The film tells the story of Thamburu, a homosexual who struggles to find his space in an insensitive society.
: It's always a delight to watch a film which has an engaging script and natural dialogues, regardless of the genre and subject. Biju Varma's Odum Raja Adum Rani is one such. The title might suggest a comedy entertainer but the film is anything but that. In fact it is one of those rare films which treats homosexuality in an unabashedly real but sensitive manner, without packagingthe film into a comedy where the man with the confused gender identity is portrayed in a comic manner, and 'cured' at the end.
Manikantan Pattambi (
fame) who has written the script, plays the main character as well, that of Thamburu, a man who is attracted to men. The point of view is from that of Venkidi (Tini Tom) a rough and hearty character who is all man - he and friends spend their days drinking, ogling women and doing everything else heterosexual men supposedly do in their small village. Thamburu, who arrives as Venkidi's new house mate, doesn't drink or ogle at women, instead loves cooking for Venkidi, cleaning the house and dressing himself up as a woman, albeit in secret, all of which makes him an object of ridicule. Thamburu develops a crush on Venkidi who is first amused, and later disturbed by his friend's possessiveness.
The film is about the multiple levels at which society tortures someone with a different sexual orientation. It manages to portray struggles of a homosexual sensitively without over sentimentality. .Manikantan, like every other cast member, seem to live their characters. Even minor actors leave an impact, from Joju as an insensitive friend to Surabhi Lakshmi as Thamburu's long suffering wife. Tini Tom plays the part of the 'normal man' to perfection, while Sreelakshmi Sreekumar as the local girl entrusted with 'seducing' Thamburu displays spunk and grace simultaneously. Glimpses into Thamburu's horrifying past and wretched lives od small time Kavadi artistes are shown in an equally poignant manner.
Odum Raja Aadum Rani
is not for the weak hearted; it's a simple film with no airs, with a message which comes through loud and clear, that everyone deserves dignity, happiness and love.