An Intriguing Script Spoiled by Poor Execution; Odiyan will Remain as a ‘Missed Classic’


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Manickyan is the last surviving member of Odiyan tribe.
Manickyan is the last surviving member of Odiyan tribe.

Since becoming the president of Amma, Mohanlal is going through different controversies. Me Too, Dileep Issue, State Award issue, conflicts with other actresses, this list is just going on. In between, two of his films left the theatres without making a mark. Apart from the guest appearance in Kayamkulam Kochunni, the year had not been very nice for our Superstar. But everyone believed, all these issues would be forgotten after the release of the much-awaited project of this year, Odiyan. Above all, for Malayalees, the name Mohanlal is still an emotion.

Even when the Hartal mode was on in the state, the audience didn’t want to extend their ‘wait’ to see the most hyped project of recent times. Hartal couldn’t even stop the Audience from watching ‘Odiyan’. Yes, December 14, 2018, will be remarked in Golden Letters in Malayalam Film Industry. From the First look Poster, it started and after going through different phases, finally, Odiyan is on screen next to you. But Odiyan was completely different from what we expected. It’s quite contrary to all the hype acclaimed by the filmmakers.

Odiyan is about Manickyan and his village, Thenkurissi. Odiyan is a tribe, who has crazy shapeshifting abilities. Manickyan is the last surviving member of this tribe. The story mainly revolves around 3 characters;- Manickyan, Prabha and Ravunni, the lustful cousin of Prabha. The thread of the story is revenge. Revenge against the acts of Ravunni, who is blinded by jealousy, greed, and lust.ory

The first half of Odiyan is evenly paced and it gets a good build-up.
The first half of Odiyan is evenly paced and it gets a good build-up.

The story starts in Varanasi, when Odiyan Manickyan, with his matted hair, and heavily bearded face, dives into the river to rescue a woman from drowning. After the superheroic act, the woman recognizes odiyan and the anticipation begins. The movie is then shuffled between past and present of Odiyan. It creates an eagerness in the audience to know the past about Manickyan. What made him leave all his tricks? why he left Thenkurissi for 15 years? and why he came back to the village? The rest two hours will answer all your questions. The sequences try to shift from Odiyan’s childhood, his youth, and middle-age, weaving a story of love, lust, and myth. Love, Sentiments, Betrayal and finally Revenge, you will come across all these emotions.

Story or concept of Odiyan is Fascinating. But the execution was not up to the expectation. In some scenes, very poor indeed. Even if the plot seems to be terribly old, it offered space for the actors to act and for the technicians to play their part. Script had the scope for more mass and vfx, but it didn’t happen. Overall, a good script written by award-winning Harikrishnan was spoiled by VA Shrikumar Menon’s Direction. If Shrikumar has the plans to do Randamoozham in future, he desperately needs to improve.

The first half of Odiyan is evenly paced and it gets a good build-up. But VA Shrikumar Menon spoils it in the second half messing up the story badly. In a few scenes, we could even feel dramatic. He really has to improve in many areas, especially in providing a continuity or merging two scenes. The last song really disturbed the flow of the movie, as it does not suit there.

Odiyan, himself is the highlight of the movie. The role was made for Mohanlal and he was at his best. Even in his minute details, he was Odiyan Manickyan. Above all, his dedication has to be appreciated. When you compare his young and old getup, you can really feel the difference. But lack of punch dialogues and vfx made his few scenes incomplete. Some scenes could have been made better. An Overall effort was not put by the director to justify the hard work done by Mohanlal to become Thenkurissi’s Odiyan.

Apart from Mohanlal, the standout performance is being displayed by Prakash Raj. A Typical Villain of ’90s.  Even in look and attitude, he was perfect. Manju Warrier was also good. She has a meaty role to play. Apart from few dramatic dialogues and the last song, she really portrayed Prabha well. The visually impaired sister Meenakshi, played by Sana Althaf, was also very good, a promising actress indeed.  Narein and Innocent didn’t get much time or space to impress, while Kailash did his role very neatly. Siddique, Nandhu, the new gen adults of Thenkurissi, Odiyan’s grandfather etc also played their notable roles well.

Shaji Kumar’s frames really brought the beauty of night as well the village. BGM and music are the other highlights.  M Jayachandran’s songs are well picturized, but the timing of the last song seemed to be disturbing. Sam CS’s thumping background music really set up the anticipation for what’s to come. The Action sequences were choreographed well by Peter Hein. The Climax fight seems to be unreal as well as complex. But anyhow the stunt sequences gave Odiyan its much-needed punch. VFX in the last ‘Odividya’ was nice, but in the majority of scenes, vfx were not up to the mark.

Odiyan is a missed classic in all sense. Odiyan has good acting, a well thought-out script, and brilliant action scenes. By further cutting the length, It would have been made either as a pure classic like Kaliyattom, or full mass as one in the ’90s. Here, our director literally failed to mix the class and mass elements together. Compromising the hype, the grounded storytelling of Odiyan might push families to the theatres. When you have an intriguing script, don’t mess it up by poor direction. Odiyan is an example.


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