Like Flock of Ducks

OTTAAL

It was a good decision by the organizers of the 2nd International Regional Film Festival of Kottayam to air Jayarajs Ottaal for the final show of the opening day. With the weekend approaching, a calm and quiet Friday night in Kottayam couldn’t be spent in any other better way. And as the show was about to start, the theatre was almost full. And it began with the felicitation of the two main actors of the movie and its producers. And as the crowd applauded to their contribution to this movie, my expectations rose and I couldn’t wait for the screen to flicker and the movie to start.

For the duration of the movie, I was in awe of the simplicity and the beauty of the movie. It is portrayed in the picturesque beauty of Kuttanad, the famed backwaters of Gods own Country. The boats meandering through the canals and the open waters, greeting their local friends in their high pitched coos, seeing people fish in the raw traditional way and the camaraderie in the Toddy shops, a boy and his grandpa herd their flock of ducks to their destination. And then the movie evolves from there. The child dons the central character in my opinion and the relationship between the two is displayed emotionally.

It would be an injustice to the movie if I tell you what the theme of the movie is cause the beauty of Kuttanad makes you dream of walking through the banks of the canals, plucking lotuses and water lilies and fishing for pearl spots and lobsters and then having a mug of Toddy to wash away the fieriness of the tapioca doused in fish curry.

And as the movie finished, I was moved and my eyes were moist. I watch my movies with all the emotions, why hide them right? And the movie gets its point across to you neatly and it suddenly flashes all those faces of children you have seen in your lifetime that have suffered the same fate as that of Kuttappayi.

There is so much I want to write about you know. The simplicity of the movie, the landscapes, the ideas brought forward, the debating points and all. The director has aptly left me to ponder for the night and I guess that is the same situation with all those who were there with me for the show. And that is the beauty of the movie, to move the masses and make them think, discuss, express, act.

The movie is quality, that’s it and I hope we get to see more of these movies in the coming years, not only in film festivals but also in the commercial line too.

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