UPDATE: 'Ayyapanum Koshiyum' featured several times in the 68th edition of the National Film Awards, 2022. Biju Menon, who donned a major role in the film, won the best supporting actor award while late filmmaker Sachy, aka Sachidanandan KR, won the award for best direction. Nanchiyamma was adjudged the best playback female singer for her memorable track 'Kalakkatha' from the movie. Read more here.
Every man is a mix of the good and bad and there is no epitome of good – this adage seems to have shone bright in the mind of the film-maker as Ayyappanum Koshiyum unfolds before one.
The charming, two-hours-fifty-minute movie begins with the Mundoor Kummattikali, a rustic temple festival wherein a war between Lord Shiva, in disguise as a hunter, and Arjuna, is enacted.
Arjuna soon loses all his weapons but is more weighed down by the fact that a mere hunter vanquished him. Lord Shiva then drops his disguise and blesses Arjuna with the mighty Pasupatha Asthra (arrow). As the allusion progresses, we are introduced to Koshy Kurian, a retired havildar. He is arrested on his way to Ooty through Attappady. The charges levelled include carrying liquor in a prohibition zone and minor fisticuff with the police.
The film-maker now turns in the gritty and unrelenting sub-inspector Ayyappan Nair who is in no mood to let Koshi go. Ultimately, Koshi ends up spending seven days in jail and is full of wrath.
Koshi, the son of an Idukki-based planter, is no weak adversary. Koshi moves his pawns and the policemen, including Ayyappan Nair, gets to know the power he wields. The storyline starts racing down our nerves as Ayyappan Nair starts paying back Koshi in the same manner.
It turns out to be an edge-of-seat affair as the plot progresses with sinful revenge, attacks, and counters. The film-makers craft comes to light as the audience is in a dilemma to gauge who is right – Koshi or Ayyappan. The craft is tricky - whenever we tend to like the heroics of one character, the negatives quickly play out, putting one in more dilemma. Taking sides with the protagonist is a tough task as the protagonist and the antagonist exhibit traits of good and bad. The anti-hero in both shines all through.
Biju Menon and Prithviraj occupy their screen space well, the former dominating the second half and the latter, the first. Koshi personifies the rich, influential man in society and Ayyappan Nair, the underdog with a yell of rebellion.
Renjith puts up a scintillating show as Koshi’s father Kurien John. He puts to best use his rich baritone and an aggressive body language.
Sachi, the writer-director, of the movie has ensured that there is no lag in any part of the script. The film, hinging on the central characters, defines how the might of money and influence runs down the common man. It essentially portrays the underlying conflicts of society in a thematic manner.
The film’s tech department is excellent with sharp cuts. Sandeep Elamon’s cinematography has beautifully captured the beauty of the lush green high ranges of the state.
Vinu Mohan, Anil Nedumangad, Dhanya, Sabumon, Anna Rajan, and Johny Antony are the other members of the cast.