Evalo pannitte ithumattum pannamatteya (He has done it all; then why not this too!!)
Fahadh Fazil does it again. 'North 24 Kaatham' is one of the most engrossing and refreshing movies that Malayalam cinema has produced in recent times. The movie combines the road movie and experimental movie genres in an interesting manner to fashion out a rare beauty. From the first frame to the thrilling climax, 'North 24 Kaatham' is a journey that anyone wouldn't want to miss. Kudos to director Anil Radhakrishan Menon who has written a beautiful story and directed it to perfection. The movie doesn't look at all like it has been directed by a debutante.
The movie unfolds in a brilliant narrative, introducing us to its flawed hero. The eccentric and quirky Harikrishan (Fahadh Fazil) finds a place as one among us. The absurd lengths to which he goes to keep himself clean and the borderline obsessive compulsive behavior he displays is at once endearing and comic. He is the odd one out everywhere- be it office or home. At home his freak brother (Sreenath Bashi) is the antithesis of Harikrishnan. This unique combination evokes much laughter. At office, he is brilliant as the aloof software engineer but earns everybody's ridicule and enmity.
As someone who doesn't veer from routine, keeps everyone at a distance, washes hands at the restroom in the weirdest of manners and hates getting on another person's bike or sharing his seat with others, Harikrishnan decides to refuse to go on a business trip to Trivandrum, handing over his resignation. But he changes his decision when he comes to know that the entire office is celebrating his impending resignation. He embarks on a journey on a hartal day which becomes life-changing. On the train, while everybody sleeps, he is sitting upright. His fellow traveler (Nedumudi Venu) collapses hearing a news on his mobile phone. Though he is sitting nearby, it is Narayani, known as Nani (Swathy Reddy) who holds the hapless man. Fate has it that the three get down at the next station and thus begins a tale of intrigue, transformation and self-realization that the protagonists face in their 24 Kaatham travel.
The entire cast has done a brilliant job. Fahad Fazil in seen in an hitherto unexplored role and as usual he has gotten into the skin of the character. Nedumudi Venu and Swathy Reddy are equally brilliant. The songs are an asset to the narration, including the title song sung by Sreenath Bhasi. Rex has outdone himself in the music department. The visuals are alluring and pleasing at the same time. The familiar have been captured in a unique angle so as to lend it a new dimension. Editing too is spot on as there is neither raciness nor lagging. In a land which abound with hartals, it wouldn't have been difficult for Anil Radhakrishnan to find a hartal day to set the movie. 'North 24 Kaatham' is a must watch this Onam. It is enthralling to say the least! Lets walk a 24 Kaatham this Onam!!