Director Priyadarshan has had a dry run at the box office of late and so, when the news came that he has teamed up with Mohanlal, the bar of expectations were high considering their past successes. Even if Oppam (Together) falls in the familiar suspense thriller category, Mohanlal’s stellar performance enhances the impact of the movie.
Jayaraman (Mohanlal) was visually impaired by birth. But that only made his other senses stronger. He is a keen observer and listener. When a girl in the apartment goes missing, he deducts precisely where she may be. Save for a ludicrously staged scene following a police interrogation that makes Jayaraman look like a Desi-superhero as he beats Policemen to pulp, the film does justice to the actor in Mohanlal as much as the actor adds credibility to the film.
Take the blindness out of Jayaraman and this movie’s plot falls under the familiar suspense thriller territory. Therefore, the scenes placed in the movie that accentuate Jayaraman’s handicap are executed well, especially the scene where he senses the murderer in the lift. Mohanlal slips into the character with such ease that it makes one wonder what else the actor has got to offer from his bag of surprises. He gets the body language right and plays the blind man’s character with a touch of lightness, in the same manner he had earlier excelled in as George Kutty in Jeethu Joseph’s Drishyam.
Jayaraman has through his good nature won the trust of people around him. Krishnamoorthy (Nedimudivenu), a retired Judge, entrusts him with the life of a girl and also a secret. Krishnamoorthy is killed by a man seeking vengeance when the apartment he lives in is in a celebratory mood. And then the power goes off. Jayaraman discovers the motionless Krishnamoorthy on the floor and nearly catches the killer. The cinematography of N K Ekambaram and the background score by Ron Ethan Yohann heighten the tension of this scene. We live in times when a lot of Indian composers seem to be confused when trying to capture the sensitivity of a scene and Ron deserves full credit for the background score that leads to the interval block. It elevates the impact of that scene.
The songs in the movie are understandably placed but don’t quite stay in the head. Samuthirakani plays an important role (what a year he is having!) and does justice to it. You wish the film maker delved a bit more into his character. Vimala Raman as Devayani has a sub-plot that slackens the intensity of the film. The cast play their parts well – be it Anusree as the supportive lady cop, Ganga or Chemban Vinod Jose as the capricious CI, Anandhan. Baby Meenakshi as the little girl Nandini is a pretty presence on screen.
But the movie is one to be cherished for a fine performance by Mohanlal. A good actor is the Director’s finest asset for he brings the film maker’s vision on screen. He can make an ordinary film look extraordinary. Priyadarshan is one lucky man!