Lalitham Sundaram Review: A wannabe feel-good drama
Cast: Manju Warrier, Biju Menon, Anu Mohan, Saiju Kurup, Deepti Sati
Lalitham Sundaram tells the story of three siblings with strained relationships who reunite at their ancestral home in the mountainous corners of Kerala for the death anniversary of their mother. Annie (Manju Warrier) runs a highly successful business in Mumbai, Jerry, the youngest is a lawyer in Bangalore while the eldest Sunny is on the verge of bankruptcy after his 12th business venture fails to take off. A comparison with his successful siblings creates low self-esteem for Sunny who considers himself to be a failure. It is these emotional turmoils that act as the focus of the film.
What comes across as a heartfelt family drama misses the target and ends up being an average flick. There are some funny elements that do not disappoint us but when it comes to emotional segments, the film lacks strength and clarity. While his children are about to leave within a day, he uses a video of their mother’s last wish. Honestly, that video was flat-out gruesome!
The reason for Jerry’s grudge over Sunny is so unoriginal and doesn’t strike a chord with us. There is a fight sequence between Jerry and Sunny that seems so artificial and staged that we do not buy it. This was one of the major drawbacks of the film, it felt heavily scripted and unoriginal. Though all the actors offer a commendable performance, it does not suffice to save the film.
Everything is so progressive in this house that it gets a little hard to believe. Jerry’s girlfriend is three years elder than him and is even a divorcee. Annie is a successful CEO with a supportive stay-at-home husband who does not complain even once. Everything runs so smoothly that it feels too idealistic. But, the story is not about these progressive elements, it is about the bonding between the siblings.
Sunny and his estranged wife Sophie (Remya Nambeesan) occupy a small portion of the film. The issue in their marriage seemed a little ambiguous. What makes me sad is how we are left to watch a stunning actor like Remya Nambeesan on the sidelines, with very little scope to perform. She deserves a bigger platform to showcase her best.
The movie propels towards a cliched climax as well. We are easily able to predict what might happen next. The songs are the most unoriginal of all. An attempt at mixing some old Malayalam gem of songs doesn’t really create an impression.
The cast of Lalitham Sundaram is definitely one of the highlights of the film. Manju Warrier and Biju Menon reunite after nearly two decades, though as siblings. In the presence of two of the finest actors in the business, Anu Mohan stands tall and delivers a noteworthy performance. Saiju Kurup as Annie’s husband is delightful and funny. Biju Menon in particular has the most scope for performance, which he executes to perfection as always.
Though well-intended, the movie does not resonate well enough with the audience. But you can watch it if you are looking to get past a lazy day.
Watch Lalitham Sundaram on Disney+Hotstar
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