Film: How Old Are You
Director: Rosshan Andrrews
Cast: Manju Warrier, Kunchacko Boban, Vinay Forrt, Kaniha
Comebacks come laden with huge baggage and it is often difficult for the film to live up to the expectations. Manju Warrier’s comeback film, How Old Are You’, goes beyond those expectations and how!
As Nirupama, the UD clerk who has given up her dreams for her family, Manju Warrier delivers a power-packed performance to start her second innings in Mollywood.
At 36, Nirupama is often told that she is not good enough and is made to feel guilty about her age.
The monotony of her life is broken when a question her daughter asks in school lands Nirupama before the President of India.
The rest of the film is about her journey to discover for herself the answer to her question and, in turn, to find her true self.
‘How Old Are You’ is the ‘Queen’ moment for Malayalam cinema, and reminiscent of Sridevi’s ‘English Vinglish’. It is also one of those rare films that will bring crowds to the theatre just to watch a middle-aged female protagonist perform.
Director Rosshan Andrrews teams up with the scriptwriter duo Bobby-Sanjay after Mumbai Police to deliver a meaningful cinematic experience.
Kudos to the team for bringing back the heroine to Malayalam cinema, which was content with portraying women as satellites around male superstars.
The film deals deftly with the treatment a patriarchal society metes out to women - tying them down to stereotypical roles and making them feel guilty for chasing their dreams. The film’s parallels to the actress’ personal life cannot be missed. That the film deals with the dangerously relevant topic of food adulteration and roots for household farming are bonuses.
Kunchacko Boban gives one of his career best performances as the dominating husband.
But the film, from start to end, belongs to Manju Warrier, who brings in freshness, vitality and versatility back to the screen and you cannot quite believe that she has been away for 14 long years.
A must-watch, the film is also her way of making a statement – that age does not matter and you are never too old to chase your dreams. Ab ki baar, Manju Warrier!