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Ottamandaram Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Monday, November 17, 2014 • മലയാളം ]
Ottamandaram Review
BhamaSajitha Madathil,
Vinod Mankara
Pappilonya Vision


'Ottamandaram' from director Vinod Mankara is one women-centric  film that but fails to make use of a plot that could have worked wonders. A tale that had all possibilities to emerge as a heart rending story, ‘Ottamandaram’ but opts for the alternate path  and fails to create an impact. The original tale which the movie is based on is taken from a real story and  narrates the travels of  little girl from Andhra Pradesh who becomes a mother and a widow at a tender age. Here the script writer Ajay Muthana has shifted the space to a border village in Kerala , Chenchayam at Palakkad, where a 14 year old lively girl named Kala(bhama) is the centre of activity. Good at studies, she is living with her grandparents, elder sister Neela(sajitha Madathil) and a loving brother-in-law Bharathan(Nandhu), who considers her just like their  own daughter. Neela and Bharathan who wish to have a child of their own is visiting every hospitals for the same.  As Neela is found to be infertile, her husband takes a transformation into a drunkard and decides to marry someone else. Due to the situations of the family where there is no other  earning member, Neela forces the little girl to become Bharathan’s  second wife. What follows form the rest of the movie.

The movie is told in a flash back mode where Kala is seen all curious about her child who is crying outside the hall , where she is writing her S S L C exam. As the examiner Venu finds it curious and asks Kala  about her life, the story unfurls. The first half of the movie, which is told in a conventional way , is engaging but the later half lacks the needed energy and takes the tones of a art house movie. ‘Ottamandharam’ which has many lengthy sequences in the second half, appear artificial in emotionally charged scenes, and  also give us a feel  to take  an abrupt end. The dialogues are also average and fails to make an impact. The highlight of Ottamandharam is the performances part  where most of the actors play their heart out to fine tune a story full of life. Bhama slips in the role of an innocent 14 year-old-mother easily, though at places her overly done makeup  takes the charm out of the character. Anyhow, her  performances  in the movie tells that there is much more to tap from this talented actress who had been seldom given very demanding roles like this. SajithaMadathil is first rate as Neela  while Nandhu plays his character without a tinch of melodrama. The rest of the cast including Kochu Preman are good. The songs, as usual in every Vinod Makaara films, are good and add to the quality of the narratives. Udayan Ambady’s cinematography suits the mood of the film, while  Manikkuttan has done a good job in art-direction.

Overall, 'Ottamandharam'  is on a fine thread, that but fails to become a totally engaging fare. Watch it for its performances, if you really have an urge to do so.

Rating 6/10

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