Odiyan review: Magical mix of sorcery, folklore and deep emotions

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Odiyan is a sorcerer, conjurer and a son of darkness.

The last Odiyan, or a clan whose vocation is to earn a living through a mix of black magic and martial art, is the protagonist. As he revels in the dark shadows, he is often a misunderstood character too, as the audience will realise in the later half.

Odiyan's return to his soil after 15 years portends trouble for the forces that plotted behind the cover of his disreputable vocation to drive him away to Varanasi, where the movie begins.

In the opening minutes itself, just after titles, the star makes a dramatic appearance to a shower of applause.

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And there itself, our much-maligned and misunderstood hero stumbles upon a character woven from his past.

There, the plot hands Odiyan a reason for home coming.

And the reception Odiyan gets at his native place, where he has a reputation bordering the dark shadows, is obvious.

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Young generation feudal lords who try to pick on him do not know Odiyan's prowess in the darkness.

Therein begins the unravelling of a plot with numerous twists and dramatic digressions.

Odiyan's tryst with darkness begins with his grand dad, with whom the young lad grew up. And his foe of a lifetime is also from his childhood.

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The narrative of Odiyan is seeped in folklore, myths and superstitions.

With an excellent casting, the film-makers unravel this fascinating tale which has all the ingredients needed for the audience.

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Despite loving the cover of darkness, Odiyan's tryst with an unusual romance is revealed only in the fag end of the movie.

In the feudal backdrop of Thenkurissy in Palakkad unravels Odiyan's tale – a saga of a deeply misunderstood son of darkness who has been taught to only scare but not to kill.

This backdrop is exploited to the hilt by his foe of a lifetime – a feudal lord. Prakash Raj matches up to Mohanlal on screen in this narrative of hatred, which we later realise is also a tale of affection.

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The calibre of Manju Warrier, as the object of desire on whom Odiyan's plot is woven, is evident in a host of scenes.

Mohanlal's subtle underplay of emotions is a delight and Prakash Raj is bang on as Odiyan's arch rival though we would miss his staccato dialogue delivery and the depth of his voice.

The dubbing is not done by him, but since the character's wily nature portrayed in the movie requires a different tone, this is justified.

Two of the songs of Odiyan are mellifluous. The background score which unveils Odiyan's dark hues have been aptly orchestrated.

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Odiyan is not a Mohanlal show alone, though the superstar does not hesitate to unleash his class, albeit through myriad hues of sublimity. The film-makers have given due importance to the forces inimical to Odiyan too.

Stunts by Peter Hein at times tend to give a 'Pulimuruganisque' shade to the movie, but the climax fight gets an out-of-the-box treatment.

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Odiyan's makers have given the mantle of narrating Odiyan's trysts with a shady destiny to a mega star and it stands apart. No prizes for guessing the owner of that voice which has been resonating in cinemas for decades along with that of Mohanlal.

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