A mother, her five sons and a haunted mansion set the eerie premise for horror thriller 'Vichitram', which cannot be tagged a complete horror movie.
The horror elements are flitting in and out of an ordinary household atmosphere.
With no zombies, vampires or disfigured visages to establish a ghastly predicament, the movie diverts from the usual method of telling a story that characterises this genre. But Vichitram failed to capitalise on a highly potential platform.
Giving some hints of what's in store for the second half, the movie, written by Nikhil Ravindran and directed by Achu Vijayan, the plot sets the stage ready for a suspense thriller at the outset.
Alexander is an old man living alone in a mansion. His sister Jasmine, a widow, is having a meagre existence in a rented house in some corner of the city with her sons - Jackson, Justin, Joyner, Steffan and Savio. Jackson has no job in particular and is neck-deep in debt. There is no earning member in the family other than Jasmine who works at a baker's. When Alexander passes away Jasmine's brother-in-law Prachi (James Alia) compels her to move to the mansion.
However, all is not well after the family shifts to the mansion. The unveiling of Alexander's past or rather that of his daughter Martha, a prolific painter, and her partner Sanghamitra intertwined with art and suspense.
The realistic backdrop, characters and their nuances grip the viewers. However, the drama slips out of hand and goes overboard as it progresses towards the denouement.
Two layers of the plot run parallelly in the movie, with one centred on Jackson (Shine Tom Chacko), his mother Jasmine (Jolly Chirayath) and the four brothers on one side and Martha (Kani Kusruthi), her father Alexander (Lal) and Sanghamitra (Ketaki Narayan) on the other.
While Jackson's world basks in dynamic and vibrant shades, Martha is placed in a dark setting.
The scheme was to merge the two to pull off a mesmerising thriller, But it culminates in a cacophony of insane shrieks for lack of thought in the writing and artistry in its making.
Arjun Balakrishnan's camera follows the action and hue of the story. The cast led by Shine Tom Chacko offers outstanding performances. Balu Varghese as Joyner also was convincing, but the script did play out a bit nonsensical vis-a-vis the character. Shine Tom Chacko has once again proved his mettle as a fine actor through the character of Jackson. What has been so striking is the way he made Jackson different from his other characters in terms of disposition and style.
Perhaps this could be the only prod to watch the movie.