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Aug 31, 2017

Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu

If director Sathyan Anthikkad had aged like fine wine, Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu (hereafter referred to as RBO) is what he would have come up with. Regrettably he didn't and thankfully Ranjan Pramod, the script writer of some Anthikkad's later movies has filled the void.

The best thing about RBO is it seems so natural and light. The flow of dialog, the ease with which characters appear or slide in and out of frames, the sounds, the ambience, the effortless attention to detail which in reality must have taken some effort and all this put together and delivered as a well constructed entertainer is commendable. Bravo!

And then there is Biju Menon - the king of reinvention in contemporary Malayalam cinema, playing the title character Baiju. His journey from the handsome, brooding, youngest son in Doordarshan TV series - Mikhayalinte Santhathikal through emotional dramas like Meghmalhar in the early 2000s to the man who found his funny bone in Vellimoonga, Maroobhoomiyile Aana and RBO - has been like watching an evolving chameleon in action. We are left to wonder what other colors or characters would he comfortably grow and morph into in the coming years.

The natural ease in direction is reflected in the performance of other actors too. Aju Varghese, Deepak Parumbole and many other new comers who play significant roles give the feeling that we are watching their daily goings-on without a veneer of pretense. I also loved the absence of dubbing as it helped in interring the phantasm of the same female character's voice that used to come back to grate you in every other film.

I started watching RBO with the expectation of a syrupy feel good movie. It is a feel good movie but it is also comfortably real and uncompromising without ruffling many feathers. There is not much of a story and the only character introduced to create tension (played by Padmaraj Ratheesh) is the only weak point in the narrative.Nice work, Ranjan Pramod and a treat for the audience.