International Business Times Rating: 3
Transforming Unni R’s 14-page-short story, published in Mathrubhumi in 2010, to a movie might seem like a challenging task to many of those who have read the story of Kuttyappan and Leela. But, director Ranjith has surprised the movie-goers for narrating the intense story into an entertainer, filled with comedy elements.
The one-hour-41-minute movie tells the story of a rich man and a chronic bachelor named Kuttyappan. He, who likes to be different from others by doing strange things, is known for his infamous connection with all the women he meets. His craziness is evident from the scene in which he lays as a dead person and asks a prostitute to cry assuming him as her dead father.
Kuttyappan searches for an elephant and a young girl in order to fulfil one of his strangest dreams, which is revealed only in the climax scene (but it is said in the beginning of the short story). Even though his actual intentions are unknown, Pillechan (Vijayaraghavan) and Dasapappi (Indrans) accompany him to Wayanad to make his dream come true.
While the short story is being narrated in a serious tone, the movie has been made as a comedy entertainer with many one-liners. Notably, certain dialogues that took a dig at Kerala’s political scenario created laugh riots in theatres. Apart from showing the strange characters of Kuttyappan, the soft and emotional side of him are also presented in certain situations, where we see him using sunglass just to hide his tears.
With each movie, Biju Menon has been proving himself as an actor who is able to handle lead roles better than supporting characters. The performance of Biju in “Leela” can be considered as his career’s best till date. Veteran actor Vijayaraghavan shines in a never-seen-before avatar and has done complete justice to the character. Indrans, as a white-collared pimp, Jagadeesh as Thankappan Nair, and Parvathi T as Padmini have also done their part with ease. With no single dialogue, the character played by Parvathy Nambiar leaves the audience dazed. The movie also has Priyanka Nair and Kavitha Nair in pivotal roles.
Overall, “Leela” is a movie that one should not miss as Biju Menon, Vijayaraghavan, Indrans and Jagadeesh have performed very well. The Ranjith directorial is one of the best movies of the year. But if you haven’t read the short story, certain unanswered questions might haunt you. To read the short story, click HERE.