The bond between a mother and son.
Ente Ummante Peru is a complete family entertainer that explores the coming of age journey of the protagonist Hameed ( Tovino Thomas) and how his life changes when Aisha comes into his life.
Written and directed by Jose Sebastian, Ente Ummante Peru is a story set in Malabar. However, unlike scores of films based in Malabar in the past, ‘Ente Ummante Peru’ doesn’t try to sell Malabar to the audience by forced feeding them the biryani, and words like khalb, monchathi, and the like. It’s a simple story rooted in the soil.
As the movie begins to take shape, we are told that Hameed (Tovino) is just another young, easy-go-lucky fella from Malabar who is fascinated by the idea of a ‘nikah’. But after his father’s death, Hameed can’t seem to get an alliance on account of being an orphan. Soon he sets out to find his mother and gets into trouble after trouble.
The highlight of the film has to be the chemistry between the boy-next-door charm Tovino and the ace actress Urvashi. As Hameed, Tovino sheds his superstar persona in the blink of an eye. And, his ability to look charming in a slightly dimwit character, devoid of any larger than life gimmicks, in this stage of his career is one of the best aspects about him as an actor. After ‘Achuvinte Amma’ this film sees Urvashi in a mother-child drama. ‘Vegali’ Aisha, the character she portrays, seems to be tailor made with her acting range in mind. And boy, does she manifest into the character! Tovino and Urvashi look like chalk n cheese on the screen, but at the end of their playful squabbles, you end up feeling like they are two peas in a pod. Hareesh Kanaran and Mamukkoya, the Malabar staples, work towards their part of adding that quintessential Malabar flavour to the narrative. Siddique and Shanti Krishna briefly appear in a couple of scenes but do their best nevertheless. The movie packs a couple of adult jokes quite subtly, and tastefully, and that deserves a pat on their back.
For a debut director, Jose Sebastian knows his craft. His aim to make a feel-good drama has borne fruit. Also, Jose doesn’t engage in schooling or spoon feeding his audience to solve the mystery. He subtly narrates it; you get it or you don’t, but that’s about it because the movie, at that point, is no longer about the mystery.
However, maybe the writer could have been as good as the director, because the narrative falls short of etching the characters to perfection. It leaves you with more questions than answers. You end up wanting to know more from the past of Aisha and Hyder, and everyone around their time. As a result, you are lost in trying to make an emotional connection with the characters. The movie makes use of minimal background score. And even for the songs, Gopi Sundar’s music doesn’t stand out.
‘Ente Ummante Peru’, as the title suggests, is the kind of movie that makes you want to call your mother the moment you get out of the theatre. Better still, take your mother with you to watch the movie. If you don’t amp up your expectations, ‘Ente Ummante Peru’ is a feel-good movie which keeps you engaged till it lasts.