Keerthi is a struggling standup comedy artist, who talks about a major social issue to her audience, by humorously presenting snippets from her life. Though the Malayali audience is not familiar with the standup comedy act, they would easily identify it as an extension of the comedy art form popularized by veteran artists like Jayaraj Warrier and Ramesh Pisharady. Nimisha Sajayan portrays the role of Keerthy, who shares the ups and downs of her life with her audience thorough her standup comedy acts.
Through her acts, Keerthy points out how important it is to support and stand with a woman who faces sexual or physical assault. The audience may ask whether it is comedy when it happens in one’s own life. However, none of these is a joke for Keerthy who stands with her close friend who has gone through severe life experiences. Despite this, Keerthy tries to turn everything into comedy in the hope that her friend’s experiences would be a lesson for the hundreds of people who are listening to her.
Keerthy believes that she, being a woman, has the responsibility to stand with the woman who is an assault victim and to oppose her assaulters, no matter how powerful they are or even if it is her own brother. This is exactly what she says by wrapping it with jokes or comedy. She doesn’t hesitate to move out of her own home just to uphold her values and truth. Keerthy effortlessly explains why it is easier for a woman to understand and support another woman.
The movie begins at a rather tense moment when a severely injured woman is rushed to the hospital by her two male friends. The doctor who realizes that the woman has been sexually assaulted, informs the police. The cops suspect her friends and take them into custody. Here, the movie mocks the police’s action of wrongly accusing innocent people when they fail to find the real culprits. There is a moment of confusion when the rest of the gang do not know whether to save their friend who is the accused or stand with the woman. This in fact provides some let – off for the real culprit.
When the character called Diya, played brilliantly by Rajisha Vijayan, says that if there is a reason to love someone, there would indeed be one to back out of that relationship, it becomes a strong statement to the young generation who throw acids or sets their partners ablaze to avenge failed relationships. This movie loudly proclaims that love is not something that should be controlled only by the men but should respect and accept the woman’s preferences too.
There would be moments when you think you are defeated and helpless. It is then that someone shows up to support and motivate, like the character Sethu Lakshmi Amma in the movie. Finally, when Diya says that she is not a victim but a survivor, the theater erupts into applauds and cheers.
Stand Up is a good movie that begins with comedy and slowly transitions by leading the audience to some very disturbing realities. Director Vidhu Vincent has been able to satisfy the expectations of the audience. Vidhu’s attempt to narrate the story in an engaging way has paid off.
Without any major plot twists or suspense, the movie narrates the story pretty straight forwardly which is one of the main advantages of Stand Up. It would be right to say that the director has succeeded in presenting a relevant topic, especially when the audience feels for the characters even after leaving the theater. Through Stand Up Vidhu, has once more proved her mettle, after the much acclaimed Manhole.
Besides Nimisha Sajayan and Rejisha Vijayan, Seema, Sajitha Madathil, Jolly Chirayath, Rajesh Sharma, Sunil Sukhada, Junais, Divya Gopinath, Arjun Ashokan and Venkitesh play pivotal roles in the movie. Stand UP is produced jointly by B Unnikrishnan and Anto Joseph. The screenplay is by Umesh Omanakuttan. Meanwhile, the camera is handled by Tobin Thomas.
Singer Sayanora has dubbed for Nimisha Sajayan in the movie. She has lent her voice for the lead character, without any artificiality and adds depth to the character. Besides dubbing for Nimisha, Sayanora has sung three songs in the movie as well. Varkey’s enchanting music goes amazingly well with the soul of the movie.