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Ayothi Movie Review

At a time when there is a difficult political climate in the nation, it is a good sign to see creators coming up with dramas that emphasize humanity, and lays forth the necessity for us to coexist. On that note, debutant story teller R Manthira Moorthy must be commended. Ayothi is about a man’s pilgrimage along with his family from north India to Rameswaram, and how a series of events that occur on the course of the journey change the man’s perspective about life. Actor Sasikumar who was last seen in the sports action movie Kaari is back on screens with his social drama Ayothi. Actress Preethi Asrani has essayed the female lead role. So, how has the social drama Ayothi come out? Will it help bring back actor Sasi Kumar to the winning zone, and be a memorable debut for storyteller R Manthira Moorthy? To know that let us get into the movie review. 

Ayothi Trailer Poster

Ayothi Trailer Poster

Balram (Yashpal Sharma), a religious chauvinist from Ayodhya takes a pilgrimage to Rameswaram along with his wife Janaki (Anju Asrani) and their daughter Shivani (Preethi Asrani) and son Sonu (Master Advaith Vinod). The family reaches Tamil Nadu and hires a cab to take them to Rameswaram. During the journey Balram starts an argument with the cab driver Kanagu (Thaman Kumar). In an unfortunate turn of events, the argument leads to an accident in which Janaki gets brutally injured. She is admitted to a hospital nearby. But the hospital management advises to shift her to Madurai government hospital for advanced treatment. The family felt helpless as they could not understand Tamil. Kanagu informs his friends played by Sasi Kumar and Pugazh of the accident. Taking pity on the situation and mental condition of the children, Sasi Kumar offers to help. He takes them to Madurai government hospital in an ambulance. But sadly, Janaki dies on the way. The hospital prepares for an autopsy. 

Being a religious chauvinist, Balram points to religious beliefs and asks not to perform a post mortem. He insists that he along with his family be dropped in Madurai airport. So that Janaki can be taken back to home, and given a proper burial. Sasi Kumar drives them to the airport where the security officials investigate and takes them to the police station. Shivani gets upset over her father’s insistence to ditch legal proceedings so that his wife would reach heaven. She thinks it is insincere of her father, given his treatment of her while she was alive. They are given a clean chit. Despite opposition from Balram, Sasi Kumar gets the autopsy done. When they prepare to airlift the body, they find that all the tickets to Lucknow are booked. How they send the body back home makes the rest of the flick. 

Debutant director R Manthira Moorthy’s Ayothi aims to be a poignant social drama that stands for a cause. Social harmony. To be fair, it achieves its goal to a large extent. Usually, when lead heroes of Tamil cinema are made to stand for a cause, it summons up for a plethora of mass moments and bone breaking extravagance. Surprisingly, Ayothi is dearth of it. Director R Manthira Moorthy confines the commerciality factors to a mass opening scene and an unnecessary song. For a newbie director, he takes a daring path to ditch the obligatory commercial elements, and constructs a simple yet effective plot rooted in reality. He slowly grinds the flow with carefully designed events building up the stage for the finale. He delivers a liberating scene between daughter and father before getting to a reveal that we all know was coming. 

Ayothi does have its share of flaws. It falls behind when it gets too melodramatic. For instance, the portions around the dead body where the director’s overdoing of things to transport the vulnerability of the children drain us out. The background score in these parts do not help either. Also, the belligerent shade in Balram’s characterization is tad superfluous. It infuses a contrived texture. In the end, a bit of inventiveness would have done so much good for Ayothi that intended to stand for humanity. 

The character played by Sasi Kumar seems like a tailor-made role for him. Though there is not much transformation on appearance wise which is justified towards the end, the message the character carries, beautifully fit the actor. He cakewalks his part. Actress Preethi Asrani’s character does not have much weight to alter the proceedings. But the actress does complete justice to her character. She even adds a few layers to it. Actor Yashpal Sharma has done a stunning job in portraying Balram. He is thoroughly enjoyable to watch. Except in a few portions. Actress Anju Asrani serves her purpose for why she was brought on board. Actor Pugazh makes his presence felt even in a limited screen time. Actor Master Advaith Vinod lives up to his role. Veteran Chetan is effective as usual. Actor Pondy Ravi is functional. Actor Bose Venkat is adequate. Actor Kalloori Vinoth is operational. Actors Thaman Kumar, and Sai Ramani have done their part well. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them. 

On the technical front, music director N R Raghunanthan’s tracks are average. Even his background score is not any special but just about blends with the flow. Cinematographer Madhesh Manickam    has done a fine job covering the movie. He has set up his camera at right spots in the best angles possible. His visuals are vibrant and colorful. Editor San Lokesh has put his scissors at right spots and has enhanced the work of his colleague.  

On the whole, director R Manthira Moorthy’s Ayothi has a big heart. A tad work in the writing department would have propelled it to be a solid social drama.

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