Mohanlal starrer Odiyan made fans as well as moviegoers excited before its release. The film makers created such a huge hype to attract the audience to theatres. Challenging hartal, people who pre-booked tickets rushed to the theatres. But Odiyan turned out to be a complete failure to satisfy the expectations of the audience. The movie portrayed a myth as a mere joker’s show.
Odiyan directed by Shrikumar Menon who was popular with his ad films, presented an ‘Odiyan’ who is a lazy and idiotic man without any supernatural powers. The audience who were expecting a superhero with ‘Odiyan’ were completely disheartened with the movie.
Odiyan is a classic example of the negative impact of fake campaigns and promotions of a movie. In that sense, this movie will be a reference to film marketing in Malayalam movie industry.
Odiyan is a simple movie as per its plot. Odiyan was also a mythical character among supernatural characters like demons who ruled the night and vanished away with the discovery of electricity.
Writer Harikrishnan made attempts to review concept of Odiyan in the view point of the modern society. It was an interesting plot. But when it hit the big screens, it became a different version of Chandrolsavam directed by Ranjith.
The hero who lost his childhood girlfriend has an encounter with the villain in the climax. Thus Odiyan Manickyan was found as another version of Chirakkal Sreehari in Chandrolsavam.
According to folk tales, Odiyans used to apply an oil obtained from killed human fetus on their ear lobes, which gave them powers to assume appearance of animals. But Shrikumar Menon presented an Odiyan which seemed like a fancy dress competition with animal heads taken from a butcher shop.
The movie starts with an adventurous scene of Mohanlal who saves the life of a woman from drowning in the river at Varanasi. When the woman recognises the saviour as ‘Odiyan Manickyan’ the movie plot suddenly changes to the story of a small village called ‘Thenkurissi’. From this point, the director presents a flow of flashbacks from the village which narrate the mysteries revolving ‘Odiyan’.
The poor presentation which is not suitable to the storyline was found as the major drawback of ‘Odiyan’. Though it was promoted as a mass movie, the script never demanded such a treatment. But yet, the director unnecessarily filled it with action sequences like Telugu action movies. But this action sequences also failed to meet the expectations on action choreographer Peter Hein. All the action sequences were mere show off by flying dry leaves in the darkness.
The climax which portrays the encounter with hero and villain was an overdose for the audience. The audience may find it interesting when they found the villain fields four other Odiyans to counter Odiyan Manickyan. But when the Odiyans meet the hero, the director puzzled the audience by not giving any clue on the scenes that takes place in the darkness. In short, nothing was visible in this scene. The climax scene irked audience as they got puzzled what was happening in the scene.
Odiyan got placed in the headlines, when Mohanlal had an amazing makeover by losing 18 kg to play the role of 30-year-old Odiyan Manickyan. But Mohanlal’s effort went in vain while reviewing the output of the movie.
Odiyan was not a challenge for a great actor like Mohanlal apart from the physical makeover.
At the same time, Prakash Raj the main antagonist in the movie, made his character perfect with multiple getups.
Manju Warrier also did justice to her role with great performance. Siddique, Naren, Kailash and Nandhu were seen in other lead roles.
M Jayachandran’s songs received good appreciation from the audience. Background score by Vikram Vedha fame Sam CS was also the best one.
But cinematographer Shaji Kumar was the real asset of Odiyan team. Each frame set by Shaji was perfect to every scene.
Odiyan was an effort to introduce a myth or folktale before the young generation as well as a reminder to the old generation. But unfortunately Odiyan was a failure to entertain the audience who expected a superhero and a mass movie.