Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25
Yes, I am aware that I am late to the party but I have finally finished watching the Malayalam film Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25 on Amazon Prime. It was only last week when I had watched Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval’s latest directorial venture Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham on Hotstar. The expectations were sky high considering that the same director had made the film in question here. While that did have moments of brilliance, it really prompted me to watch Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25 which was lying in my watchlist for ages now. So then these are my two cents on the film.
Story & Screenplay
Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25 follows the story of a son who assembles a robot to take care of his father who stays alone in a village, while he is out working abroad. The story is novel and innovative with a simple premise which is now prevalent in all Malayalam films. The screenplay is something that surprises you here. Although labelled as a comedy, it is packed with so many emotions that you will feel connected throughout. After a buildup that introduces the audience to the characters, the main story begins with the introduction of the robot. The humour here is subtle and will instantly put a smile on your face. The screenplay is also about the dynamics of relations between the characters that do leave you with a sweet and sour taste, both in a positive manner. The subtle twists and turns in the story will keep you engaged throughout. A subplot featuring the incomplete love story is just so cute and heartwarming. Also the conflict between a machine and a human is laid out without being judgmental towards any particular party. By the end of it, the film had me wailing like a little baby which I did not expect considering the genre. This was a near perfect screenplay, executed with perfection.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are subtle yet poignant and they leave a lasting impact. One of the one-liners are philosophical that definitely touch your heart. The music is pleasant, so is the BGM and they both gel well with the drama. The cinematography is top notch and some of the frames are beautifully captured. Director Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval does a phenomenal job here. Not only does he keep the humour intact but also coats it with loads of emotions. One of the finest pieces of art that I have witnessed in recent times.
The performances are top notch here. Maala Parvathi as Soudamini has her moments to shine. Rajesh Madhavan who was exceptional in Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham, is pretty good as Vinu here. Kendy Zirdo as Hitomi looks cute and has a good screen presence. Saiju Kurup as Prasannan is quite an affable character and pretty well portrayed. Soubin Shahir aa Subramanian is absolutely fabulous. I have been a fan of his body of work and he is such a talented actor that always makes it a point to add a virtue to the personality of the character thst he portrays. He is conflicted here and yet you end up liking him(kudos to the balance in writing of his character too). And what more can I say about Suraj Venjaramoodu. It was only this year that I had discovered his work in The Great Indian Kitchen. I was impressed by his portrayal of an aged man in Kaanekkaane. And it was then that people gad recommended me to watch Android Kunjappan where he portrays an old man. He has so many layers to his character, so many emotions and he nails every single one of them. The last scene featuring him crying in agony has still stayed with me and would potentially make me teary eyed each time. An acting masterclass of the highest order!
Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25 is perhaps one of my favourite Malayalam films of all times. Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Highly Highly Recommended.