Odiyan Review & Rating|
Odiyan Review: An Epic Marred by Inexperienced Direction
An Odiyan never kills in the movie Odiyan starring superstar Mohanlal. He just scares the living daylights out of the people whom he targetted. The Odiyan myth is rooted in Kerala folklore especially in the Malabar region. It is said to be a myth originated in Valluvanad area among the lower class people like Panars or Pulayars. Odiyans are good at creating illusions to scare the victims. As the British arrived and the remoteness is lost, the Odiyan also said to have become extinct.
The odiyans practice black magic. It is believed that their powers come from the oil they rub behind their ears which is extracted from a fetus. With the star power of Mohanlal, the debutant director Shrikumar Menon attempted to tell the story of the last Odiyan. The movie is supported by some of the most talented technicians we have seen working in Malayalam Cinema. National actor Prakash Raj and star heroine Manju Warrier play the other important roles in this action fantasy thriller.
The story of the last Odiyan
The story of Odiyan revolves around the last surviving Odiyan, Manikyan, played by the inimitable Mohanlal. The movie starts when an aged Manikyan returns to his native place from Varanasi. He exiled himself because of misunderstandings people have about him and his existence may threaten the people he loved. Mohanlal is terrific and looked grim to the core as he walks to his village. The expression he gives is only possible for master actors like him.
A youngster challenges him for fun. People throw insults on him. He has to face everything. Manikyan's backstory is revealed through flashbacks where he is shown in his full prime. Mohanlal is charming as the young Odiyan who practices Odi Vidya. He loves Prabha who remains the love of his life. Ravunni, played by Prakash Raj also loves Prabha and their rivalry results in the deaths of two people who are dear to Prabha. This makes her hate Manikyan and he leaves his village.
It takes time but Manikyan's attempts to convince Prabha of his innocence fall on deaf ears. How the aged Manikyan's return affect the village? How Manikyan proves his innocence to Prabha? Has he finally united with his love of life? The answers to all these questions form the rest of the story.
Prakash Raj as one of the suiters to Prabha and the main antagonist is an excellent case of roping in an actor who matches the star of the film. He meets power to power and his scenes with Mohanlal stand out as some of the finest conflicts we have seen on the big screen. For an unknown reason (or maybe to give his character an extra dimension) his voice is dubbed. But we are so used to Prakash Raj's voice so much so that his character feels incomplete. It is where the first biggest disappointment stems out for the audience.
Manju Warrier is another well-casted character. She received a meaty role as expected for an actress of her stature. She is the most important pillar in the story and is the catalyst behind the conflict between Manikyan and Ravunni. She stood her ground firmly and matched Mohanlal scene to scene. The scene where the Odiyan finally convinces her of his innocence is sheer acting mastery. Mohanlal falls on his knees and the resulting expressions from Manju stand out as finest acting from two of the top talents in Malayalam Cinema.
The movie mostly revolves around these three characters and it is the same old story of a love pair and a villain who lusts after the heroine. The novel point of the film is the addition of the Odiyan myth. Manikyan is the last of the Odiyans and the decline in the Odiyan Vidya started long back with his grandfather. People have enough of Odiyans and the fears they inflict upon them. Rest of the actors played their roles to varying degrees of effectiveness.
Writing and directing
The story given by Harikrishnan is strong. But the screenplay failed to match the grandeur of the scale of the film. The narration lags. It has no highlight points. For the most part, Mohanlal's Manikyan remains passive. There are no mass moments in the film. Though the writing team should be commended for not resorting to unnecessary punch dialogues, those who go to the theatres expecting some electrifying moments on the screen will certainly be disappointed.
As with some of the recent ad filmmakers who turned to direct feature films, Shrikumar failed to convert the potential of the story on paper to the screen. The only thing he did well is the use of the visual effects where Manikyan uses his Odiyan Vidya.
The action sequences by Peter Hein are good. The climactic batter is straight out one of his best. It has the power to make the audience gaze glued to the screen. The cinematography by Shajikumar lacked the punch required for such grand-scale films. But he did a fine job nevertheless.
The music by M. Jayachandran and Sam CS is good. Two songs, which used old ethnic Kerala musical instruments are good and give an exotic feeling for the audience from the other states. The background score tried to lift the lame narration of the film. The first half sets the story up and the second half failed to rise above the lowest of the expectations. The editing is pathetic wit at least a half hour of the film should have been trimmed. The production design is superlative and the effects are quite good.
Odiyan is the most talked about Malayalam film in recent memory what with the presence of one of the biggest stars of South Indian Cinema, Mohanlal, playing the role rooted in the folklore of Kerala. The conflict which should have been the highlight point of the movie failed to live up to the expectations created by the presence of actors like Prakash Raj and Laletta.
On a whole, Odiyan is a movie that can be watched for the performances of the lead actors but that can be experienced when the movie is aired on the television or the online streaming sites. Till then, save your hard-earned money. You can watch it on the screen if you are a diehard fan of Mohanlal and want to contribute to the movie's final collections.
- The grand scale of the movie
- Mohanlal's epic performance
- Manju Warrier
- We cannot hear Prakash Raj's own voice in the film
- Lame direction
- Pathetic screenplay
- No electrifying moments at all
Pycker Rating: 2 out of 5
Tailpiece: A case of a film where the trailer is more intriguing than the final output of the film. The ad filmmaking director excelled in those couple of minutes.
Odiyan Critic Reviews
Odiyan User Reviews
Exceptional acting by mohanlal and director don't rised as the expectation...
Superstar Mohanlal's Odiyan hits the screens today with sky-high expectations. Amidst controversy with Kerala BJP and never before seen expectations, Odiyan opened to mixed reviews from the early watchers. While some praise the performances and the concept, the others said that the movie is disappointing at best. But the general consensus is that Mohanlal has put in his life for the movie and the core concept is worth telling on the big screen. Odiyan is the biggest movie in Malayalam Cinema history.
Mohanlal and the background score the only positives of the movie. The direction is found lacking. Even the action scenes are not good. The script is not that good. Some others say that the movie has a superb first half with mass and class moments.. stunts and VFX being the highlight. People expected a lot from the movie but it failed to meet the hype created for it by releasing in multiple languages simultaneously.
While most of the talk for the movie is below average to bad at best some say that it starts slow with an extraordinary second half. But overall, it's the poor direction and laggy screenplay marred the experience. The movie which is expected to be a gamechanger for Mollywood turned out to be a huge disappointment. The movie said to be a good example for the case where the trailer is better than the movie.
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What is Odiyan About
Any Malayalee should be living in isolation or in an uninhabited island, totally cut off from the outside world if he/she has not heard about the movie Odiyan. A lot had been heard and said about Odiyan, who are characters from folklore tales of Kerala. Who are actually Odiyans? Odiyan is a man who is capable of shifting his form to any animal or even non-living thing and camouflages to harm his enemies. Odiyans practice black magic or odi vidya and terrorise people to death. Their actions are said to be swift and the enemy dies a gory death even before he realizes what actually unfolded before him. Though the authenticity of such tale is debatable and there are no scientific evidence to prove their existence, people did believe that Odiyan existed and still exists. Now, let us turn our focus on to the movie Odiyan. It explores the life of an Odiyan who is called Iruttinte, Rathride Rajavu or The King of Darkness and Night, Odiyan Manickan.
A fantasy thriller - a never before in the history of Malayalam Cinema
Odiyan promises a magical realism without compromising on the rural flavors that villages boast of. It can even be called a rustic thriller set in the backdrop of Thenkurissi village in Palakkad, Kerala. People always had a penchant for fantasy and with only a handful of fantasy movies in Malayalam, the makers have thrusted the idea of a movie in the fantasy-thriller genre.
The basic plot of Odiyan is to focus on the life of the last surviving member of the Odiyan clan. It highlights the life of Odiyan Manickan. This Odiyan looks unfathomable and is seen threatening his enemy of dire consequences. The movie looks like Odiyan Manickan is out on a prowl to pounce on the enemy who had inflicted huge harm on his family. The high octane action scenes are something that audience can look forward to. The stunning visuals are also the unique Selling Proposition (USP) of the movie.
The Odiyan team
Director VA Shrikumar Menon is a visionary and though Odiyan is his debut directorial, he has years of experience as an ad film maker. And it is not often one finds a debutant coming up with a big budget flick with a highly accomplished crew and even with a bigger set of proven actors. The National Award Winning Scriptwriter Harikrishnan is the man behind the vision. Full credits to him for the visualisation of such a queer content. And the producer- need one introduce Antony Perumbavoor to the Kerala audience? He is a sure-shot winner who has a peculiar knack of associating himself with biggies and then generating blockbusters.
The Action King
When Peter Hein is roped in for a movie, audience can be sure of high octane actions. And indeed, the movie's director himself had endorsed the movie saying that it is worth watching for the 16 minutes of adrenaline-pumping action climax.
Music and Background score
M.Jayachandran knows how to strike at the right chord of the Malayalee audience. His tunes match the perfect rural vibes of the movie and tuning for 5 time state award winner Rafeeq Ahmed's lyrics must have been the only challenge he faced. The background score by Sam.C.S. is terrific and is surely a highlight when introducing a content of this genre to the audience.
Aggressive marketing is working for the movie. With constant updates from the makers, the expectations have soured sky-high and the movie has already broken some pre-release records.
The awesome cast
And here is the trump card. When Mohanlal, fondly called Lalettan, is fixed for a movie, fans will get into a frenzy. Given the calibre of the actor in all arena of film making, we will not expect anything less the best. Lalettan's screen presence and charisma is indomitable.He is an actor par excellence who will simply weave magic on screen. Someone who has reigned the industry for decades will surely have a magic formula, right? Odiyan Manikan will be safe in the hands of Mohanlal. The lady superstar Manju Warrier need not be formally introduced. Time and again, Manju has proved that she is the undisputed queen of Malayalam Cinema. She is touted to play Odiyan's love interest, Prabha. The support cast includes National Award Winner Prakash Raj playing the antagonist, as the venomous Ravunni.
Cannot wait any further to see the movie. Let's wait and watch. Watch this space for review, rating and complete analysis.