Director: Dinjith Ayyathan
Cast: Asif Ali, Shibla, Ashwathy Manoharan, Ahmed Sidhique, Srikant Murali, Basil Joseph, Nirmal Palazhi
What would it be like when a man who has no opinion about anything in life is suddenly forced into a marriage by his family and a few months later he seeks for divorce? This forms the crux of Kakshi Amminipilla, debut directorial of Dinjith Ayyathan. Amminipilla (Ahmed) is married to Kanthi (Shibla), whom he meets the first time on his marriage day. Ammini instantly hates her, and his bitterness only increases with time, finally leading him to ask for divorce. There enters Pradeepan, a lawyer and aspiring politician, who is denied seat in election due to ‘lack of popularity’ among the mass. How Pradeepan finds fame exploiting the situation is what the rest of movie shows.
Elements that make the courtroom drama worth one watch are its humour, more or less realistic portrayal of a courtroom (whether marriage and divorce are so easy still remains as a question), beautiful frames that enhance the film’s mood and capture beauty of the location, its music and the way the characters have tried to pull off the Malabar dialect. The humour works in most of the places. Writer (Sanilesh Sivan) has tried to maintain sensitivity in his dialogues. Then, it shows what all can possibly happen in a family court. Of course, the makers have taken the cinematic licence, but portrayal of the ambience shows some justice to the reality.
Asif Ali as adv Pradeepan looks charming on screen. It is nice to see him upgrading from the regular campus youth to a tough yet charismatic man through meaty roles. He has wonderfully enlivened his character through controlled mannerisms. Next is director Basil Joseph, who appears as Pradeepan’s sidekick, and Nirmal Palazhi, Ammini’s friend, who together tickle your funny bones. Those who have watched Basil’s singing prowess in the teaser can expect more of that. Shibla who gained weight to play Kanthi is another one who deserves mention, though we would yearn for an entirely different climax to her story. Srikant Murali’s judge, Ahmed’s Ammini and Vijayaraghavan’s RP add more fun and drama to the story.
But, Kakshi Amminipilla falters in taking a stance. At one point, we feel that the writer wants to say that the arranged marriage system is unfair, but then he says otherwise. Did he want us to see that whole campaign in the movie just as a ploy of Pradeepan? Does he believe in the age-old norm that ‘familiarity will make up for everything?’ Is he trying to see the bright side of the story? Or, does it flow like the character Amminipilla, who has no opinion? That is where — precisely in the second half — we lose the grip of the story. We get confused as characters waver, shifting the flow of the narrative. It was like too many thoughts crash-landing on the ground. Perhaps, had the movie been edited well, removing loose ends, this confusion could have avoided. Still, it’s worth a watch and, as a debutant, Dinjith has done a good job.