Oru Mexican Aparatha, the directorial debut of Tom Emmatty, takes birth where blood gushes from revolution and smears the walls of the Maharajas college campus. It stars Tovino Thomas in lead-double roles and before delving into the plot, the movie is the triumph of Tovino.
A revolt in 1971, set in deep sepia frames echoing the voice of emergency, is where Tovino Thomas marks his entry as Kochaniyan, instilling in each pulse the sense and spirit of 'red.' Breathing his own life into the words 'Inquilab Zindabad,' the dawn sets awaiting a new sun in deep red tinge.
It is exactly from here where we see the second avatar of Tovino Thomas as the charming Paul. Here we take a lighter stroll around the mighty Maharajas campus where stories of ever-nostalgic Kalolsavams, of dingy unkempt hostel rooms, emerging smokes and alcohol, and clashes over space for flags and banners take the movie to a rolling narrative. Nanma maram, muthashi maram, samara mara, the fond and mostly fearful teases from the seniors, of sleepless nights and men filled with love who are wary of saying it aloud are all patches of the lost campus you can absorb from here.
At a time when political parties, especially the Left, are implicated for making their allies pawns in the game for power, Oru Mexican Aparatha, at one clear scene makes evident what is expected of 'true politics.' A campus is hence, not all about fights and blood.
Neeraj Madhav as Subhash, Tovino as Paul , Manu as Krishnan, Subeesh Sudhi as Rajesh along with their close allies are on a mission to bring a change on the campus. 'A vote for change,' is their slogan and this is not simply to show their power, but also to bring back to power a lost glory of the red flag that ruled the campus back in 1970s.
Amid several campus clashes and attempts to gain votes for college elections on the banner of Kalolsavams, the movie takes you into the 'real campus,' perhaps where the lost sense of true political spirits that ruled Kerala colleges linger.
Neeraj Madhav is impeccable as Subhash, the profound ideologist, someone who is the sole reason for the rise of the hero in Paul. The humor element in the movie is kept live by the character Jomy who is again a close friend of Tovino and the gang.
KSQ, the opponents on the campus, a party of totalitarian might, has been winning the campus. Actor Roopesh Peethambaran as Roopesh, along with Jino John as Kanjan, Kalabhavan Shajon and Sudhi Koppa are on the antagonistic side.
Oru Mexican Aparatha is a tale that narrates the growth of Paul, from a jovial guy in floral shirts to an unmatched leftist hero. The plot also in parallel tells you how untarnished friendships and love can lift your spirits. Nothing stops the gang in red when they avenge the death of a beloved friend. But yes, all the bloodshed here is for a good cause.
Gayathri Suresh plays the love of Tovino (Paul) but has nothing to do despite a soothing romantic number and a few cliched dialogues.
The songs by Manikandan Ayyapan is just so perfect we must say and it only rekindles the spirit of revolution. The frames are beautiful, just shady and dark where it has to be, and nostalgia seeping in as required.
The ideology in which you believe is the core of Oru Mexican Aparatha. 'Che Guevara, the eternal hero of the left is transformed in Mexico, and just so similar is where Paul takes rebirth. Today's Mexico is but a locked up room on the campus, where Kochaniyan's voice still echoes Inquilaab Zindabaad. Will the red flag soar high once again?