Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam
After months, this is a relaxing weekend for me. With not too many new releases, I wished to take a small break from writing reviews. But seeing all the love thatvwe are getting, I decided to sacrifice my rest period and get back to what I love doing – scouting for films and writing about them. And I have just finished watching the Malayalam film Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam on Neesteam. I came across this film in one of the film groups. What did draw me to this film was that the entire film was a single take film. Yes, you read that right! We all have seen a few nicely executed single takes in Angamaly Diaries and Jallikattu or more recent in The Family Man 2 and Malik. But executing an entire film in a single take is insane! But then, is it worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam follows to story of a young man and woman who bicker on their visit to a doctor, where the woman suspects that she is pregnant. And that is the story all in a SINGLE SHOT. The story is conversational and yes it is a single shot(or some amazing editing like in the film 1917). The screenplay just revolves around these two character primarily with a third character making just a brief appearance. Now, if you enjoy experimental cinema then you will surely love this film. If you don’t then this film is not for you. I for one loved the concept as well as the execution. It is so amazing the way the writers create situations simply through conversations. So you get a sneak peek into their past and current dynamics, basically you get to know so much about the couple simply by being a witness to their conversations. The subtle humour that is brought out will definitely make you laugh. Moreover, the conversations are real and at no point did I feel that the drama was dragging or that the conversations were getting out of hand. This is 85 mins of pure bliss, probably the bravest(in terms of concept) piece of writing you will see this year.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are the soul of this film. They are insightful and witty at the same time. But moreover they are real and there is this sense of relatability to them. Absolutely excellent writing. The BGM is minimally used which works in the favour here. There are a lot of empty spaces in the screenplay where gently the BGM kicks in, and it blends perfectly with the drama. Director Don Palathara had a real task at hand and he has done a terrific job. To pull off a single one take shot is no mean feat, and to do that well is a herculean task. Well, he does both and comes out with flying colours. Just pitch perfect direction!
The performances by the two leads is amazing. They both have so many emotions to play with and it is the whole film that they have to carry on their own shoulders. And they are outstanding. Jitin Puthanchery as Jithin has done a wonderful job as the confused and conflicted boyfriend with a golden heart. Rima Kallingal as Maria is simply brilliant in probably what others say is her career best role. They both have a magnetic presence and truely are one of the pillars of the film!
Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam is one of the most unique movie watching experiences of 2021. It is that industry which has scored yet again – The Malayalam Film Industry. Available on Neestream and Highly Recommended.