M Mohanan's Aravindhate Athidhikal is a simple, yet gripping tale which narrates the life of Aravindan, essayed by Vineeth Sreenivasan. The movie is set in the pilgrim town of of Kollur famed for the Mookambika Temple. It invites us to the life of Aravindan (Vineeth Sreenivasan), a young boy abandoned on the premises of the temple on a Navarathri day.
Aravindan, along with his caretaker Madhavan ( Sreenivasan), now runs a lodge close to the Mookambika temple. A larger chunk of the plot revolves around the life of numerous characters who visit the lodge, as well as people who rely on the lodge, and the temple premises for a living.
The plot opens on a Navarathri day and ends on yet another Navarathri day years later. Scenes (stamped with date/year/occasion) help us traverse through important phases in the protagonist's life.
What makes the narrative a fine watch is the brilliant, colourful shots of Mookambika and the Kudajadri Hills. The movie is successful in helping us transcend to the holy place, enjoying its divinity and grace in full vigour.
Shaan Rahman's mellifluous music that largely breathes life into the plot is also something worth mentioning. It is also pivotal in rendering a wholesome feel to the plot.
A longing or a pain that Aravindan undergoes is the crux of the movie. It has been absorbingly portrayed through amazing musical sequences.
Aravindan is not an archetype that goes in search for someone lost, but is someone who believes that the bigger pain in life is not searching or waiting, but it may come at the end of it. The first half of the plot is also amply loaded with light-hearted moments that occur in and around the lodge.
Sreenivasan, despite not having many frames, is amazing. After a while, the father-son has duo appeared in a film together and predictably both pulled it off well.
Actor Nikhila Vimal, famed for her role in Love 24x7, is back on screen after a hiatus. She essays the role of a dancer, Varada, and is just perfect for the role.
Ace actor Urvasi in a light-hearted role is impeccable, and does offer some really enjoyable comic interjections in the plot. Actor Santhi Krishna, who graces the screen only in the second half, too mesmerizes us with an emotion-laced role.
Aju Varghese-Vineeth combo, as usual is at their best. Yesteryear actor Prem Kumar is also back on screen, and does a decent job.
Actor-dancer Sreejaya's role as a professional dancer also deserves special mention.
In nut shell, Arvindante Adhithikal is a feel good-movie with good story line and beautiful frames. The film will keep you engrossed as it shares with us a small, yet a beautiful story, captured in an emotional way that touches the viewers.
After all, some guests, are meant to be 'in' and not just 'inn'!