Verdict: An entertaining family drama full of hilarious and heartwarming moments.

Directed by Nisam Basheer and written by Aji Peter Thankam, Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha tells the story about a newly married couple Sleevachan, played by Asif Ali, and Rincy, played by Veena Nandhakumar. Produced by Listin Stephen and Vichu Balamurali under the banner of Magic Frames, the movie is one of the best ones made this year. Abilash Sankar works the camera and the music is by William Francis while Harinarayanan and Vinayak Sasikumar have written the film.

What’s Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha About:

Sleevachan (Asif Ali) is a farmer who works hard and is dedicated to his family. He has helped his four sisters set up their families and is now living with his mother. He decides to get married after he realizes that his mom needs company. He meets Rincy’s (Veena Nandakumar) family who are immediately impressed by Sleevachan’s unassuming attitude. But Sleevachan is intimidated by the prospect of marriage and the first night. His life has revolved around his sisters and mother till now and he is clueless on how to approach the new member of his family. His insecurities and fears result in a grave mistake that renders a huge blow to his bond with Rincy. How Sleevachan and Rincy recover from this trauma to make a beautiful family of their own forms the rest of the plot.

What Works:

Asif Ali’s Sleevachan is the soul of Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha. Ali seems to have finally found his zen zone and has been consistently delivering top-notch performances in his latest movies. As Sleevachan, he is in a never-before-seen avatar. Ali’s portrayal of a down-to-earth, hard-working, insecure farmer is effortless. Veena Nandakumar as the longing and lonely wife is brilliant. Her lines are fewer but her expressions and emotions are enough. Whenever these two appear together on the screen, it seems as if a lot is said without being said. The director has chosen his cast well and there is a flawlessness in each of the characters, even the minor ones. Jaffer Idukki, Basil Joseph, Ravindran and several others leave their mark through the small roles they play.
The cinematographer has used the beauty of Idukki to the fullest. His frames are naturally beautiful. The skill of the writer and director can be measured from the way they have shot a particularly grave scene just before the interval. Till then, you are left laughing at Sleevachan’s inability to form a connection with his wife. But the hilarity of the situation quickly changes to a feeling of desperation and danger just before the screen turns black for the break.
What makes Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha different from other stories of married couples is the topic of physical intimacy and the writer has managed to explore this topic brilliantly. The movie shows the troubles that insecurities, fear and the lack of understanding about sexual intimacy can cause. In a society that gives no value to sex education and talking about sex is a taboo, this movie is sure to be a positive message.

What Could’ve Been Better:

Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha teaches a beautiful lesson in communication to all newly married couples. But the fact that Sleevachan felt the need to marry a girl only because he wanted someone to take care of his mother seemed like the wrong reason. Maybe the writer could have reworked this bit and provided for a better beginning to the Sleevachan-Rincy story.

Why You Should Watch:

The need for open-hearted communication and understanding, the most important factors in a marriage, cannot be talked about enough and Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha reinforces these in your mind. Bring your family along and enjoy the small incidents of Sleevachan’s life that could be a big lesson for you. With the perfect amount of emotion and drama, Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha is the perfect weekend break you need. Also, watch Asif Ali in his best performance.

– By Annifred Solomon