Malayalam cinema stuns once again. Siddhartha Shiva decides to scratch the surface of an ideology and does it admirably well aided by star whose irresistible charm helps in decoding a compelling message. Right from frame one the intent of the maker screams through the big screen. He goes all out leaving no stone unturned in making sure that his ideology makes an impression on all those who were watching it on the big screen.
When the film starts off both Krishnan and Krishna Kumar are two different and distinct personalities. But there comes a point when the two personalities merge to become one and the same but as an audience you don’t find it difficult to connect and root for a remarkable transition. The name is the first subtle hint on Krishna Kumar’s metamorphosis.
As an audience you are never allowed to have a glimpse of Sakhavu Krishnan’s physical appearance. Instead Siddhartha Siva uses the mirror to give us an insight on Krishna Kumar’s thought process as he visualizes himself as Sakhavu Krishnan. This visualization is of utmost importance for you to empathize with Krishna Kumar beyond his supposed flaws. You see Sakhavu Krishnan through Krishna Kumar’s eyes from the beginning to the end. That is exactly how we imbibe our favorite person’s personality traits within us.
More often than not stories that remain compelling on paper turn out to be shoddy final products on the big screen because we are never given time to identify and connect with a character. But Siddhartha Siva takes his time with carefully etched sequences to help us understand who Krishna Kumar is. Slowly but surely you identify yourselves with Krishna Kumar’s beliefs and perceptions. Beyond a point it doesn’t matter how shallow his beliefs are. You wait in anticipation as the character grows on you.
Sakhavu is an interesting lesson on how to use an actor’s charm and aura to hit the nail on the head in one sequence after another. The director makes use Nivin Pauly’s inherent strengths as an actor to make sure the message leaves a permanent impression in the minds of his audience and Nivin Pauly’s aides the maker with subtle variations in body language to convey a shift in perception and the ideological differences between the two main leads.
Malayalam cinema once again gives us a lesson on how to fit a star in a compelling narrative. I wonder when the other industries will follow suit. For now I can only hope.