Halfway through Ottu, one wonders whether it is a thriller, a road movie or a regular gangster flick. For, there are elements here that could make it belong to any of these genres.
By the end of it all, the questions still remain because the makers themselves do not seem to have made up their mind on what they wanted out of the film. The end credits then point towards the prospect of a prequel and a sequel, after which the 'Chapter 2' in the title starts making some sense.
The planning for a three-part series could be also the reason why so much is left unsaid in the movie. In the end, it looks like a jigsaw puzzle with quite a few missing pieces, making one wonder whether it has enough in it for a stand-alone movie.
Kichu (Kunchacko Boban), a jobless youth, is making plans to fly out of the country with his girlfriend Kalyani (Eesha Rebba) who has secured a job in Norway. To fund this plan, he takes up a mission from a mysterious group to befriend David, alias Dawood, (Arvind Swami), a dreaded underworld don who has lost his memory completely after a shootout. Kichu is required to help him regain his memory, which could aid the group in finding the location of some missing gold.
Director Fellini T.P., who debuted with Theevandi, aims for a bigger canvas in Ottu, scripted by Hemanth Kumar. However, the ambition, reflected in the star cast and the expansive setting along the south-western coast stretching from Mumbai to Mangaluru, does not translate well on the screen, partly due to a lifeless script.
The film invests a lot on the road trip that Kichu takes with David as a means to rekindle his memories in places closely entwined with his past. Except for a few interesting sequences, much of this trip is marked by sheer boredom, with the plot advancing at a glacial pace. The only thing that works to an extent is the chemistry between the two actors and their evolving relationship during the trip.
The plan all along seems to have been to take the bored audience by surprise, with a flurry of twists and high-flying action in the last few minutes. Despite a genuinely surprising turn, this plan does not work well. Added to the fact that the makers kept everything for too late are the pointless action sequences which are staged rather unimaginatively.
A cameo from Jackie Shroff makes us wonder whether he was there just for including another popular name from the yesteryears in the cast, since not much effort has been made in writing that character.
The way Ottu proceeds does not make one excited enough for the promised prequel and the sequel.