Ayaal Sassi gives us more because it promises less. The movie has hit the screens with no much fanfare. Director Sajin Baabu has dwelt on a low-profile launch of the movie with no trappings whatsoever.
Without any technical suaveness of contemporary commercial flicks, the film sets off on a modest note. However, the movie engages the viewers with its novelty of theme and sincerity of expression.
Every scene conforms to the main thread of the film, which is devoid of any sub-plot or deviation. Though it's not meant to be an outright entertainer, the eccentricities of the protagonist generates some curiosity.
The visuals may not be technically sound, but it's this technical imperfection that adds to the life and beauty of the story, which runs on a realistic note. The realistic approach has been maintained throughout the movie and it helps grab the audience's attention.
There are not many exciting situations, twists and turns. It's a journey that takes the viewers through different paths of the extraordinary life of a man who is left out of conventions in the ordinary social contexts – a life that runs through the troughs and crests of a moderate amplitude. Yet, what holds the interest is the atypical life lead by the protagonist.
It is the story of the Sasi Namboori (Sreenivasan), an artist in the twilight of his age and career. His craving for fame, attention and love reflects the natural instincts of any ordinary human being. But it's the misplaced state and time and the travails in his mysterious past that lead Sasi through the strange present, and then to the weird future.
What makes Sasi stand out is his ability to take on life with an uncanny cheerfulness. His lifestyle is both a derision of fate's ugly smiles and society's thoughtless whims. He is at the center of a fight against fate, social intricacies and his own aspirations.
His steadfastness reminds time again that it is not him who’s is eccentric, but the world and society, which put him in such a situation. Even the closest of his friends seem to be clueless on how to deal with the odd situations that Sasi is mired in.
Sreenivasan has exhibited a splendid performance in the film. That he is a seasoned actor has once again been proved. He is completely transformed into the character of Sasi. But at times, his dialogues may come across as preachy.
The scenes are more or less neatly crafted and some casual comments are thought-provoking. For example, a character mouths a universal truth about marriage in a rather simple way: “She married me for being different but after the marriage, she wanted me to be like everybody else.”
Rather than the thrill factor, the movie pitches on its aesthetics and Sajin does it convincingly from the beginning till the end. Kochu Preman, S.P. Sreekumar, Anil Nedumangad, Jayakrishnan and Divya Gopinath in essay their characters brilliantly in prominent roles.
The cinematography by Pappu and music by Basil CJ keep a uniform tempo throughout the movie. The folk songs add a different texture to the steady course.
Had there been a bit more maturity in terms of execution, the film would have stood on a totally different pedestal. Yet, Sajin's effort to save the narrative from falling into an entirely intellectual pattern is evident. He just wanted to reflect on the fight of a person who refuses to go aghast by the juggernaut of fate, life and society. It's indeed a wonderful attempt to create a genuine of piece of art.