: Baiju is a laidback government employee in his forties, who spends most of his time with youngsters half his age, playing cricket. He is a Good Samaritan in his neighbourhood, but an irresponsible husband at home. The film is a saga of his selfless intervention in various instances for his dear and near.
: Baiju is in a kallu shaappu with his friends, and one of the boozers is singing the renowned Malayalam song Oru Pushpam Maathramen. The character, played by Alencier Ley, croons the whole of the first stanza in a markedly slow flow, in the typical ‘spirited’ tone suited to the setting. And what’s the whole scene for? So that Baiju thinks of his ex-lover for a split second… The whole of Rakshadhikari Baiju is such an aimless, unnecessarily stretched saga in a weakened pace, which demands scads of patience from the viewers to make it till the last frame.
Though he works in the irrigation department, Baiju (Biju Menon) is hardly in office or at home, and is keener to conduct cricket matches with boys in his tranquil village, Kumbalam. He spends most of his time at a playground in the neighbourhood. Evading the responsibilities of a married family man, he leads a blissful life, ignoring the complaints of his wife (Hannah Reji), who loves him regardless.
Rakshadhikari Baiju does have quite a few genuine scenes of humour. Biju Menon, Hannah Reji, Aju Varghese and most of the actors in the film showcase subtle, natural acting that make you feel you aren’t watching a movie, but events unfolding in your own locality. Bijibal has composed a handful of beautiful songs too for the film. A celebratory sequence for which the whole of the village comes together to make merry was also quite nostalgic. It was also heartening to see kids, men and women coming out to play games in such a playground of a village, at a time when the generation is mostly glued to cell phone screens and it makes you wish such spaces indeed exist amidst us.
But sadly, none of it salvages the film that loses its sheen right in the first half itself, mostly owing to the oh-so-slow pacing. The wafer-thin storyline, numerous unwanted sequences, sluggish pace and the climax that is obviously put together as they couldn’t find a better way to wrap-up the stray story, all of it, bluntly put, knocks the life out of the film. The directionless narration adds to the woes. On the whole, the film does have good moments, but they are few and far in between. If you don’t mind mega-serial style story-telling in a film, probably you can give it a try.