I would like to say that the movie is "Extra"ordinary, but that would be an overstatement. However, I did enjoy the movie very much and after a pretty long time, found a Malayalam movie whose climax I could not predict. (Last week we watched "Masters" and right after the second murder, I guessed the whole theme - after all I AM a big fan of "Castle").
The story in a nutshell: Iravikkuttan Pillai (Kunchacko) gets a job as a KSRTC conductor and is allocated to the sole KSRTC bus that travels up to Gavi at the western end of the Pathanamthitta district. He befriends the gruff driver Suku (Biju Menon). The slightly awkward conductor slowly becomes a heroic figure in the small Gavi community till things turn topsy turvy one fine evening.
The first half is a superb socioeconomic commentary delineating the ailments of the KSRTC, the entrepreneurship of a village damsel called Kalyani (newcomer Sritha), the largeheartedness of the Panchayat President (Lalu Alex) who brings up the orphaned Anna (Anne Augustine) as his own daughter, the Pan-like character of Asif Ali who comes and goes at will, but is helper and odd jobber to everyone including the dam's official staff etc. - reminded me much of Sathyan Anthikad's work. The humor makes it all palatable. Watch out for the characters portrayed by Baburaj (once again!), and Salim Kumar.
The second half is absorbing and as I said, was totally unpredictable (that just might be me!). But did feel that the explanation was a bit drawn out.
Minuses: Asif Ali's over-performance, horribly over-made up leading ladies (supposed to be village belles, right?), Biju Menon's dialogue delivery that was a bit too fast to understand (fortunately I had been watching trailers of the movie, so I could explain the funny retorts to my DH) - ok, I'll stop there!
So if this Aanavandi comes your way, be sure to board it. I assure you that it won't break down in the middle! If for nothing else, go for the wonderful visual treat that is Gavi!
Recent movies watched: Mayamohini: Lighthearted caper, innuendoes all the way, some superb makeup on Dileep - but nothing can disguise his hands!!! Was expecting a rehash of the Chaanthupottu character - but this one's refreshingly different.
Masters: Plot and climax very predictable: yet watchable.