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Times of India
Kalimannu is about the struggles of a woman who uses technology to embrace motherhood after her husband is declared brain dead.
Blessy has the knack of employing creatures to signify the seminal idea of his narratives. In
, he made use of the nagging buzz of a beetle to symbolise the unrest of a deranged mind. In
his interests are more profound and universal - the origin of life and the joys of motherhood.
While dealing with motherhood, he devotes lavish attention on fishes. He sets up an alluringly lit aquarium inside the house of one of the characters played by Suhasini, who is Meera's (Shwetha Menon) friend. Meera watches closely as her friend mounts her handycam and captures the spawning of fishes. She does it with a fairly good spread of valuable snippets on reproduction in fishes and how the entire process appears enchantingly similar to human life.
In a film that tells how a woman is subjected to in vitro fertilisation after receiving sperm from her brain dead husband, the scenes involving fishes serve a smart purpose. The creation and evolution of life at the miniature level acts as a perfect signal for what ensues.
However, the subtlety could have aided the purpose. Even the sumptuous flow of tenderness that mark the scenes where Meera communicates with the baby in her womb are mired in a penchant for sharing information. Advanced medical tools are introduced along with innovations and these talks - sometimes philosophical and often technical - drain away all the good work Blessy does in conjuring up the story of a woman, her survival and her longing for motherhood.
Shweta and Biju Menon do not accomplish anything exceptional in this film except the fact both of them show a sense of measure in playing characters linked by oodles of love and emotions. Towards the end, Blessy even finds himself irretrievably besotted with child-birth.
He might have been spurred by the debates which his film had triggered earlier. The consequence is a bleak array of scenes dotted with news discussions, media debates on showcasing child-birth to public view that culminate in a scene where Meera breaks down as though by instigation rather than by instinct. What is lost in this mish-mash portrayal is a sense of real purpose - an idea lost somewhere in the middle of the narrative, which otherwise would have gone well with what Blessy is capable of.