Being the Onam season, there has been a handful of releases of which I was able to check out only 3 the previous weekend, owing to various commitments. Anywaz with just a couple of days left before I head back to Bangalore, today I found some time to spare & decided to check out "North 24 Kaatham".With the other Onam releases failing to impress, I do hope that this has something different to offer. Hmm..lets see...
Hari (Fahad Fasil) is a brilliant software programmer who was the apple of the eye of his boss but more like a sour apple for his colleagues. The primary reason for their disgust was Hari's asocial nature & peculiar behavioural traits be it his obsession for cleanliness, fear of flying or being a stickler for routine all of which was actually a manifestation of OCD. Things take a turn when he is made meet his fears courtesy of a journey he had to make to attend a conference in Trivandrum. But his destination gets altered mid way, when he alights from the train & accompanies Gopalettan (Nedumudi Venu) and Narayani (Swati Reddy), to help Gopalettan reach back to his ailing wife. Little did Hari realise that his journey with the other 2 individuals on a harthal was going to be a life changing experience.
This Onam heralds yet another director in the form of Anil Radhakrishnan Menon into the Malayalam industry & his debut venture has been such that it gives hope for the future. In addition to calling the shots, he has also penned an impressive script which can be categorised both as a travelogue and as a satire into the hardships of travelling on a harthal. Anil has also meticulously looked into the aspect of OCD which hasnt been explored in Malayalam. Even the other technical aspects were equally impressive, be it Jayesh Nair's visuals or Govind Menon's music. Though the film runs for just 2 hours, it lags quite a bit in the second half with a predictable climax, but even then the film was really enjoyable.
Fahad Fasil was fantastic as Hari, imparting the body language & expressions with elan as he barely had a few dialogues to mouth. Nedumudi Venu & Swati Reddy both have done their roles well, along with a special mention of Sreenath Bhasi & Chemban Vinod.
Verdict: Fahad's films are coming with such frequency that even before his previous film's posters can fade, the new one hits the screens but he continues to enthrall. Thanks to an impressive script & praise worthy performances, this is the best Onam release by more than a fair distance. So dont miss it!!!