If you have been following my reviews then by now you will be knowing that I really enjoy films depicting culture. And if it is a Malayalam film then I am all the more curious to watch it. One such film made its way to the OTT space this weekend. After an extremely successful theatrical run, the new Malayalam film Ajagajantharam has released on SonyLiv. And why was I particularly curious about watching it? Because it would give me a glimpse of the Pooram festival which is celebrated in temples in some parts of Kerala. So then is the Malayalam film Ajagajantharam worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Ajagajantharam follows the story of a event triggering a series of mishaps during the Pooram festival in the village of Aranjali. The story has a thin plot but it showcases some glimpses of the Malayalam films Jalikattu and Angamaly Diaries. In other words, the conflict might seem simple here but it is topped with a lot of dark humour and some choatic action sequences which were truly designed for the big screen. The screenplay is the one which you would typically associate with Malayalam Cinema. While the initial screentime is dedicated to the introduction of characters and their backgrounds, the fun begins when their paths collide. In a brilliantly choreographed sequence involving a party having lunch, the tensions are escalated. The simmering tension is palpable here in the following scenes are well wherein the smallest of conflict turns into a big one. A minor shade of Ayyapannum Koshiyum was evident in the sequence as well. A word of caution here : The story is a one-liner and so if you are expecting a tale with twists and turns then this isn’t the film for you. Instead what you are served is a film filled with multiple raw action sequences which will keep you invested(ofcourse with a tinge of dark humour). In between you do get a glimpse of the festival involving an elephant which was quite refreshing to witness. The drama culminates into a brilliantly chaotic final act which has a nice little metaphor to the firecrackers too! Overall, a brilliantly penned screenplay!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are exceptionally mouth watering and they hold a lot of weight. The music gives this story an authentic spin to it. The BGM is grungy and a little loud which surprisingly goes very well with the mood of the drama. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking and some of the frames which are captured are to die for. Director Tinu Pappachan does a brilliant job in maintaining the grip on the narrative and demanding your attention throughout. This was the need of the hour especially when the story was wafer thin(though that honestly does not bother me in Malayalam films).
The performances are exceptional here. Tito Wilson, Vineeth Vishwam and Sabumon Abdusamad all have their moments to shine. Arjun Ashokan as Kannan is yet again brilliant and he has forced me to look up some of his other work as well. And Antony Varghese is absolutely brilliant as Lali. His aggressiveness and craziness is infectious and it reminded me of his energy from films like Jalikattu and Angamaly Diaries. This was one heck of a towering performance!
Ajagajantharam is a brilliant chaotic carnage which is absolutely worth your time. Available on SonyLiv and Highly Recommended!