It has been probably a year and a half since the onset of the pandemic that has now changed our lives forever. Even though we have vaccines in place, it is still an anxious time for all of us as the Covid 19 pandemic refuses to slow down. Right from the first time that the lockdown was imposed, we all have had our share of anxieties and insecurities as a result of which we have had to alter the way we used to live. It is surely a harsh period mentally as well as we continue to tick off one day at a time. And with that I have finished watching the new Malayalam film Sunny on Amazon Prime Video which did open with a message to the year 2020, the year which we spent in solitude. Knowing Malayalam films and their prowess, they have been in top form this year and extremely consistent. Does the form continue with this film, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Set in 2020 – the year which saw the first outbreak of the pandemic, Sunny follows the story of a man who goes into isolation on his return to India from Dubai. The story is complex and layered but also therapeutic that leaves you with a lot of hope. The screenplay is extremely slow paced with a lot of attention given to details. So when the protagonist checks into a five star, the receptionist gives him a run through of the dos and don’ts before he goes to the room. Probably, it was the writers who wanted to give an account of the psyche of the person who is about to undergo a quarantine. Bit by bit the layers are peeled off and we get to know that the person is a loner and an alcoholic with certain issues in his personal life. The depiction of the person is symbolised by an ant who is trapped in a glass. A beautiful scene where it wants to escape but it cannot break through the walls. The thoughts of suicide are inherent too and also certain people and objects that symbolize hope. When the detailing was this layered, it is hard that the film would not stay with you! The film just starts talking to you as you find certain elements relatable in a gentle way. Mind you, the pacing is slow throughout and many might find it boring. But if you can just try listening in to the silence and the message it is trying to convey then you will end up loving it. What starts off like a gloomy stay, soon ends with a lot of hope and you find the writing meditative, soothing, layered and therapeutic all at once. Just another example of brilliant writing unlike some of the other films that were wet in lockdown and resorted to comedy. This one is much closer to reality!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are minimally used and you qould feel they are adequate. But if you listen in deeper, you’ll find them philosophical and soothing that could potentially take away all your worries and sooth your tension. The music is excellent here and the BGM is thought provoking. Notice the BGM at the very beginning, it is mellow and soft but it keeps getting louder till it reaches a crescendo at the end signifying hope. A beautiful use of the BGM, some real thought has gone into it. Director Ranjith Sankar has done a wonderfully understated job here. There are no loud emotions at play here, the proceedings are soft as he wants the audience to feel every beat of the protagonist and his psyche without being judgemental. Just a beautiful piece of art.
This is mainly a one character film with other characters being on the phone or just used in passing although equally important. Shritha Sivadas as Adithi really stands out here. There are two distinct perspectives provided here – one of the protagonist which signifies anxiety and gloom and the other Adithi that looks for positives and signifies hope. Just a beautiful portrayal this. And I am a fan of Jayasurya ever since the time I had watched Mumbai Police. The man is wonderfully restrained each time. Here as Sunny, he takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. There is a nice little character arc too to his character that displays an unbelievable range of emotions from gloom and guilt to hope making him a relatable vulnetable human like all of us. This is a towering act in a memorable acting masterclass!
Sunny is niche yet meditative, soothing, layered and therapeutic all at the same time. Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Recommended!