Faced with a pretty long night to pull through, I thought of watching a film suggested by my friend long before. She kept on persuading that finally, I had to watch it. Yet it had been a month since I downloaded the movie but didn’t watch and each time she enquired I came up with new excuses.
But this time I felt like viewing some thing different from the usual hungama movies and decided to watch Ottal: the Trap. A movie based on Vanka, the short story by Anton Chekov. The movie is directed by Jayraj and music score is by Kavalam Narayana Panicker. As these details suggest its not going to have any kind of commerical elements in it. The movie is set in Kuttanad, the backwaters of Kerala. Each shot in this film manages to explore its beauty to the fullest.
The plot is built on the intense theme of an orphan boy Kuttapayi who lives with his grandpa whom he calls Valiyapchayi, after the death of his parents. Things went well for Kuttapayi till his Valyapchayi fell ill. Unlike most of the kids he never went to school although he longed, but was exposed to the ways of nature sooner and more vividly than any other kid. Under the pretence of education the child is taken away to a place that resemble Tamilian culture where he is forced to do work of making fire crackers at the young age of eight. The boy often gets beaten up and is put to starve. The film ends on a positive note of hope.
The movie addresses contemporary issues including agricultural loan crisis because of which his parents commit suicide. It tries to warn us about the issues of childlabour that still hasn’t got wiped out completely. The film maintains a dull tone throughout but has beautiful visuals that fully capture the beauty of the Kuttanad, its life and people.
The film leaves a haunting sensation and instills thought in us. But a question which I’m not sure whether rational or reasonable is still annoying me… Are the fire crackers, that we blow up each Diwali, drenched in the cries of such innocent beings who are trapped in a stroke of bad luck…?
P.S: Happy Diwali.
The art films too are interesting.