Sikhamani; Movie Review
Many a comedians and villains have tried their hand to get into the skin of a protagonist in a movie time and time again. Many of them fell flat on their faces while very, very few changed their life drastically with the decision. Chemban Vinod, the recently entered cine artist had been surprising us, scaring us and making us laugh riotously, seemingly without much effort from him. Sikhamani is his vehicle to the next level, as the hero of the movie, without much pretentions or tall claims.
The story follows a reclusive gang man, Sikhamani (Chemban Vinod)who is responsible for a patch of rail track which traverse through a dense forest. For the obvious reasons that he hardly gets anybody around to communicate with, the gang man is quiet and unassuming; yet he knows the pulse of the jungle and can instinctively know when it changes and get dangerous. Everything goes topsy-turvy once he finds a girl (Parvathy Ratheesh), injured and unconscious on the track and decides to save her. His uneventful life changes into a dangerous adventure, with unknown characters with masks over their malicious selves. Unpredictable events happen and how the simple gang man tackle it is the gist of the story.
Vinod Guruvayur wrote the script and directed the movie, with a uncomplicated and straightforward style, without the staple of masala and melodrama. His inexperience peeps once in a while in his direction, though the script is airtight. He has maintained the simplicity in the movie, since the story and the movie itself is a piece of life with all the fatality, though not seen or noticed by us often. The loneliness and the isolation of the gang man is beautifully projected in the movie.
Chemban Vinod worked diligently not to overact and make a point with the chance he got to be the hero of a movie. The best thing about him is his underplayed characters, may it be the criminal in ‘Oru Second Class Yathra’ or the pervert in Iyobinte Pusthakam or the recent characterization of the dangerous vagabond in Kali. Sikhamani also fits the bill with his cool attitude in front of the camera. Whether the audience would accept him as a typical macho hero is, yet another question. Parvathy as the injured girl also emotes well and acts her part without affectations. The rest of the characters done by Mukesh, Sai Kumar and JD Chakravarthy didn’t rise from the formula and turned out to be mundane. Mridula Murali did a good job as Devika.
Though it is a good attempt from the director, the predictability of the story and lack of light moments can be trying for the viewers. Manoj Pillai didn’t have to go too far to get the shots of the beautiful and inexplicable forest, but was quite adept with the chase scenes in the difficult jungle paths. Sudheep Pazhanad had done the BGM quite simply and apt for the scenes, though the songs are not anything to talk about.
Sikhamani tells you about the dangers of pre-planned education which has turned out to be a rat race, which never gives us a chance to look around and see the unseen and experience the otherwise obscure life of others and learn empathy.
A good film done well, without the regular frills and glamour quotient.