OZHIVU DIVASATHE KALI – Movie Review

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‘Ozhivu Divasathe Kali’
is a Malayalam drama film directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, based on the short story of the same name by Unni R. The story has been successfully adopted to make a political satire. There was no script while shooting the film. The film has some unique features because of this making pattern. All the dialogues are evolved due to improvisations and it contains some fine long takes. The film won the ’46th Kerala State Film Award’ under ‘Best Film’ category. The film has only 70 shots, with the second half of the film being just a single shot!

On an election holiday, five middle-aged friends Dharman, Dasan, Thirumeni, Vinayan and Ashokan get together for a booze party. Their only intention is fun and refreshment. As time passes, they start to open up the hidden wildness of their real nature. Tired and bored in arguments, they plan to play a game which they used to play in their childhood. What happens then forms the crux of the film.

In less than 5 minutes into the film, Director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan implies that this is not going to be a regular movie. The 5-minutes long shot in the very beginning prepares the audience about how the film is going to be. There is so much authenticity in that scene, which continues to prevail till the end of the movie.

The actors have done a fantastic job and their performances look so real and flawless, their acting makes us think if they had really drunk all-through the film to bring-in perfection. The live sound recording (especially in the rain scenes) and the cinematography was highly commendable, making great value-additions to the narration. The second half that runs for 50+ minutes which has been taken as a single shot would have demanded immense hard work and a lot of rehearsal; one cannot just imagine how the team has executed it so perfectly. Kudos to the whole team!

The film is full of conversations and arguments starting from the question on who is going to kill the rooster, political exploitation, male supremacy thoughts, hypocrite views on sex & women and the colour / racial discrimination. ‘Ozhivu Divasathe Kali’ also shows how one’s nature changes when drunk. The writing is multi-layered in most scenes and are left open to audience’s understanding.

The director tries to draw a parallel line between India’s political system and the game that the five men play. He has tried to convey how we are playing our own games within the ambit of the constitution. The best part of the film is when the friends decide to play the game of ‘King, Minister, Cop & Thief’; the director tries to enlighten a lot of things directly and indirectly through dialogues openly and through the characters’ behaviors such as how the weak are suppressed by the people who are in power, the caste partiality in our society and the huge & inevitable part that bribery plays in our judiciary system. Once the film is over, the audience will be left astound with questions on how corrupt and cruel we are in terms of equality among the treatment of people in our society, realizing our own double standards.

Rating: 4.5/5

Bottom-line: A hard-hitting political satire!

Review by: Rahman

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