Language : Malayalam
Director : Anand Ekarshi
Writers : Anand Ekarshi
Cast : Vinay Forrt, Zarin Shihab, Kalabhavan Shajohn,
Genre : Drama
Streaming in Theatres near you
Maestro K.G George dealt with a murder mystery within a theatre artist group in the all time great Yavanika. After 4 decades, Anand Ekarshi has come up with a whodunit drama within a similar premise that can be easily placed alongside the evergreen classic. The success of a movie is not about the star cast or brilliant technical side, but ultimately, what matters is the story. “Aattam” is an intense movie that explores the depths of human emotions, and towards the end, everything falls apart. The beauty of this movie lies in its portrayal of the turmoil within our judiciary system, media gimmicks, religious madness, and politically correct society. It presents these themes in an unorthodox manner.
The movie begins with a contemporary drama and then immerses the audience into the world of ‘Aattam’ (Play). It highlights the delicate dynamics within people, such as superiority, ego, and love, to demonstrate that there isn’t much difference between humans and artists. The central character, Anjali (Zarin Shihab), represents all of us, while the other characters serve as reflections of ourselves. After a successful theatre performance, a foreign audience invites the entire troupe to a private party. On that night, Anjali is molested by Hari (Shajon), a popular cine artist and the lead actor in the troupe. This incident mentally shatters her, as she never expected such betrayal from her circle. What adds to the intensity is how her colleagues handle the situation. Anjali’s boyfriend, Vinay, takes action upon hearing about the incident. He arranges a meeting with all the artists, except the assailant. This leads to a court drama like scenario where everyone expresses their opinions, questions each other, and manipulates. Through their interactions, the movie showcases the various issues prevailing in our society.
The second half of the movie takes place during heavy rain as if nature itself is weeping for Anjali. As Maniratnam once said, “Nature is such a strong element to tell your story.” We feel this strongly throughout the rest of the play. The chosen name for the movie, “Aattam” (Play), perfectly captures how all the people around Anjali begin their own act. We can empathise with Anjali’s emotions, as we have experienced similar feelings when we hear about such incidents. The movie effectively captures the feeling of helplessness that we experience while watching.
The movie is shot in a way that resembles a real theatre play, disregarding traditional movie rules and regulations. Additionally, all the technical aspects are top-notch.
No one asks Anjali what she needs, not even her boyfriend. This question strikes at the heart of everyone. In the movie, Anjali leaves the play with laughter, resembling a goddess.
Anjali’s character arc is written with great strength, allowing the audience to accompany her on this emotional rollercoaster.
As William Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
In this Aattam (Play) do we get to know the culprit?
In my opinion, yes, it’s us!
Verdict : 6/7 stars