Sunday, January 29, 2017

ഒരാൾപ്പൊക്കം (Six Feet High) (2014)

Director: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Writer: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
DOP: Indrajith
Cast: Prakash Bare, Meena Kandasamy
Language: Malayalam

Mahi and Maya share an apartment and are presumably in a living in but open relationship. The film begins with both of them breaking up their living arrangement over an argument about the open nature of their relationship. After a few days, Mahi gets a phone call from Maya from Kedarnath and they patch things up but the call gets cut abruptly. Next day, Mahi wakes up to the news about Uttarkhand floods and he can't reach Maya again. He embarks on a journey to find Maya again.

Sanal's  Ozhivudivasathe Kali was one of the best films from last year and his latest one 'Sexy Durga' got premiered at Rotterdam international film festival yesterday with a very good reception. I was quite desperate to watch this film, which is his major one and was a crowd-funded affair. He had posted yesterday about the films being available via www.moviesaints.com where you can pay Rs. 150 for a film. However, the payment didn't get through as the bank declined it for some reason but the good people from the site sent me a link for free screening and I promise to pay later when the payment issue gets sorted.

Coming back to the film, while ODK had quite austere ambitions on the technical front, irrespective of the single take second half, Oraalpokkam is quite impressive on that front with the stunning post-apocalyptic settings of the Himalayas being the backdrop for much of it. The name 'Maya' translates as illusion and we're not sure whether the character is an imaginary one as well. There are plenty of sequences which suggests so and there is also that shower scene which suggests that most of it is happening inside Mahi's head. That kind of undermines the film as you've to walk a very tight rope of ambiguity to keep your audience invested in the character. At one point of the film, when they show them during the initial days of their relationship, Maya tells Mahi that he is pretending to be something he is not. The film is essentially about Mahi's identity crisis.

It is overall a very good watch without achieving the great heights of ODK. The sequences in the Himalayas are breathtaking and it reminded me of 'Stalker' and 'Eyes Wide Shut' in some places. The main drawback is that it went too far on the ambiguity front, to the point you really don't care. Never go full retard. Performances are really good and the sound design is stunning as well. 

Rating: 3.5/5