Cast: Master Adish Praveen, Joju George, Sidhartha Siva, Reina Maria, Soolapani
Director: Jeo Baby
For long, child actors in Malayalam films, barring a handful, were notorious for putting up dramatic acts and mouthing dialogues inappropriate for their age and maturity. When little Joseph aka Ouseppachan (beautifully presented by Adish) speaks in Kunju Daivam (The Little God), it's a relief to watch onscreen childhood brimming with innocence.
A little boy who dreads of math homeworks and believes that God will save him from all his problems, Ouseppachan is the 'head' of his small family in the absence of his father, who works abroad. A God-fearing boy, who never misses a Mass, he regularly prays to God to make him taller, help him win the online game 'Criminal Case' and make his math teacher fall from his bike so that he doesn't have to attend school. Most of his prayers somehow happen, much to his joy. Once, he prays to God to let someone die so that he could bunk school, but it is his grandfather, to whom he is quite close, who passes away. Overpowered by grief and guilt thinking that it was his prayers that caused the death, Ouseppachan decides to redeem himself by praying for others. That's when a sick girl, Katha Jeevan, comes into his life. The movie stresses on the theme that divinity is innocence itself.
In his second directorial, Jeo Baby's craft has improved, gaining a mature pace and earnestness to his way of storytelling. A special mention to the dialogues that are funny and thought-provoking at the same time. The movie drags a bit towards the end of the first half, but maintains a sanctity throughout the cinematic narration. The music blends well with the movie's theme. Kudos to Mathews Pulickan for the lovely songs, especially 'Melle Thooval' that depicts the bond between the two children. Jobby James' frames oozes beauty - of childhood and the quiet village setting.
The film entirely belongs to the sweet Adish, whose adorable expressions and effortless charm leave the audience swooning. That the boy brought home a National Award for his performance in this film shows he is a talent to watch out for and if groomed properly, he would earn more laurels.
Though Joju George had a brief appearance, he leaves a mark with his witty one-liners and guy-next-door charisma. Sidhartha Siva nailed it with the diction, mannerisms and body language of a priest. Hope we get to see more of Reina Maria and Soolapaani, who put up a convincing show as Katha's mother and Ouseppachan's grandfather respectively.
Among the animated loudmouth child roles in Malayalam, Adish's Ouseppachan comes as a whiff of fresh air. Hope more such stories about love and humanity are told from a child's perspective, without compromising on charm and innocence.
The movie has no hair-raising moments, high action scenes or peppy songs, but leaves you a little emotional and lost. If you want to take a stroll down childhood and if you still believe in miracles, watch Kunju Daivam; Jeo Baby and Adish won't disappoint you. Walk in with a smile and take home happy, hope-filled memories....