Director: Ranjith Sankar
Producer: Jayasurya, Ranjith Sankar
Production Co: Dreams N Beyond
Music Director: Bijibal
Star Cast: Jayasurya,Mukesh,Aju Varghese,Shivatha,Sunil Sugatha,TG Ravi
The rejuvenating believability that Ranjith Sankar instills in ‘Su..Su..Sudhi Vathmeekam’ provides an engaging examination of a disability that has the power to wreak havoc on ordinary human lives. It’s much more than a feel-good movie and is a feel-incredible movie for a change, that is replete with bright lines and fascinating observations throughout.
Sudhi Vathmeekam (Jayasurya) is disheartened by a debilitating stammer that has transformed him into a diffident accountant at a local school who pretty much keeps to himself. His hopes of a rosy future are yet again kindled when he gets engaged to Sheela (Swathy Narayanan). When a flustered Sheela flies back to Mumbai, leaving his shattered dreams scattered all over the place, Sudhi locks himself up away from the world, with no intention of seeing it ever again.
The trauma that an ostensibly simple infirmity as a stammer inflicts on a person is deftly elucidated with a few master strokes by the film maker. Wanting to buy a few eggs, a dejected Sudhi returns with a cauliflower to his doctor, and exasperatedly narrates his horrific experience with the vendor. Lying on his back, Sudhi tries rigorously hard to utter the sounds that escape him continually, with his thighs slamming down, the neck nerves jutting out and his toes all curled up.
On another instance, the very last drop of blood is drained off Sudhi’s anxious face, when he comes to know that the bus by which he commutes daily to work has broken down. As another bus arrives, a visibly shaken Sudhi gets in and frantically keeps glancing at the conductor, who with
every passing moment acquires an even more horrific countenance.
Perhaps at the exoteric level ‘Su..Su..Sudhi Vathmeekam’ might come across as a film that promptly focuses on the speech disorders of stuttering and stammering. However, it’s undeniably a film that reaches out to the millions out there, with varied behavioural impairments that have a direct association to psychology, which is why it could possibly make a whole lot of a difference in the lives of the shakers and perspirers among us, the heart drummers and the wobbly kneed ones, the dizzy thinkers and the perpetual head bangers.
It’s fascinating how films as ‘Su..Su..Sudhi Vathmeekam’ elevates the involved viewer on to a different plane altogether, and manages to do all this and more by being rooted in the cultural setting that the Malayali audience is invariably a part of. It has none of the complexity that one would correlate with a film as ‘The King’s Speech’ (2010) that talks of the speech impediment that King George VI suffered from, and yet convincingly portrays the authentic emotions that lie within its protagonist with a simplicity and unfussiness, that is clearly admirable.
This isn’t the first time that Ranjith Sankar displays an exceptional flair in drawing out characters that you have known from close quarters, and the parents in ‘Su..Su..Sudhi Vathmeekam’ are two such recognizable individuals who immediately strike a chord with the audience. The perpetually at war with each other duo has managed to productively live a lifetime together, despite the seemingly irreconcilable differences between them and their distinctly diverse interests.
Ranjith further elaborates on the ironies that perspectives offer at times, by bringing in Vijay Babu (Anson Paul) a dashing young man as the owner of the school, whom his employees look upon with a blend of esteem and envy. When Sudhi realizes that the stunner has been walking around with an artificial pacemaker in his heart, the realization dawns on him that the heroic aura that had stuck along till then is as flimsy as it possibly ever could be.
There is an assortment of supporting characters that have been cautiously etched out, each of whom warms the cockles of your heart. There are the friends for starters, with Greygon (Aju Varghese) leading the pack, the weird shrink (Sunil Sukhada) who hasn’t a clue as to where his own life is headed and the principal of the school, Sridevi (Muthumani), a single parent who has been grappling with what a miserable marriage had left her with – plenty of heart break and an adorable, yet dumb child. And then there is Mukesh playing himself, wherein he gets to listen to Sudhi’s tale, straight off the horse’s mouth.
The two women who walk into Sudhi’s life share with the audience bounties of practical wisdom, in that they are both level headed beings, who are pretty clear about what they want in life. It takes a while for Sheela to comprehend that she can never be happy with a husband with a speech impairment, and she daringly calls it quits before it is too late. Kalyani, who starts off with a speech training session, uncovers the courage that had long lain buried within Sudhi, and when he rejects her marriage proposal, displays a delightful mellowness that makes her stand apart.
Here is a lesson on goodwill and tolerance, without sounding a bit too preachy and pedantic. Leading us on straight on to its protagonist and his plight of struggling against limits, ‘Su..Su..Sudhi Vathmeekam’ is at once intellectually gripping and emotionally compelling , easily rendering it a striking depiction of human resolve and perseverance.
This is a career-capping performance from Jayasurya, that should make him a forerunner for the acting honours this year. I would reinstate that this is a life affirming show from the actor, who with a terrific central feat, amazingly blows away almost all the competition lying around. The intricate detailing that he brings into his outstanding portrayal of Sudhi, is irrefutably one that will be talked about for years to come.
The women actors are tremendously impressive as well, be it Shivada who is aptly cast as the no-nonsense speech therapist or Swathy Narayanan as Sheela who inadvertently helps Sudhi rediscover his life. There are the veteran actors as Mukesh, T G Ravi and KPAC Lalitha around, who excel in their respective roles. Cinematography by Vinod Illampally is top notch, and the musical score by Bijibal imposing all the way.
It should be specifically stated that ‘Su..Su..Sudhi Vathmeekam’ steers clear of the possible potholes on its path, by keeping melodrama at bay. It’s more of a celebration of a fighter spirit and has plenty of positive notes all over the place, in spite of its telling the moving story of a man venturing to communicate vehemently with an increasingly impatient world.
3 out of 5 (Good)