Vishnu H Prasad : An Accidental Civil Servant

Movie Review: Oppam

Oppam directed by Priyadarshan is by far the best Mohanlal movie since Drishyam. And just like Drishyam, Oppam too is a thriller. The movie has a lot of solid performances and reminds you why Priyadarshan is good director, even though his last few outings with Mohanlal were not upto the mark.

Oppam tells the story of Jayaraman ( Mohanlal), a blind man, who ends up “witnessing” the murder of a retd. Justice (Nedumudi Venu). Jayaraman was a close aide and confidante of  the Justice who is haunted by demons from his legal career. Thus Jayaraman ends up having to protect the very thing the justice tried to protect, while having to help the police who increasingly becomes suspicious of him as the murderer.

Mohanlal is the keystone that holds the entire movie together. His portrayal of a blind but astute and precocious man is something we have not seen before. His eyes kept wandering around as if searching for something. Never did Mohanlal waver in his performance as a blind person. A case in point is the wedding song, where towards the end of it, he accidentally bumps the groom while dancing. It was  very subtle and unnoticeable but pointed towards Jayaraman’s shortcoming as a blind person participating in a dance sequence.

Another very refreshing role is that of Mamukkoya who delivers a very convincing portrayal of a security guard. Though his is a comic character, to blend in and deliver such a comic portrayal, which doesn’t upset the theme of such a serious film was possible only because of the consummate skill of the thespian.

Some other performances worth note are that of Samuthirakkany as Vas, Baby Meenakshi as Nandini and Anushree as ACP Ganga. The film, even though it has a very strong cast, is not loaded with actors like the slapsticks that are characteristic of Priyadarshan (Read Vettom, Kakkakkuyil etc)

Priyadarshan movies have always been a visual treat. Be it the classic Thenmavin Kombathu or the comedy Kilukkam, each frame stands out. Oppam too is very artistic in that sense. The drone technology has been used brilliantly in the movie. The backwaters, the mountains everything stands out and makes you appreciate the directors craft. Technically too the movie seems to have done a good job with the sound department deserving an applause.

Oppam has some good songs. But three songs loaded in the first half felt like too much of a stretch. Priyadarshan seem to have been unable to resist including a North Indian style wedding song in the movie in Oppam too. Not that I am complaining, but it could have been avoided and the energy better spent on tightening a script that seemed to wander in the second half.

Oppam does have some plot holes which seems to be a problem with the script. Priyadarshan could have plugged that aspect and Oppam would have made a fantastic movie. However, that is no reason to skip Oppam. This is indeed an Onam treat from Mohanlal and Priyadarshan and you better not miss it.

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