Debutant Vinu Kolichal has come up with a simple movie which has a single focal point, an English barrel. The movie focuses on the life-long obsession of a man to an object which remains the same, beyond the limits of age, experience and time. Kunjambu, the protagonist in the movie, is obsessed with an English barrel gun from childhood.
The film is set in two different periods. One is in the feudal society depicting childhood of Kunjambu. The latter period is the real time and shows Kunjambu as an old man. Kunjambu, now an old man, was compelled to submit his gun at the police station during elections. Later, he is consistently trying to get it back but is being resisted by his children. Though everything has changed in the modern times, one thing that remained the same was his obsession.
As a child, Kunjambu was impressed his neighbour Chindan Muthappan from the tales told by his grandmother. He dreams about Chindan magically saving him from all dangers. He begins to admire Chindan’s English barrel gun. This is the point that the director tries to convey. But he has chosen an extremely slow and dragging way to unfold this story which makes it a monotonous experience for the viewers. Even though, the director was able to achieve a realistic portrayal of the two periods he sometimes loses connection with the main plot and keeps on dragging the story.
All of the actors have performed in a natural way. The movie has fewer dialogues. The director has tried to communicate his ideas through the visuals. One would feel that the director could have cut short the movie instead of dragging it unnecessarily. There are no happenings in the movie. There is no strict beginning, middle or end. It just flows on and ends at a point. The first half of the movie shows a curious Kunjambu and in the latter half, he is an introvert and silent old man. He is waiting to get his gun back even after knowing that it is being blocked by his children.
The movie is not focussed on the unfolding of events; but shows the internal struggles of the central character. When little Kunjambu was driven by his desire to possess the gun, the old man is craving to get back his missing gun. It also shows how children ignore the wishes of their old parents.
Balan has acted as old Kunjambu and the childhood of the protagonist was depicted by Sanjay. Both have acted in a way that was suitable for the movie. As a debut directorial venture, ‘Bilathikuzhal’ is a realistic portrayal of life and a melancholic reflection of a human being’s thoughts.