Om Shanthi Osana is one of the best feel good movies of the year, with tremendous energy and humor sustained till the last scene. While the story has nothing supremely unique, the positive vibe one feels watching the movie and what lingers on are refreshing. Nicely packed with entertaining and uplifting incidents stacked up one on top of the other, Mithun Manuel Thomas and Jude Antony Joseph are visibly having a ball not just in making the movie but also having us laugh and ponder through it.
The storyline is pretty ordinary. A high school girl falls in love with a guy much senior to him and starts seeing things she has never paid much attention to. Unlike in most other stories, the guy asks her to take a hike and focus on getting somewhere in life before thinking of her current distraction. She takes that up as a challenge, does what she needs to do to make her life fairly secure and eventually comes back to earn him which puts them on an even state of respect and love. Though it's a made-for-Nazriya movie, Nivin does a fantastic job as the male lead and so does Aju Varghese as he consistently does now and Renji Panicker and Lal Jose with their new found vocation.
Pure humor is neither slapstick nor inappropriate verbal circus. It's typically the way director looks through the lenses and showing us a perspective we may not otherwise be privy to. Whether it's when a baby at a restaurant finds the most inopportune moment to tug at Pooja's hair or Pooja taking a biscuit instead of a device at the exam or Dr Praveen struggling with skinning the peanuts while comparing and contrasting love with substance abuse or the constant use of ഹരിതാഭയും പച്ചപ്പും. This movie has an incredible number of memorable moments other movies seldom get to experience. The subtext of the dialogs is highly entertaining and after about 30 mins we are waiting for that next pithy comment. Most of our window into Pooja's mind is through her own narration and the humor and sensibility laced in reality is what works there.
Acting is superlative by all the important characters , with Nazriya stealing the show. The extreme irreverance that she excels in typically is amplified with an expression that is unique to her with the amalgamation of innocence, clumsiness and uncontrollable stupidity. Seemingly innocuous and certainly frivolous byline is sometimes used by the director to power the movie forward. A great example is when the narcissitic Kanjani is describing the story of him getting the better of altruistic Giri where Giri says something like 'ശത്രുക്കൾ കുഴിച്ചിട്ടതാവും .. Country fellows ...'. While all of us know what is going on, that simple byline conveys the possibility of how people end up in such situations in the first place.
Talk about product placement and this one tops it all. Late Murali as Giri's dad subtly displayed through a framed picture at the doorstep to his house is such a minor thing in the context of the movie, but shows the film maker's understanding of the craft.
However, the movie is not all humor. There are significant number of situations where the creators take a philosophical stab at various things like in.."മറ്റുള്ളവരുടെ സ്വപ്നങ്ങൾക്ക് വേണ്ടി പ്രയത്നിക്കുക എന്ന് പറഞ്ഞാൽ എളുപ്പമല്ല. അതിന് മനസ്സ് നിറയേ സ്നേഹം വേണം..."
A must watch for anyone who loves malayalam movies.