Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil Review: An engrossing prison-break thriller
After over an year, Antony Varghese who shot to fame with ‘Angamaly Diaries’ is back with his second movie, ‘Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil’. Tinu Pappachan, a former associate of Lijo Jose Pellisser, is making his directorial debut with this movie. Let’s see what the newcomer and his team have dished out for the audience this Easter season.
Jacob is a Kottayam based youngster working in a finance company. He along with his girlfriend Betty are forced to flee after they commit a crime due to some unfortunate circumstances. Eventually, Jacob is caught while on the run and lands in jail as a remand prisoner. How Jacob along with some of his jail mates plan a daring prison-break form the movie’s core plot.
Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil is perhaps the first such full length prison-break movie in Malayalam cinema. Newcomer Dileep Kurian has scripted a riveting thriller that keeps the audience at the edge of the seats for most part of its runtime. Tinu Pappachan from the very first frame proves he is from the Lijo Jose Pellissery school of filmmaking. The movie has an unique making style with unconventional frames, cleverly placed slo-mos and terrific music. A particular thing I liked was the director’s conviction in presenting the flashback portions crisply without any unnecessary drag; thereby holding the audience attention as the conflict is about to start. Tinu has also managed to extract the best out of each of his artists and technicians.
Antony Varghese continues from where he left in Angamaly Diaries. The angry young man images suits him to the T and we can see a slightly more controlled performance here. The youngster has everything in him to be a mass action hero. Vinayakan as the tough Simon is at his best and lights it up everytime he appears on screen. Chemban Vinod and the other actors who played the jail inmates also did their parts well.
Cinematographer Girish Gangadharan and editor Shameer Mohammed who worked in Angamaly Diaries are handling their respective departments in this movie as well. Girish brings in a whole new style to the movie with his fantastic work. Deepak Alexander’s music is another standout element in the movie. His thumping background score add more thrills and syncs with the mood totally.
On the flip side, Rajesh Sharma’s performance as the jailer was slightly overboard. The tail end also looked cinematic, instead they could have left it to the audience perception. All said, Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil will surely be a good watch for all those who love raw action thrillers. It demands a theatrical watch for its highly impressive making style.