41 movie review: Lal Jose offers intuitive film with Biju Menon

41 interval report | Communist vs booze, who will win
Lal Jose’s new film 41 is a socio-political satire.

41 aka Nalpathiyonnu movie opens with a scene where Biju Menon's character is seen meditating on air, literally! A curious crowd gathers around him. Minutes later, he is seen challenging the divine God.

The Lal Jose movie is more or less based on this aspect where the protagonist Ullas is an atheist and he has his own set patterns for life.

For instance, on the eve of his wedding, he goes to the bride's home and sets a few conditions. In yet another scenario, Ullas is seen helping an old woman at a medical camp, while his own old-age mother taunts him for not helping him.

But his life takes a turn when he decides to reform Vavachi, who is also a party worker and an alcoholic.

Set between religious sentiments and political affiliations, director Lal Jose plays it safe not intruding too much into either of the two.

Like his usual movies, Lal Jose' narrative stamp is evident in this one too. The well-crafted story telling helps in keeping the audiences engaged.

If Biju Menon's last film Aadhyarathri was a take on the argument of “what will the society say”, his 41 exhorts the society to change itself.

Though we know that he has strong convictions with regard to his life, we are never shown as to what made him so. Scripted by debutant PG Prageesh, the interesting twists and occasional fun-filled moments keep the film moving at a good pace.

Biju Menon, as usual, effortlessly fits into the character Ullas and entertains as well as make the audiences think with his amazing one-liners.

Equally laudable was Dhanya as Suma and debutante Saranjith, who impressed as Vavachi. Be it as a drunkard or as the goon and even during the emotional moments, he manages to deliver a neat performance. So was Nimisha Sajayan, who is seen both as young girl and a matured woman. With her dialogue delivery and mannerisms, Nimisha makes a wonderful impression.

What works in the movie is the slices of real life shots with realistic treatment. Bijibal has composed the music and lyrics is by Rafeeq Ahammed.

S Kumar is behind the camera and the cinematography is gripping. Take for instance a scene where Vavachi goes into the well to clean and suddenly slips down, the camera moves in circular pattern to give viewers the same feel.

41 aka Nalpathiyonnu also throws light on how crucial are the 41 days for a Ayyappa devotee.

With references to movies like Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala, 41 seems like an ode to the Malayalam cinema of 90's. This Biju Menon movie will entertain the audiences who love light-hearted films.