Nivin shines as Kurian. There isn’t even an essence of heroism in his character and as a perpetual chips-munching youngster, who is still clueless about where his life is heading, he is a delight to watch.
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Times of India
Njandukalude Naattil OridavelaSTORY
: London-based Kurian (Nivin Pauly) gets a call from his mother Sheela asking him to come home to Kerala. His family is then forced to face a situation that could turn their lives upside down. How each member of the family reacts to it, tackle it in their own ways and collectively, take the plot forward.
Njandukalude Naattil OridavelaREVIEW
: Nivin Pauly’s tryst with family dramas have been a happy one so far with last year’s Jacobinte Swargarajyam being the high point. So, naturally the expectations were high for actor-turned-director Althaf’s debut directorial, Njandukalude Naattil Oridavela. To his credit, Althaf doesn’t once make the movie feel as it’s a first-timer’s effort as he pulls the audience in right from the first few scenes.
The movie starts with a montage that sets and carries the tone all the way through. It’s a natural glimpse into the life of an upper middle class family that has to tackle an unexpected adversity. There is no melodrama, just a slice of life view of how people react to certain situations and pull themselves through.
The film begins with Sheela Chacko (Shantikrishna) who doubts that she has breast cancer. She soon calls up her son in London, Kurian (Nivin), and asks him to get home while her feeble husband Chacko is on pins and needles. Kurian’s sisters, played by Srinda and Ahaana, along with his brother-in-law (Siju Wilson) and grandfather complete the family.
For most part of the first half, Althaf dedicates his time on fleshing out each character and what sets their treatment apart from many feel-good films is that characters remain true to their personalities till the end of the movie. There isn’t a coming-of-age hero or a dramatic change in their lives brought about my miracles – instead the film has an even pace letting the story unravel through liberal doses humour and genuine reactions.
Apart from its appealing characters, the comedy in the film is its major strength – it’s fresh and spontaneous – making light of even the most sombre of situations in real life. And yet, the film doesn’t fail to touch hearts – be it the scene where Kurian talks about his mom’s iron will or how the family rallies behind to show their collective strength.
Nivin shines as Kurian. There isn’t even an essence of heroism in his character and as a perpetual chips-munching youngster, who is still clueless about where his life is heading, he is a delight to watch. He has room to perform too – as certain scenes call for him to be emotional, funny, simple and also ‘act serious’.
Lal’s character Chacko marks a smashing return to comedic form for the actor. Shantikrishna doesn’t seem to have missed a beat either as she plays Sheela with all the resolve and grace required. Siju Wilson, Saiju Kurup and Sharafudheen have the lion’s share of one-liners that they deliver to perfection. Ahaana, Srinda and Aishwarya Lekshmi play their parts well while Krishna Shankar once again ably supports Nivin’s character.
The cinematography by Mukesh Muraleedharan add to the overall freshness of the film while Justin Varghese’s music seamlessly complements the movie’s theme and tone. The feel-good movie wraps a serious subject in the lightest of manner and therein lies its success. It’s a perfect entertainer reflecting the flavour of this festive season, which is all about spreading joy and staying positive.