Disclaimer: review is divided into spoiler and spoiler free version. Check out the next page for deeper analysis.
Oppam is one of the most successful and celebrated films in Malayalam industry, as it marks the reunion of Mohanlal and Priyadarshan. Above all, it is considered as the best film by Priyadarshan, after a while. It introduces a stupendous theme; a blind man becomes a witness to a brutal crime and he is followed by the criminal like a shadow. Added to that, he is charged with the crime due to the amount of evidence against him some of which were fed by the real killer. This is probably one of the Malayalam films that featured a psychopath and his serial killings. However, in spite of getting positive reviews and appreciation from critics and audience, I see it only as an attempt from Mr. Priyadarshan.
Mohanlal plays Jayaram, a blind salesperson who is also working for Justice Krishnamoorthy (Nedumudi Venu), a man with secrets. Krishnamoorthy reveals it one by one and finally, asks for a major help from Jayaram; to help save a young girl named Nandini (Baby Meenakshi) from a possible murder by a serial killer (Samuthirakani) who has been stalking him. Krishnamoorthy is killed and Jayaram becomes the sole witness to the crime. Eventually, Jayaram is also followed by the same killer as he is the only person who knows the whereabouts of Nandini. He will do whatever it takes to reach her.
Priyadarshan succeeded in creating a whole new essence in the film’s scenario, apart from his usual comedy-melodramas. The background score, the editing, and certain shots created the eerie feeling whenever Jayaram comes before the killer. Due to the intriguing theme, the execution process has succeeded in delivering the ample amount of thrills and anticipation to keep the audience at the edge of their seat biting their fingernails. But then, the film is also not devoid of plot holes, unethical circumstances, technical inaccuracies and clichés.
In the first song sequence, Mohanlal’s pupil reaction was very visible in one of the close up shots. A blind man’s pupils don’t react. Some of the voice synchronisation was irregular and the shots during intense conversations were annoyingly still. Mohanlal is brilliant in his role and only he could pull it off with ease. His expressions and body languages were apt and the dialogue delivery was steadfast. He has kept up his status as a complete actor. I enjoyed the scenes where he reacted to the killer’s scent while standing in the crowd and the combination scenes with Nedumudi Venu. Jayaram, as a character, is good but too good to be believable. Vimala Raman overacted and the scenes where she flirted with Mohanlal was downright annoying. Anusree tried to create a feminine persona that is sually different from a typical Malayali flavour but her speech pattern is stilted. Apart from his “demonic” laughter and spurious patronizing speech, Samuthirakani looked creepy and daunting as he was stalking the main characters. Nedumudi Venu never disappoints with his stupendous portrayal and it is always a pleasure to watch him perform.Some of the song sequences were unnecessary as they digressed from the major storyline, notably the Punjabi song.
Since this is a suspense thriller, it is better to watch without any previous ideas regarding the plot. It is good attempt but then, only an attempt. Unless it is not compared with Hollywood suspense thrillers, the audience will enjoy this film.
Next page: Spoiler review and deeper analysis
Featured image: satyamaudios, aashirvad cinemas