: The film follows five middle-aged men who get together for a booze party during an election holiday in Kerala
: It's no ordinary feat for a film with no known faces, or even any element which can be remotely called cinematic, to hold one's attention for two hours. But Sanalkumar Sasidharan's 'Ozhivudivasathe Kali' does that, and more.
The film, an adaptation of Unni R's short story of the same name, has five ordinary middle-aged men playing the lead actors, with a run-down building in the middle of a forest as the setting. What strikes you right at the outset is that there are no scripted lines; imagine a hidden camera capturing the banter of a boisterous gang of men out on a drinking expedition.
In those two hours, the group of five drink, talk, laugh, fight, make up and then drink some more. For a change, they decide to play a game, which ends in a tragic mishap.
One might think how such a feeble thread could make a movie, but the director manages to build anticipation and intrigue in the ordinary, triggering discussions on caste, skin colour and gender in the process. The group, who initially appear like a random gang, are not so random after all, one realises, but representative of a typical Kerala society with all its hypocrisies. An unwritten hierarchy exists among them which expresses itself all the more under the influence of alcohol.
The five actors - Nisthar Sait, Baiju Netto, Girish Nair, Pradeep Kumar and Reju Pillai - as well as Abhija who acts as the cook and the sole female presence in the film, belong to another league altogether. Almost the entire second half of the film is a single shot more than 40 minutes long, but not once do any of the actors pause or slip into 'acting' mode. The camaraderie they exhibit is also unbelievable.
There is no beautifying or photoshopping whatsoever, and everything is as raw and real as can be, warts et al. Ozhivudivasathe Kali is not for those looking for entertainment, but if you are looking for a break from scripted, cliched dialogues and faces on screen, this one is surely for you.