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Oththa Seruppu Size 7 movie review: Parthiban’s ‘solo act’ makes for a gripping watch

Oththa Seruppu Size 7 movie review: The ambiguity Parthiban maintains in the film as a storyteller works in a lot of places.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Written by S Subhakeerthana | Chennai | Updated: September 20, 2019 9:04:08 pm
Oththa Seruppu Size 7 movie review Oththa Seruppu Size 7 movie review: With Oththa Seruppu Size 7, you forget the fact that you are watching a film.

Oththa Seruppu Size 7 movie cast: R Parthiban
Oththa Seruppu Size 7 movie director: R Parthiban
Oththa Seruppu Size 7 movie ratings: 3 stars

There is no one but just Parthiban that you see in Oththa Seruppu Size 7. You ‘hear’ the rest of the characters (cops, wife, psychologist) speak, of course. Parthiban plays Masilamani and it’s fantastic how he is able to hold the audiences’ attention for 105 minutes. Besides acting, Parthiban has also directed, produced and written the film.

The success of Oththa Seruppu Size 7 depends on how you comprehend the hidden layers of this murder mystery. The film starts with cops interrogating Masilamani, caught in a desperate situation. Initially, you don’t know who is this man and why he is in the police station. But you know his son has a rare disease and is waiting to see his father outside.

Till the end, Parthiban withholds Masilamani’s real persona from us and that’s intriguing. Questions like—What does this guy really want? What will happen if he doesn’t get it now?—keep running in your mind in a parallel manner.

It is hard to judge Parthiban and his films. So is the case with Oththa Seruppu Size 7 and Masilamani. You know this character has some baggage, seeped into his being, subconsciously, and is struggling to cope with the situation.

I like how Parthiban has built Masilamani’s character arc. He has a strong justification for his actions. Perhaps, in real life, we don’t have a strong justification for everything, but particularly, in films themed like these, you always need one. And the result is better when it is clear and evident.

With Oththa Seruppu Size 7, you forget the fact that you are watching a film. It works more like observing a character in a theatre play. The more you know Masilamani, the better you connect with him. And that happens magically.

Parthiban fully transforms into Masilamani in Oththa Seruppu Size 7. For any solo act to work, you need to be truthfully and emotionally connected to what you are doing. At the same time, the audience should see none of this and that’s what makes this journey distinctive. Masilamani is real and flawed. You know it’s neither a cliche nor a caricature.

Parthiban shoulders an intense role, speaking pages of dialogues and expresses a plethora of emotions. For the actor-director, who has been around for more than two decades, each film is an experiment. Some of them have worked, while many of them like Koditta Idangalai Nirappuga have failed. But it’s nice how he wants to reinvent himself, experimenting with novel ideas.

For all the film’s silence, Oththa Seruppu Size 7 is absorbing; although you may be unsure about Parthiban’s intentions as a filmmaker. Masilamani is almost like this lone sailor, caught in a storm with no one to hear it. Everyone listens to the same voice but has a different image of certain characters and that’s something interesting. (Also, you have to give it to those voices that actually define the characters.)

As a director, Parthiban is extra creative in figuring out how to set up the story and scenes. Obviously, there are limitations when a film is made with a single character, shot in one room type set-up. But those constraints really don’t matter, because you understand someone’s vision and want to stand by them.

Oththa Seruppu Size 7 is a one-of-its-kind film driven by complexities of human relationships, emotions and moral questions. A lot of the story unfolds through sheer drama. Since most of the film is shot in a small room, the ambient sound enhances the mood. Part of the credit goes to C Sathya’s background score, cameraman Ramji and sound designer Resul Pookutty behind the astounding technical work. First person perspectives and unusual camera angles are Oththa Seruppu Size 7’s major strengths.

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