Starting with the much clichéd ‘people passing by the man dying on the road’, the first few minutes of Onayum Attukuttiyum didn’t impress much. I wonder why everyone becomes a cold-hearted jerk when it comes to helping a wounded man on the road. Starting from the guy who takes a picture of the man to ‘post it on Facebook’ to the police officer who steals his watch instead of filing a complaint, we have to put up with the same crap for some time until the typical ‘Mysskin character’ (a beggar or a physically or mentally disabled man) comes out of nowhere to help out the lone protagonist trying to save the man. This is when the director makes an entrance. Mysskin can even show his name during these scenes in all his movies like Bhagyaraj or T.Rajendar used to do.
The movie has Mysskin’s irreverence painted all over it. It has a medical college drug addict student performing a splenectomy on a much wanted hit-man who has just escaped from the police, that student’s professor who guides him through the operation despite having his father’s (?) dead body in his house, the over-acting villain who always carries a catheter in his hands and his two ‘bodyguards’, and many such characters which can be created only by him.
The lighting was perfect all over the movie even though everything happens in a single night. There weren’t any blacked out scenes and the audience didn’t have to search for people on the screen. It also has the Mysskin’s signature man-sitting-below-a-street-light scene. In each and every scene someone dies. There aren’t any slow/dramatic deaths in the movie (except maybe for the transgender’s which also didn’t have any dying speeches). Everyone dies almost instantly and every time a character who isn’t of much importance in the movie dies, he screams either ‘karthare’ or ‘ayyo’ or ‘ethukku da’ etc.(any subtle metaphor?)
Mysskin prefers to keep the audience in suspense until the final scene where some key character explains why everything is happening. I was hoping this movie wouldn’t have any flashback at all. Even though it was almost predictable, I thought letting the audience have their own theories would be more effective. But then he again proved me wrong by having a brilliantly narrated Amar Chitra Katha type flashback. He has not only saved money by avoiding shooting some unwanted vintage filtered flashback footage, he has also made the audience think.
Nothing is explained in the movie directly. No one is given a proper introduction of any sort. But still the audience understand everything. This is where the writer shows his brilliance. The audience will have numerous questions in the beginning. Who is this guy? Why is he saving these people? How did he get this information? How did he pull this stunt? Usually there will be someone in every scene who asks these questions for the audience and we will be made to sit though some lame explanation. But Mysskin doesn’t do that. He believed that the audience are also intelligent and can understand things even without explanation.
But we are still left with some unanswered questions like what happens to the attukutti’s family? Why aren’t the police arresting him? Why is the city so deserted? How is the villain so active when he can’t even piss on his own? Why did I choose to watch this movie even after experiencing Mugamoodi? (Okay this was answered). And we tend to ignore these questions. We forgive him for the awesome thriller that he has given us after a very long time. I’m not a big fan of the audience-hating directors but as long as they make movies like this, I have no problem with them.
P.S.: I’ve refrained myself from talking about the various metaphors in the movie and the brilliant BGM by Ilayaraja as I’m not quite intellectually capable of noticing those things upon first viewing.
Onayum Atukuttiyum – The lone wolf amidst all the full length comedy movies