It's never easy to deal with ruffians. So, the next best thing people do is to let them be. In Sreenath Bhasi-starrer 'Chattambi', Kariya is violent and does not live by anyone's rule book. His wild ways make him unapproachable, so much so that no one mourns him in his death. Except for his long-suffering mother, who is deeply disheartened that her son never found the redemption, she hoped for.
Helmed by Abhilash S Kumar, 'Chattambi' is a raw depiction of a ruffian, living in the hilly terrains of Idukki, who wastes his time away smoking and drinking. The movie opens with a scene showing Kariya's body. The policeman rules it as accidental death, though his body language and the testimonies by the villagers show clearly that someone wanted Kariya dead.
The story, though slow, is quite interesting. But the makers have not relied on any twist or turn for effect. There are no songs either to drive home any emotion, but the movie still manages to tug at your heartstrings at certain points.
Like when Kariya's mother (played by Uma KP), waits patiently for her son to turn over a new leaf. Or when she is heartbroken when she sees no change in him.
The satire and humour are spot on. The film takes a dig at certain Christian sects, but why the filmmaker chose to make a caricature out of them seems incomprehensible since the movie is clearly about the life of a youth, who is wasted by unnecessary anger and violence.
Sreenath Bhasi shines as Kariya. His first solo lead movie gives him enough space to prove his acting prowess.
Chemban Vinod, who plays a loan shark and illicit drug peddler named John, is back to his forte, playing the bad guy. Though he makes 'good' use of Kariya's fearless and ruffian nature for his use, he is not depicted as an out-and-out bad guy.
In her come-back movie, Mythili plays Jose's lover with ease. But Grace Antony as Cicily steals the show. Guru Somasundaram also does a fine job.
The humour is spot on while the dialogues are contemplative. Despite these merits, the film does not feel complete. Maybe because there are several loopholes in the film.
Like the time, when one man testifies that Kariya was a good man. Except for a few glances shot at John by Kariya, we don't see any human side to the protagonist. Who is he? If he was a good man, why did he not show remorse when he did something horrible?
Probably, the filmmaker could have explored this angle better to leave a lasting impact on the viewers.