Verdict: The simplicity and performances in 41 (Nalpathiyonnu) keep you hooked.
41 (Nalpathiyonnu) is a socio-political satire where two Communist party members – one an atheist and the other a believer – go to Sabarimala and the hilarious yet emotional story attached to it. Written by PG Prageesh and directed by Lal Jose, the film features Biju Menon in the lead. It also stars Nimisha Sajayan, Suresh Krishna, Indrans, newcomers Saranjith, and Dhanya S among many others.
What’s 41 (Nalpathiyonnu) About:
Ullas Kumar (Biju Menon) is a school teacher and party member with strong communist ideologies. He lives by these ideologies, which even makes him face many unexpected and unpleasant incidents in life. He also has strong feelings for Bhagyam (Nimisha Sajayan) and the two share a past. Ullas’ party also includes the local goon and drunkard Vavachi Kannan (Saranjith) as a young activist. The party is increasingly annoyed with his antics that always result in a mess, so to assure them that he will be more responsible, he quits drinking. The party decides to send him on a Sabarimala pilgrimage, following the 41st-day austerity and ask Ullas to accompany him. How an atheist with strong leftist ideologies agrees to it and the incidents that happen during the pilgrimage become the crux of the movie.
Biju Menon is in his comfort zone, making the character of Ullas very endearing. He is the pillar of 41 (Nalpathiyonnu) and performs with much ease. Newcomer Saranjith has delivered a stellar performance as Vavachi. He is here to stay and there are times when he reminds you of the late Kalabhavan Mani. Lal Jose has done a good job with some refreshing and hilarious content. The trip to Sabarimala, including the shots of the various rituals that happen at the pilgrimage, gives out some good vibes. There are no vulgar dialogues or over-the-top politics or religious aspects, which makes the movie a comfortable watch for all kinds of audiences.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Although the plot is interesting and refreshing, it does not create quite an impact. The movie has taken the old-school route, which may not be appealing to many moviegoers. The film is also slow-paced and feels dragged towards the end. There could also have been more clarity about the difference the pilgrimage makes in the life of an atheist. Nimisha Sajayan has done a good job but her character does not have much to offer. Bijipal’s music wouldn’t stay with you either.
Why You Should Watch:
41 (Nalpathiyonnu) is an interesting movie that keeps you hooked even when it moves at a slow pace. If you like watching harmless satire, this one is definitely for you. You can easily go with your family and friends and enjoy the movie with them without much worry.