: A visually challenged man, Jayaraman is a lift operator who works in an apartment. Nevertheless, his sense of smell, touch and sound compensate for what he lacks. Once, a murder happens in the flat and Jayaraman gets accused based on circumstantial evidences. To prove his innocence, he sets out to track down the real killer.
: An intriguing premise with a sightless man, who gets dragged into a murder case as the culprit. His heightened other senses that compensate for the blindness, helping him 'feel' what's around him, often much better than others. A complex antagonist who is much more than a dastardly villain... Priyadarshan's Oppam has a few elements to create some entertainingly 'tensed' moments through its length, but it's not one of those gripping thrillers that leave you content when you leave the hall.
As the movie starts, you see a man with a heavily-tattooed shoulder emerging out of water, post his seemingly-ceremonial morning dip. But who is it? After such a power-packed intro for 'someone,' the story starts with its narration, and never does it come back to give further clues on the scene or any intelligent explanation to it other than letting the audience conveniently guess that it might be the film's protagonist. Anyway, he is no average man, but quite talented and brilliant despite having to deal with his sensory-challenged situation. He works as a lift operator in an apartment in Kochi and is also good friends with some of its inmates. When police nabs him as the prime suspect for a murder that occurs in the building, he has no other way but employ his smarts, as the clues he has to offer the police to prove his innocence are slim.
Mohanlal seems quite at home with the murder mix-up plot and his charming, visually challenged man act. The name Oppam suits the film to a T, and it also felt refreshing to watch some much-loved actors back again on the screen, right at the outset, like Innocent and Kaviyoor Ponnamma. The film has an engaging first half that makes you wait for the investigation to unfold and discover how Jayaraman wriggles out of the situation. Its songs also suit the situations quite well, and are engaging. All of the actors have done their best to make their characters stand out, be it Aju Varghese who plays an auto driver or Samuthirakani, in his antagonist avatar.
For a director who has made intelligent and simple films that figure in the 'evergreen' list of Mollywood, Oppam doesn't have what it takes to portray the brilliance of Priyadarshan. Not all of its gags are clever and even flashes some comic absurdity at times, most notably in the scene in which the police questions Mamookoya's character. The story doesn't convincingly deal with many of the situations or give clever answers to how the protagonist manages to win over the police and law. A system, which keeps on blaming him for the repeated deaths of the people around him, but seemingly decides to think differently when it approaches the closure of the film.
Watch Oppam if you are a Mohanlal fan, but don't expect the much-loved magic of a Mohanlal - Priyadarshan film to get repeated this time.