Mohanlal star Odiyan excited fans as well as moviegoers ahead of its release. The filmmakers created such a hype to draw audiences into theaters. Difficult hartal, people who pre-booked tickets rushed to the theaters. But Odiyan turned out to be a complete failure to meet the public’s expectations. The film portrays a myth as a simple prankster show.
Odiyan directed by Shrikumar Menon who was popular with his commercials, featured an “Odiyan” who is a lazy and foolish man without any supernatural power. Audiences who expected a superhero with ‘Odiyan’ were completely disheartened by the film.
Odiyan is a classic example of the negative impact of a film’s bogus campaigns and promotions. In this sense, this film will be a reference to film marketing in the Malayalam film industry.
Odiyan is a simple film according to its plot. Odiyan was also a mythical figure among supernatural figures like the demons who ruled the night and disappeared with the discovery of electricity.
Writer Harikrishnan attempted to revise the concept of Odiyan from the perspective of modern society. It was an interesting plot. But when it came out on the big screen, it became a different version of Chandrolsavam directed by Ranjith.
The hero who lost his childhood girlfriend has an encounter with the villain in the climax. Thus Odiyan Manickyan was found as another version of Chirakkal Sreehari in Chandrolsavam.
According to folk tales, the Odiyans applied an oil obtained from killed human fetuses to the lobes of their ears, which gave them the power to take on the appearance of animals. But Shrikumar Menon presented an Odiyan that looked like a costume contest with animal heads taken from a butcher’s shop.
The film begins with an adventurous scene from Mohanlal who saves the life of a woman from drowning in the river in Varanasi. When the woman recognizes the savior as “Odiyan Manickyan”, the plot of the film suddenly turns into the story of a small village called “Thenkurissi”. From this point on, the director presents a stream of village flashbacks that tell the mysteries that turn ‘Odiyan’.
Poor presentation which does not suit the script was seen as the main drawback of “Odiyan”. Although it was billed as a mass movie, the script never required such treatment. But yet the director unnecessarily filled it with action sequences like the Telugu action movies. But these action sequences also failed to meet the expectations of action choreographer Peter Hein. All the action sequences were simply highlighted by flying dry leaves in the dark.
An overdosed climax
The climax that portrays the encounter with the hero and the villain was overdosing on the audience. The public may find it interesting to find the villain in four other Odiyans to counter Odiyan Manickyan. But when the Odiyans meet the hero, the director intrigued audiences by not giving any clues about the scenes taking place in the dark. In short, nothing was visible in this scene. The climactic scene angered the audience as they were perplexed as to what was going on in the scene.
Odiyan grabbed the headlines when Mohanlal got a makeover by dropping 18kg to play the role of 30-year-old Odiyan Manickyan. But Mohanlal’s efforts were in vain when considering the film’s release.
Odiyan was no challenge for a great actor like Mohanlal other than the physical makeover.
At the same time, Prakash Raj, the film’s main antagonist, made his character perfect with multiple outfits.
Manju Warrier also did his role justice with an excellent performance. Siddique, Naren, Kailash, and Nandhu have been seen in other lead roles.
Mr. Jayachandran’s songs received good appreciation from the audience. Vikram Vedha’s background score of fame, Sam CS, was also the best.
But cinematographer Shaji Kumar was the real asset of Odiyan’s team. Every frame Shaji defined was perfect for every scene.
Odiyan was an effort to introduce a popular myth or tale before the younger generation as well as a callback to the older generation. But unfortunately, Odiyan failed to entertain audiences who expected a superhero and a mass movie.