Story: Kuttanpillai loves a jackfruit tree in his compound more than anything around him. His daughters and relatives visit him once for Sivarathri and the occasion turns out to be like no other.
Review: For the average family-film loving Malayali audience, the title ‘Kuttanpillayude Sivarathri’ is compelling enough to give the flick a try. The ‘naadan’ setting and characters you see in the songs are also intriguing enough, and make one hope for a tale that one can connect with. Stories flavoured with believability and a decent entertainment quotient is what the niche viewers of such films generally expect and if the tale of the protagonist is any indication, it’s no easy genre of a story to cook up.
Though a cop, head constable Kuttanpillai (Suraj) has his share of worries he loses his sleep over, some of them supernatural. A father of three and husband of a Sub Inspector, the true love of his life is a jackfruit tree in his compound. His son in law Suneesh (Biju Sopanam) is waiting for an opportunity to chop it off and one day, things get shaken up beyond control of the characters.
Suraj Venjaramoodu, who plays the lead in the film, continues to impress with the range of performances he is capable of, one after the other. A man who shot to limelight for making people laugh, he probably doesn’t smile even once in the film though the character goes through many comical situations. The highlight of the film is definitely his treatment of the role, followed by the green and gorgeous rustic locales, characters you can generally spot in a village, and many more of such eighties’ Sathyan Anthikad style story moments and imageries. The rest of the cast including Srinda also infuse the right kind of spirit into their roles.
However, the movie heavily suffers from a week plot and style of narration. Good performances cannot replenish a film if it’s backbone, the story, isn’t qualitative. You can’t help wondering whether the makers were clear enough what the initial focus of their story was – love for nature, family bonds explored through paranormal elements, showing how dangerous certain things like firecrackers that we often take lightly… Certain scenes, like the one of ‘tea and alcohol consumption’ at a funeral, are stretched to the point were you would start thinking did they forget to say ‘cut’ again while shooting. With all of this overriding the effort put in by some good actors, the film ends up being tiring affair.
Kuttanpillai’s tale might interest those looking for a dose of those plush green village movies. But sensible story telling shouldn’t be a priority if you are giving the film your time.