After completion of the first thirty minutes or so, there is a chance this film Sakhavu can make a viewer wonder where it is heading upto. But after that initial dullness, the film takes a complete U-turn and thereby compensating for that little bit of sluggishness that was part of the early stage in the film. We have seen numerous films that have attempted to present the communist ideology and its struggles that are part of the political movement in the state. Some of those films are top class, deserving repeated watch and still stays in our mind while some just tried to capitalize on the communist wave but couldn’t make up any impact and faded away.
Sakhavu directed by Sidhartha Siva is not the best of the political films that have come out of Mollywood but one of the best that can stake its claim for a place in those list and belong to the former category that I mentioned. Backed by an uncompromising and strong screenplay written by the director himself and clean presentation, Sakhavu stays in our mind, making a good impression and ends up on the winning side.
The film starts with Sakhavu Krishnakumar who wants to make a name for himself as a politician without hardwork. He is one who doesn’t have any scant respect towards social work and want to occupy party positions which he wants to obtain through the back door. Krishnakumar gets a call that lands him in Kottayam Medical College. Here he gets indirectly introduced to someone which helps him change his mindset and his attitude. How this happens and what prompt such a change in him is neatly depicted and directed by Sidhartha Siva.
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Politics as a subject in films is nothing new. Most of the films that tracked the left ideology in films have succeeded and at the same time some of them have bitten the dust too. Sakhavu has that element of entertainment and the thread in it to succeed. Sidhartha Siva has pumped life and energy into the story and screenplay by adding commercial elements which would help the film appeal to a wider audience.
Humor is added in limited dose which was okay. The writing here needs to be specially mentioned for adding scenes and dialogues that blended well with the story. Some of those scenes had the chance of ending up being cliched and preachy but the cleverly written script save the film and help it end creating good impression in the end. The fight scene towards the end was a bit illogical and was hard to digest. This sequence along with the first thirty minutes or so is the only weak link in the film.
Now coming to performances, Nivin played his part perfectly as Krishnakumar, a role which was devoid of any challenges and was easy to perform for him that had shades of numerous other characters that Nivin have played before. But the case is different when it came to Sakhavu Krishnan which demanded a lot from him as an actor. He didn’t fail in that attempt, justified his casting quite well though at some portions there were blemishes and we might feel things could have been presented better. Still this is one of his career best performance on par with what he did in 1983.
Althaf whom we saw in Premam gets a more lengthier role here as the friend of Krishnakumar. I would say his humor and dialogue delivery wasn’t as smooth. Some of his combination scenes with Nivin evoked fun while a few others fell flat. Aiswarya Rajesh was apt as the female lead. Aparna Gopinath and Gayatri Suresh, the other female leads were also notable and supported well. Baiju, Musthafa, Sreenivasan, Nishanth Sagar and Binu Pappu (retired police officer) managed to make their small roles memorable as supporting actors.
Prashant Pillai who is the man behind the music scene has done a commendable job to make the route of the film easy as an entertainer providing soulful and catchy background score and songs. Camera work also is notable and all credits to George. C. Williams. The color tone used to distinguish the flash back story was an ideal one and suited the mood of that era. Editing was sharp. The film runs to one hour and forty three minutes which is slightly on the higher side but should say that it didn’t make any dullness to the narrative except for that initial phase which I already told.
Sidhartha Siva is one director who has his own mysterious way of picking stories from scratch that are close to the common man and developing it to make it acceptable for every class of audience. When it comes to the presentation part, if the film demanded a more commercial approach to make a film more entertaining he hasn’t stepped back at any stage of his career.