: Chakkaramaavin Kombathu delves deep into the world of haves and the have nots, and also brings to light how two kids from completely different backgrounds are united by the rewarding childhood experiences.
The film revolves around the lives of two kids -- Uthaman and Jentry Thomas. When they cross each other's paths, they forge an unbreakable bond with each other.
The first scene shows how a visionary called Alimammuka (Joy Mathew) often becomes a sought-after person in the village, when it comes to resolving disputes and protecting the beautiful natural environment they dwell in. While Harisree Asokan and Anjali Nair play Uthaman's parents, Kishore Mathew, who is a prominent face in ads is seen making his entry into films as Jentry's father, and actress Meera Vasudevan marks a comeback with the role of Dr Lucy, his wife.
Uthaman (Gourav Menon) lives in a tiled house, while the family of Jentry Thomas (Derick Rajan) dwells in a mansion. Though Uthaman's parents are not well off, they do not plague his mind with the worries about future and about succeeding in life. Living a luxurious life might be a distant reality for the duo, but they look completely content with life and with whatever they have managed to attain.
Making good memories count for his family, rather than try to amass wealth, they are seen indulging in banter and enjoying the simple pleasures of life like playing tug of war, making 'Karivepila ittu pollicha meen fry ' (Fish fry using curry leaves) and of course, lending the basic parental care to him.
His new neighbour Jenry's parents, Dr Thomas and Dr Lucy are always preoccupied in their own world, and fail to allot even the slightest of time to their son. Devoid of attention, he yearns for some companionship from Uthaman, while the latter desires to get access to a treasure one day, which Alimammuka is believed to possess. The realisation that if he does not cross the big wall around his house, he would be losing out on important things in life has him eventually joining hands with Uthaman. Soon, he transcends all boundaries that the adults have created and they strike a chord with each other. The wall reminds one of Robert Frost's poem Mending Wall, and makes one ponder whether good fences really make good neighbours.
Each scene portraying the joys of life, be it hopping around with a catapult in hand as kids, playing with a gang of children, taking a dive in the nearest water body in the locality and aimlessly wandering in the hilly areas, is like a trip back to the bygone era. The director has aptly infused all things nostalgic by picturising the 'vayal' (paddy fields) and cute tiled houses and lakes, among many other things. Bijibal's songs help provide that old-world charm, and his song Mele Maanathu is soulful stirring indeed.
Given that this is essentially a children's film, we see actress Meera Vasudevan making less screen presence, when compared to the kids. However, she is convincing as the workaholic doctor and rigid parent. Anjali Nair also renders a good performance as Uthaman's mother.
Chakkaramaavin Kombathu also gifts the audience with realistic performances of actors such as Indrans, Bindu Panicker and Harisree Ashokan, who are rarely seen on screen these days.
Though Joy Mathew's character as a do-gooder comes as the glimmer of hope for the future generations in the village, intermittent spurts of didactism on how to save the environment, etc, seem a bit preachy at times. The comic sequences in between by various other characters are also a bit forced and make the film drag a bit.
The film spreads a positive vibe as to how the young kids turn custodians of nature and keep alive Alimammuka's dream. It is an attempt made straight from the heart but introduction of certain characters and instances go tangential to the narrative and further sways the audience from the real storyline.