Verdict: Mohanlal shines as Odiyan in this thriller.
When it is a movie that has been on our minds and lips for years, the expectations are sky high. When it is a Mohanlal movie in a complete in a brand new avatar, you can hardly blame the movie buffs for wanting nothing less. Penned by veteran journalist and National Award-winning scriptwriter Harikrishnan and directed by debutant director V. A. Shrikumar Menon, Odiyan is a fantasy tale based on a Malayali folklore. Mohanlal packs a powerful performance with Manju Warrier, Prakash Raj, Siddique and Innocent in the lead.
What’s Odiyan About:
The movie revolves around Manikyan, a member of the Odiyan clan in Palakkad. Odiyans were known to possess powers that would allow them to change into animal forms in the cover of the night and scare away their enemies. Manikyan (Mohanlal) is in self-imposed exile. After a series of events that revolves around Prabha (Manju Warrier), Meenakshi (Sana Althaf) and Ravunni Nair (Prakash Raj) he is forced to leave Thenkurisshi. He returns home after 15 years to avenge Ravunni for accusing him of a heinous crime and turning his dear ones against him.
A black magician who scares people for a living makes for an excellent plot. With Mohanlal’s physical transformation, Odiyan has all the right elements for a sure win. Mohanlal is convincing as Odiyan, especially in the song Nenjille by Shankar Mahadevan when he is confused. Prakash Raj plays the anti-villain quite convincingly. Manju Warrier has executed her role beautifully and so has Sana Althaf as her visually impaired little sister. A host of minor characters like Siddique, Manoj Joshi and Innocent add gravitas to the plot. M. Jayachandran and Sam C.S. have produced one of their better works to give melodious numbers and an excellent BGM for Odiyan. The action scenes are a treat and the credit goes to Peter Hein and his team.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The juxtaposition of the past and present in the timeline does get fuzzy in certain parts of the plot. The Bollywood-like picturisation of the song Kondoram seems a little out of place for a movie set in a remote village in Palakkad.
Why You Should Watch:
Odiyan is a one-of-a-kind movie, where a sorcerer gets the center stage. It should be applauded for its novel approach to a subject that has never been touched upon. The Mohanlal-Manju Warrier pairing has worked its magic again. The best part of Odiyan is that it has something for everyone.