Director Dinjith Ayyathan presents a smoothly packed script but appears to take a stand to not offend conventions while handling the serious subject of arranged marriage and divorce.

Kakshi Amminippilla review A humorous film on divorce which doesnt dare to offend
Flix Mollywood Friday, June 28, 2019 - 16:24
Worth a watch
Written by  Cris

A flight home, a marriage bureau, a marriage, a honeymoon – too much happens all at once in too little time for Shajith Kumar Amminippilla or us to make sense of what’s happening with his life. The title character of Kakshi: Amminippilla is nearly forgotten in the chaos that his marriage is. He stands there helpless, as decisions are made for him, a look of utter annoyance on his face turning into utter frustration in the middle of a song that makes him stand up and announce to the world: I want a divorce.

The movie, as it’s been revealed through the trailer, is about an NRI who makes petty complaints about his new wife and asks for a divorce, and a lawyer called Pradeepan (Asif Ali) who takes up his case. Just when you think the film is too hurried, chaotically so, with a quick wedding and a separation, the director – Dinjith Ayyathan – takes control and slows down the pace. He prefers to tell the serious problem of Shajith Kumar (Ahmed Sidhique) through comical situations, aided with catchy background music (Jakes Bejoy).

To an extent, Sanileshan Shivan’s script addresses the relevant subject of arranged marriage, but appears to take a stand that is unlikely to offend conventions. Shajith Kumar is not asked if he wants to marry, or if he wants to meet the woman whom his parents and a marriage broker (Mammukoya reprising the role he has done in quite a few films before) have fixed him up with. He is not even spared the name ‘Ammini’ – a woman’s name – that he keeps getting called even as he says he doesn’t like it. We accept Shajith (we're respecting the character’s wish to not be called Ammini) as this guy who can easily be pushed around, who doesn’t really have an opinion of his own or the guts to say it. But Shajith has his ideas, he has just been raised to never utter them, and live in a "nest", as he later reveals to his lawyer. No one has ever bothered about his wishes – including the name he likes to be called.

The problems Shajith has with his wife Kanthi (Shibila) are superficial – she’s overweight, she snores. But then, he was never given a chance to know her as a person – even the conventional "bride-seeing" ritual is avoided. It is on his wedding day that he sees her, for the first time, and complains to his only friend (the only one who calls him Shajith) that she is a "little big".

Pradeepan throws out the two friends when they come to him for a divorce with these flimsy reasons. But then, he is not having a good time either. He has had no big cases so far and he wants to make a name for himself for his political ambitions. His family life is shown to us most casually, the easy exchanges between a husband and wife who’ve known each other since they were students, the elder brother (Sudheesh) who is looking for brides, and the funny mother (Sarassa).

Dinjith takes you from the court room to Pradeepan’s office, the party office and the homes of all three characters (the couple and the lawyer) smoothly, the incidents neatly packed into the two hour drama (editing: Sooraj ES). It could easily have been a mess, with the script trying to narrate a courtroom drama and a love story and the political dreams of a lawyer, with the added emotions of three families. There are many more characters who seamlessly merge into the picture: the judge (Srikant Murali), the opposing lawyer (Vijayaraghavan), Pradeepan’s assistant and badly singing album singer Shamsu (Basil Joseph), Shajith’s only friend Mukesh (Nirmal Palazhi).

Divorce is still a sensitive subject and when it comes to the court, you see everyone from the judge to the passerby commenting on the need to avoid it. Only Shajith keeps shouting that he wants one even as his wife asserts that she really likes him. They have been together only for one week. While you can see why Shajith is frustrated with being forced into a marriage, you don’t really see how Kanthi has fallen for him. He is shown to be totally indifferent in all the time that they are together, not hiding his displeasure at the whole deal. Sanileshan, you wish, had written more into Kanthi’s character, to throw some light into her, the whys and whats of her.

Even Pradeepan’s party leader tells him to take care while handling this case – separating a couple may not go down well with his voters. And this appears to be the advice that the script follows too. Kanthi could be an angel but that doesn’t mean Shajith should want to remain married to her. The significance of consent appears to be treated lightly here, even as the script has devoted some parts to debating on the question of arranged marriage. You wish, for once, Shajith would open his mouth and spell out why he wants the divorce: not the superficial snoring or the size of his wife, but the fact that he was never consulted, his opinions never considered in any of his life decisions. Even the honeymoon destination is what the dad announces: Palani.

The comedy, which comes through effortlessly, is helped by the Kannur dialect that all the actors handle meticulously. Asif is smooth as the ambitious lawyer and politician, and his aides - Basil, Lukman - all add to the neat packaging of the script. Shibila’s sad wife and Aswathy’s cool wife are easy to like. No role is wasted and thankfully, there's no character who's been included as a token.   

The frames – especially in the courtroom – help with the situational humour (cinematography: Bahul Ramesh). The film in all comes across as a good effort, lacking in parts only where the handling of the subject in its entirety is concerned.

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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