Cast: Dileep, Priyanka
Direction: Madhu Kaithapram
Production: Rajan Thaliparamba
Music: Kaithapram Vishwanath
Madhu Kaithapram’s Orma Mathram is a film that stars off with a whole lot of promise, but ends up totally disoriented half way through. It has Dileep playing Ajayan, a clerk at an advocate’s office, who takes up editing assignments as well to make both ends meet. Married to Safiya (Priyanka), he is happy and the couple decides not to have another child, since Deepu (Sidharth) their only son deserves all their unshared love.
And life is good, until Deepu goes missing one fine day. Thereafter, Ajayan’s search for his lost son becomes as unsettled as the film itself. The few strands that had tied the tale together initially snap, and it lies scattered all over making lesser and lesser sense as the moments pass by.
The protagonist in Madhu Kaithapram’s ‘Orma Mathram’ is at one point in the film, caught in a dilemma. He seeks advice from an astrologer, who tells him that an inter-caste marriage does no one any good. Unfortunately, the quandary that he has landed himself in makes him meekly lower his head in agreement.
Though it never actually takes a firm stance, the regressiveness in ‘Orma Mathram’ is quite apparent. For instance, abortion is an issue that it gravely concerns itself with. It goes hammer and tongs on the act, but substantiates its arguments with juvenile suggestions.
For one, we get to see a childless woman outside the clinic, who laments that God hasn’t been kind to her. Intended to rake up pangs of regret in someone who has probably, very painfully decided to put an end to an unwanted and unintended pregnancy, she goes on and on. Furthermore, there are also subtle implications of a penalty in store.
Following the boy’s disappearance, Orma Mathram puts itself on a trail behind Ajayan. Strangely Safiya disappears from the picture. Ajayan’s journeys in search of his son keep him further away from home, and the film never dwells much on the couple thereafter. Loss is more of a man’s issue here, and his failing eye sight further compounds Ajayan’s trauma. The climax, is once again one that cleverly pays no heed to Safiya and when you think of it, its neither an end nor a new beginning.
Technical aspects of the film are nothing much to be discussed about. But the background score is one that juts out like an uneven rock throughout the film, that makes you trip over it time and again.
Dileep is strictly okay as Ajayan, and perhaps the role held much more promise on paper than in the way it has eventually unfurled on screen. Priyanka is a natural performer, who does have a couple of moments in the film. Sidharth, the young actor, leaves a mark.
Orma Mathram is quiet almost to the point of being sleepy and wants you to fill in all the gaps in the narrative. It fills its mouth with too many things that it neither manages to chew nor swallow.