There is a point in the movie Oppam where the blind protagonist Jayaraman (Mohanlal), who has managed to outplay his adversaries through sheer focus and concentration, suddenly turns into the familiar superhero who beats up a group of policemen with ridiculous ease. That is the moment this Priyadarshan movie begins to drag towards the inevitable yet expected end.
But take away that moment of senselessness and this is an engaging film which offers the vintage Mohanlal-Priyadarshan combo and a relatively interesting plot. Watching Mohanlal as Jayaraman, one is reminded of the skill set this actor possesses. He seamlessly becomes his character and so smooth is the transition that you forget the effort that must have gone into it.
Mohanlal’ performance as a visually impaired person is meticulous and one that matches upto Kalabhavan Mani’s character in Vinayan’s Vasanthiyum Lekshmiyum Pine Njanum. A scene where Jayaraman senses the presence of a murderer inside a lift stands out. Mohanlal’s tremendous effort on facial detailing and the way it is captured by the director is exemplary.
If not for a blind hero, Oppam’s plot has been seen often, a few examples being Prithviraj’s thriller Memories and Mohanalal’s Grandmaster. If a high ranking police officer was on the hunt for a serial killer in Memories and Grandmaster, in Oppam, a differently-abled man is chasing down a psychopathic murderer. However, in Oppam, the presence of a blind protagonist heightens the suspense and thrill.
Jayaraman, a man who conquered his impairment with his generous and pleasing personality, is entrusted with the life of a girl by a retired judge Krishnamoorthy (Nedumudivenu). Krishnamoorthy is then killed by a serial killer who is out for vengeance. A sub-plot involving Vimalaraman’s Manikandan’s characters is avoidable but the director ensures it won’t stand out like a sore thumb.
Given Priyadarshan’s recent failures at the box office, the ace director has experimented with the scope of visualisation and screenplay and Oppam is in tune with contemporary films. Cinematography and background score maintain a tensed mood as the intriguing hide-and-seek between the protagonist and antagonist plays out.
The songs are not very catchy but MG Sreekumar’s sound is still perfect if Mohanlal is the one singing on the screen. The religion-based comedy using Mamukoyya’s character was avoidable as it doesn’t come out as harmless sarcasm and instead felt like identifying a community with general views.
National Award-winning actor Samuthirakani plays a vital role in the movie, but the director seems to have limited the scope of his character at many crucial scenes. Baby Meenakshi did the role of Nandini neatly without exaggerating her character. Chemban Vinod, Renji Panicker and Mammukkoya also grab attention with their performances.
Priyadarshan’s never ending success story with his friend, actor Mohanlal, just got another chapter with Oppam if viewers won’t mind watching an average thriller for Mohanlal’s exceptional performance.
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