The first half is beautifully and realistically packed, without the least bit of preaching, but the second half does not match up to the first.

Autorsha Review Anusree pulls off a woman-centric film with an engaging first half
Flix Mollywood Friday, November 23, 2018 - 15:51

There could be many guesses about a film showing a woman riding an auto rickshaw in its trailer and poster. That it could be something like Mohanlal’s Aye Auto of the 1990s, that it might be a version of the real life story of Chitralekha, who had to struggle a lot as a Dalit woman who chose to ride a rick in Kannur. But Sujith Vaassudev's Autorsha simply takes you through an easy and enjoyable ride through the life of a new rickshaw driver, the fact that she’s a woman not being stressed a lot till the second half comes and takes away the ease built by the first half. Bringing with it a flashback and a climax that does not come up to the level set by the characters and actions of the first half.

It is all straightforward at first. As you expect Anusree, the lead actor, gets her new auto rickshaw. Director Sujith Vaassudev has a cameo to ask her what name to paint on her rick and she says in a casual tone that she uses in the whole movie, ‘Autorsha, what else? You can’t call it 'Train' can you?’

She is not a reluctant newcomer to an auto stand in Kannur. Anita is introduced to the other drivers in the stand who easily accept her as one among them, and she in turn jells in well - no enmity, no competition. What you notice immediately is the Kannur dialect they all speak without the least bit of fakeness. Eede, Aade are all thrown about a lot, without any of it sounding unfitting.

Jayaraj Mithra’s screenplay has a lot of interesting characters – the older and mature Santhettan, the stoner driver, the crazy man who always wants a ride to Kunnumpuram, the Karatte loving rick man, a music band, schoolchildren, a police station under actor Tini Tom, and of course Anita. You have to appreciate the consistency of these characters, they are not created for one-scene wonders and forgotten about. They come back with their quirkiness sometimes leading into comedy, sometimes becoming an essential part of the film.

In that way the first half is something like the police station in Action Hero Biju – new people keep coming with their stories to the auto rickshaws. All of it are quick engaging stories, and without the least bit of preaching, manage to convey the beauty of humanity, the bond from man to man.

Anusree is makeup-free in this first half and fits easily into the shoes of the woman on the move. The second half promises suspense, you sense that from the very first scene. For one, her background has been left unknown. There are moments left unexplained for the last half to pick up. Like why Anita would pray ‘Padachone, Krishna’ every time she starts her rick. While it is nice to see all the dots connected, the late entry of a man in Anita’s life – played by Rahul Madhav, kind of shakes the so-far smooth scripting. The flashback looks like a hastily built story. And you would think with so much of time, Anita has something special planned for the big day she had been waiting for. A few disappointing clichés would not have been so disappointing if you had not come to expect so much after the realistically made scenes earlier. Scenes that cover the last bit of detail including the unnoticeable conversations of schoolchildren or the minute observations made by those around you when you are on the street, not realising the attention you get.

You can really forgive this last bit of jolt for that’s how beautifully packed the former part of the film is. Sujith should be patted much, Anusree too just as much. She easily pulls off a woman centric film without letting you even notice that little but very important fact.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film’s producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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