‘Ottu’ starring Arvind Swamy and Kunchacko Boban in the lead roles has been one of the most anticipated movies of the season as it brings two evergreen romantic heroes on screen together. However, those who go to the theatres hoping to watch a romantic entertainer would be disappointed as ‘Ottu’ is an engaging thriller that could set the screens on fire. After the romantic comedy ‘Theevandi’ filmmaker TP Fellini has tried his hands in a different genre in his latest outing. The spectacular performances of veteran actors Aravind Swamy and Kunchacko Boban who have become quite ‘unpredictable’ with their unique choice of roles in their second innings make ‘Ottu’ a perfect gangster movie.
Interestingly, the movie has been simultaneously released in Tamil as ‘Randakam’. The plot of ‘Ottu’ that narrates stories of dishonesty and betrayal, unravels in Mumbai. It seems that the second chapter of ‘Ottu’ has been released now and there would be a prequel and a sequel for the thriller.
The movie ends by making the audience curious to know why David had betrayed his guru, Asainar. There are ample moments of cliché in the first half before the movie shifts gears in the second half, leading to a thrilling climax. The movie is able to entertain the audience from the beginning to the end and give hints about possible sequels too.
The screenplay of the movie is penned by S Sajeev. The film explores the mysteries that lie in David’s past. Moreover, the plot amazingly depicts the gold smuggling in the Mumbai – Mangaluru route, gang wars and the betrayals.
The director has mentioned in interviews that he was named Fellini as his father was an admirer of the legendary Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. However, Fellini is a self confessed fan of Italian legend Sergio Leone who is considered as one of the most influential directors who popularised the Spaghetti Western genre. ‘Ottu’ begins by paying tribute to Leone’s ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ that narrates the story of a trio who looks for the gold that had gone missing during the American civil war, in the titles. Even though the characters in ‘Ottu’ are Malayalis, the plot or the way in which the characters have been treated hardly have any Malayali essence.
‘Ottu’, curiously shares the spirit of some recent Tamil movies that were inspired by the Western gangster movies. The movie that begins in Mumbai progresses through Goa and Mangaluru. However, unlike the regular mass action thriller, ‘Ottu’ isn’t crammed with high octane action sequences. Instead, the movie boasts of multiple layers that explores the emotional state of the characters. Sometimes, the audience might think that ‘Ottu’ is a love story and at other times it seems like an emotional drama. Besides, there are elements of a road movie too in it. However, in the climax, ‘Ottu’ takes the form of a fabulous action thriller.
Arvind Swamy and Kunchacko Boban are two extremely talented actors who have impressed the audience in their second innings. Interestingly, both of them had romantic hero tags throughout the first phase in their career. However, in their comeback, the actors have managed to break away from this stereotypical ‘image’. From a handsome romantic hero, Aravind Swamy has moulded himself into a ruthless villain who amazed the critics and the audience alike with his incredible performances in ‘Thani Oruvan’ and ‘Bogan’. His natural acting abilities made the audience root for the villain rather than the hero.
Meanwhile, Kunchacko Boban managed to rise his career graph by essaying lead roles and supporting roles in proper intervals. The actor, who is celebrating his twenty fifth year in cinema, has set the cash registers ring at the box office with his recent outing ‘Nna Thaan Case Kodu’. If he had portrayed a commoner in this classic satire, Kunchacko Boban had transformed himself into a mass hero in ‘Ottu’. The lead actors’ unpredictable choices of roles are what makes ‘Ottu’ exciting and thrilling. The movie also stars Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff and South Indian stars like Aadukalam Naresh, Eesha Reba, Jins Bhaskar and Amalda Liz.
When the hero and villain keep interchanging these roles ‘Ottu’ becomes an interesting watch. As the movie doesn’t adopt the formula of a regular mass masala, fans of such movies may not be impressed by the unique treatment of the film. However, the movie stands out for its spectacular technical quality and amazing performances. The music and background score by Arulraj Kennedy help the pace of the movie. Meanwhile, the sound designing by Ranganath and sound mixing by Tapas Nayak add to the technical brilliance of the film. The camera by Gouthan Sankar, Appu Bhattathiri’s editing and Subash Karun’s production design have elevated the general mood of ‘Ottu’.
Now, the wait continues for Chapter 1 that explores David and Asainar’s past and for Chapter 3 where the scores are finally settled. This movie truly has the potential to be turned into a parallel cinematic universe in the South Indian cinema industry.