Odiyan Box Office: With the arrival of electricity in the early 20th century under British rule , the ‘odiyan’ clan, gangsters capable shape shifting in the darkness, finds it difficult to survive. The last ‘odiyan’ spreads terror across the empire, with his stealth attacks, when his kind are captured and ruthlessly killed.
Odiyan is a Indian Malayalam-language fantasy triller film directed by V. A. Shrikumar Menon; it is his feature-film debut. The film was written by Harikrishnan; it is based on the legend of the Odiyan clan, who in Kerala folklore are men who have shapeshifting abilities and can assume animal forms. Odiyans are said to have inhabited the Malabar region of Kerala before the widespread use of electricity. The film stars Mohanlal in the title role, alongside Prakash Raj and Manju Warrier; it was produced by Antony Perumbavoor through Aashirvad Cinemas.
Mohanlal starrer Odiyan has earned 100 crore in its pre-release business. It is the first Malayalam film to achieve this Record. This is the rights and pre-booking sale combined figure. 3rd film in south and 11th in Indian cinema history.
Odiyan is sure to enjoy a grand opening weekend and the advance booking would solely be enough to bring in huge collections. The movie is touted to become the top opening weekend grosser among the Malayalam movies. At present, the record for the maximum number of admits on opening weekend for a South Indian movie, is being held by Baahubali 2. According to Forum Keraqlam, Baahubali 2 had 233K admits on its 2-days long weekend. There are chances for Odiyan to break this record as well. According to a recent Facebook post of Forum Keralam, the film will have 450 shows in the UAE/GCC regions alone on its very first day.
The brilliance of Odiyan’s lead actors Mohanlal and Manju Warrier are showcased in two scenes – one in which Odiyan Manikyan begs on his knees to make Prabha believe his is innocent of the crime he is accused of and another in which she bows her head in gratitude for him helping return light in her life.
For most part, Odiyan is a drama and an aptly paced one at that too. The relationships of its three characters – Manikyan, Prabha and Ravunni (Prakash Raj) – are what the movie explores in detail and all the marketing about the movie playing to the gallery takes a backseat as Harikrishnan’s script delves deep into telling their stories.
The only times where the movie picks up speed is during its four action scenes, each better than the other, and climax battle of Odiyans taking the cake.
The movie begins with an aged Odiyan Manikyan returning to his village in Thenkurissi after a self imposed exile of 15 years. He is reviled and even derided for returning, and soon his is forced to take up a challenge to scare a youngster using the tricks of his tribe. Soon the film traces Manikyan’s journey through flashbacks and introduces the audience to his childhood friend Prabha and her lustful , scheming cousin Ravunni. The rivalry between Manikyan and Ravunni simmers till two deaths in Prabha’s family pushes Manikyan to leave the village. How his return affects those in the village forms the rest of the plot.
Director Shrikumar has ably executed Harikrishnan’s script that doesn’t have mass dialogues or scenes but goes for grounded storytelling. It’s quite contrary from all the hype and buildup the film had pre-release and might leave the fans wanting more.
Mohanlal as the shape shifting Odiyan is on top form, both during the scenes that require to do action and also emote. Mammootty’s narration about how Odiyans strike fear to those they are paid to scare by taking the form of animals and Shrikumar’s use of graphics to execute the concept has helped the film to a great extent.
Manju Warrier aces her scenes with Mohanlal, with a meaty role after quite some time. Prakash Raj too puts on a decent performance, however, the dubbing does take away the impact from his villainy.
Shaji Kumar’s frames are another highlight of the film along with M Jayachandran’s songs that are well picturised, especially the track Kondaram. However, what steals the scenes are Peter Hein-choreographed action sequences that also add some much-needed punch to sometimes stretched out 167 minute-long movie.
If the length could have been further trimmed, Odiyan would have been a highly engaging film even for the fans expecting a ‘mass’ movie. Even otherwise Odiyan has good acting, a well thought-out script and brilliant action scenes that the family audience would enjoy.
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