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Friday, May 29, 2020

South Stream: Biju Menon-Prithviraj’s Ayyappanum Koshiyum

In the 24th edition of South Stream, we recommend director Sachy's Ayyappanum Koshiyum, starring Biju Menon and Prithviraj.

Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru | Published: March 27, 2020 8:16:48 am
Ayyappanum Koshiyum online Ayyappanum Koshiyum is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

What happens when a lawyer becomes a filmmaker? The law books become the source material for plot ideas and the sections of the Indian Penal Code dictates the screenplay. Writer-director K R Sachidanandan, popularly known as Sachy, has been making movies where a simple legal procedure sets in motion a series of dramatic events which usually involves two male characters in a no-holds-barred battle of the egos.

It takes elementary-level wisdom to see the pointlessness of dragging a conflict if it is something that could be solved with a simple ‘sorry’. When we see people fighting over silly issues, we roll our eyes at them. We judge them for acting immaturely and advise them to quit fighting like children. But, in our head, we are really enjoying the show. Who doesn’t like a good fight and later debate over it? Is there a man who doesn’t crave for a distraction from everyday challenges of his own?

Sachy caters to that interest of the crowd that loves to gather around a spot and just be a mute spectator as two men try to kill each other. His latest movie Ayyappanum Koshiyum is one such movie. There is no big revelation or mystery to be unlocked. Just two men trying to show the size of their ego. You can enjoy as long as it continues and return to your life without any new existential question or absurdity of this life for you to ponder over.

As the title suggests, this movie is about Ayyappan Nair and Koshy Kurien (played by Biju Menon and Prithviraj Sukumaran, respectively. Both the actors are terrific in their roles). Koshy is a bully and he doesn’t have any accomplishment of his own in his life. His pride feeds off the fact that he is the son of Kurien John, another bully. But, there is a slight difference between John and Koshy. Even as both are high-grade snobs, Koshy has a tinge of conscience. Now, what happens when under the influence of his clout, Koshy destroys the life’s work of Ayyappan? All hell breaks loose.

There is more to the conflict between Koshy and Ayyappan. It on the surface looks like a clash of two bruised male-egos. But, Sachy adds little shades to these two characters that add some depth to this testosterone-fuelled wrestling match.

For Koshy, it is a matter of pride. He wants to get back at Ayyappan for hurting his ego. But, for Ayyappan, it is more than that. Koshy belongs to a class of haves that could get away with almost anything. And Ayyappan comes from a class of law-abiding have-nots, who always end up at the receiving end. It is a classic class struggle.

Also, for Koshy bullying and flaunting his clout is a favourite past time. He never had to fight a war because he never met an enemy who would not retreat after knowing his social stature. Ayyappan is a wild-natured soldier and hunting his enemies is his way of life. He doesn’t make empty threats or take half-measures. He is not shallow as Koshy. His urge to end his enemy is more of a spiritual need than a meaningless action to serve his ego.

Sachy’s female characters in the movie are as interesting as his male characters. Koshy’s wife represents a domesticated woman who doesn’t cross the ‘lakshman rekha’ drawn by the men in her family. Ayyappan’s wife Kannamma is as wild and fearsome as Ayyappan himself. She is a leader and doesn’t think twice before revolting for her people. Unlike Koshy and his wife, Ayyappan and Kannamma are in an equal relationship. The dynamics and ground rules of their relationship are charming and terrifying at the same time. The relationship between Ayyappan and Kannamma is a beautiful part of Sachy’s writing.

Ayyappanum Koshiyum is available on Amazon Prime Video.

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