Movies

Occasional glimmer in a mundane fare

Amid a lot of forgettable sequences, a few moments stand out

The expectations that we often carry with us into the cinema hall, before every movie, are often coloured by recent experiences of watching an actor’s or filmmaker’s movies. In the case of Jayaram, once a bankable star for the industry, such expectations have often been lower down the scale for quite some time. This does help, at times, like for his latest film Lonappante Mamodisa.

Lonappan, the protagonist, reminds one of the kind of characters Jayaram used to do some years back, the man on whom the entire responsibility of his family of three sisters rests. He runs a clock-repair shop at the village. When people ask him why he does not aim for something bigger, he is the kind who says “there should be someone to do the smaller things too”.

Yet, the lazy man of small dreams begins to question his way of life, when he see his friends making it big.

The obsession with achieving a particular kind of success in life has been a feature of many of the Malayalam movies in recent times.

Here, though success is not of the material kind, it does come with its share of fame and fortune, contradicting the protagonist’s own personal motto of settling for the smaller things.

Director Leo Thaddeus has situated this drama somewhere in Thrissur.The first half mostly is a meta-narrative, which goes about aimlessly, like its protagonist. The latter half is when the director seems to have a sort of grip on the film.

Amid a lot of forgettable sequences, a few moments stand out. One, where we see Lonappan slowly breaking apart, getting into a fight with the sole employee at his repair shop and raising his voice with his sisters for the first time, after he identifies himself as a ‘loser’ at the school alumni meet with high-achieving friends.

Three-story narrative

The three ‘story narration’ sequences, which are key to the film, are also well executed. The part involving Lonappan and his old friend (Dileesh Pothan) is reminiscent of similar scenes in the recent Rakshadhikari Baiju.

Lonappan’s sisters (played by Shanti krishna, Nisha Sarang, and Eva Pavithran) are not so well-etched, although they are shown to have dreams of their own too. Despite all this, Lonappante Mamodisa manages to spring some surprises at those points where it punches above its otherwise average weight.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 3:30:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/occasional-glimmer-in-a-mundane-fare/article26163985.ece

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