Sunny Malayalam Movie Review
Malayalam movie Sunny is a striking but abrupt time travel to quarantine days of 2020
The movie opens with an NRI Malayalee, Sunny, coming back to Kochi and checking into a high-end hotel for his quarantine as per the protocol. Sunny isn’t a very pleasant man, which makes us wonder what might be his story, why did he come back? Maybe he was trying to run away from some disturbing memories.
The movie focuses on the loneliness and helplessness a person in quarantine experiences. Sunny longs for some human contact. He wants to sit with people and talk to them. But that’s not an option for him, provided the circumstance. Sunny is already burdened with personal and professional issues and these fourteen days of long quarantine period doesn’t lighten his situation in any way.
Slowly the reasons why he absconded from Dubai come into the picture. His wife is expecting but they are on the verge of divorce. He is debt-ridden after his childhood friend, who was also his business partner, deceives him. Sunny has lost hope in life.
In his quarantine period, the only phone calls he receives are from his college friend, whose number is saved as Kozhi (voice given by Aju Varghese), his lawyer (voice given by Vijay Babu), his wife (Srrida Sivadas), the hotel receptionist, the cop (voice given by Vijay Raghavan) who is assigned to check on his health status, and the counselor (voice given by Innocent) who helps Sunny get through his alcohol addiction. These characters only make their appearances with their sounds, yet their presence and contribution to Sunny’s life are palpable.
Then there’s another guest in the same hotel who stays on the upper floor. She is the only communication Sunny has in the real world. He never sees her entirely, just in bits and pieces, but she makes things a little better for Sunny.
There are some brilliant scenes in the movie that reflect on what quarantine feels like for a human being. A desperate and lonely Sunny trapping an ant with glass acts as a metaphor for his present situation.
The scene where Sunny tries calling the number which was once owned by his father is truly touching and is one of my favorite scenes.
The plant given to Sunny by Dr. Eerali, (Sunny’s counselor) reminds us of how beautiful little things, that we ward off as insignificant, can make so much difference in a person.
The way the entire movie has been shot is excellent. The frames beautifully capture Sunny’s desperation. The music elevates the entire mood of the film. Jayasurya’s performance, as always, is sincere and spectacular.
The movie is good when broken down into segments, however as a whole, it is a little abrupt. Though watchable, the Malayalam movie Sunny is not a perfect one. Several questions are left unanswered in the film. The movie could have turned out much better if the script had a little more grip and strength.
The movie could have shed more light on the mental health aspects of the character as well instead of just slightly touching upon them.
Read: Saji from Kumbalangi Nights and the focus on mental health
But I loved how the movie as a whole made me feel. The film, in its best possible way, takes us back to 2020, the year when we were forced to confine within four walls and craved human contact.
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