish Kymal
Sunil Ibrahim
Anil Johnson

A family drama set against the backdrop of political and cultural turmoil is sure to spike up one’s interest. Added to that, chronicling a tale of bittersweet bonding between a grandmother and her grandson will definitely leave a mark. ‘Olappeeppi’ is emotionally haunting and makes one think of how politics and circumstances surrounding lives shakes up the whole fabric and influences lives in a very fundamental and basic manner.

The entire movie is set against the political backdrop of the Kerala of the 60s and 70s when the Land Reform Act set an absolute ceiling on the amount of land a family could hold, destabilizing the entire feudal community. ‘Olappeeppi’ is narrated from the feudal angle. The struggle of a family who has suddenly become deprived of acres of land, but do not know how to work on the rest, the abject poverty in which the family falls on, the head of the clan who still harps on the days of yore, preferring to be blinkered with customs and traditional ways and seeking new ‘sambandhams’ than work for a living are all portrayed.

It is in this backdrop that we have the sweet tale of a grandmother (Kanchana) and one of her grandsons, Unni (Dev Prayag Hari), who she takes up the responsibility of looking after. Theirs is an intense relationship and the struggle that both are ready to endure to help each other is emphatic. The meal sequences, the food she stores up, stomach burning with hunger, the school sequences are all touching. So is Unni’s life at school and the boy who is his friend. The sharing of meals, the picnic and death are all poignant. The mother figure (Reina Maria) is also effectively portrayed as the trapped and silent figure. Along with this familial and social life is the political thread from which the plot takes form.

What enriches the movie is its layered narration. Flashback technique is employed. The elder Unni is played by Biju Menon, who has come back as an NRI with a foreign wife (Paris Laxmi) to conclude the last rites of his grandmother. The other side of the communist movement vis-à-vis the humane values is depicted in the movie. The main drawback of the movie is the extreme dramatics that can be seen in the movie. Some of the actors go way overboard, dramatizing certain sequences. Biju Menon, Kanchana, Dev, Reina and Anjali have all done well. Biju Mneon’s understated brilliance is particularly notable. Sreejith Ravi too stands out with a commendable performance.

‘Olappeeppi’ has been directed by Krish Kymal and he has done a good work. The story is refreshing and so is the way he has chosen to narrate the tale. The pace is good and the edits and cinematography sets the milieu and locations well. BGM sets the mood and never tampers with the intended effect. Barring the over the top dramatics in some areas, ‘Olappeeppi’ makes the cut and is a refreshing and thoughtful watch.

Rating: 3.50 / 5.0


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