Santhoshathinde Onnam Rahasyam Movie Review
A single take film that keeps us entertained with some insightful conversations
Cast: Rima Kallingal, Jitin Puthanchery
Director: Don Palathara
Streaming on: Neestream
The most striking thing about Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam is that it is a one-and-a-half-hour-long movie shot in a single take! While we all have heard about a 10 min song sequence or a ten-minute scene being shot in a single take, but rarely have witnessed anything like this- a full-length feature film in a single take.
Full-fledged preparation is undoubtedly a mandate to execute such a task with perfection and the team of Santhoshathinde Onnam Rahasyam seems to have done their homework well. The actors do not miss out on a single moment. Though we do observe a slip of tongue in a scene or two, the lead actors do not let that break the momentum of the film.
This single-take movie has been shot in a very humble destination- a car! The entire film happens during the first wave of the covid pandemic in a car where an unmarried couple seems to stress over some serious issue. There are elements in the script where the characters get out of the car for the scene, which I assume are the much-needed breaks for the actors who are performing non-stop for this long.
Maria (played by Rima Kallingal) and Jithu (played by Jitin Puthenchery) are on the verge of confirming whether they are expecting. While Maria has lost all of her cool, Jithu somehow seems to be chill about it and argues that things will work out fine. His lack of seriousness annoys Maria who claims that Jithu is nothing but an irresponsible manchild. The argument between the two takes different routes and horizons. They discuss the consequences of getting married while still being unmarried, the risks of abortions, and so on. It is this conversation that holds us throughout.
We don’t judge Maria or Jithu for what they say, we merely observe. Their words reflect the dichotomy of gender thought processing and the complications of modern-day relationships. Most of their conversation makes us think about the society we live in, gender roles, duties, and much more. Maybe we ourselves might have found ourselves in such conversations at some point in our life. And it is this astounding relatability with the complex real world that makes Santhoshathinde Onnam Rahasyam a relevant film.
The movie is not all bitter with complexities, there are some sweet moments that complete the movie. And the car journey is not restricted to just the couple conversation, but also some other interesting ones, like the one where Maria interviews a famous filmmaker. It is a hilarious one. This gives the film a break from the serious tone.
Movies have deceived us in the matter of love all this love. Indian cinema showed love as something perfect, when two people are in love nothing can go wrong. This is the straight opposite of reality. Real love requires lots of hard work and effort and doesn’t magically happen overnight. Santhoshathinde Onnam Rahasyam corrects this cliché and peeks into what real-world relationship looks like.