Reviewer : Chandra Mohan Gopinath
Last year’s Kerala State Award winning film Ozhivu Divasathe Kali (An Off-Day game) finally reaches the larger audience and believe me it is a strong and disturbing film that makes for a compelling watch. I am giving complete credits to the director behind this small but simple and sincere film, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan.
Based on a story by Unni.R, Ozhivu Divasathe Kali as a story is quite simple but passes through many interpretations that one can make and deal with the caste system, religion, political viewpoints and mindset of the people who are part of the story. It also touches topics like how sex is interpreted by different people.
The film basically has five friends on an election day leaving all their tensions behind and decide to go to a remote guesthouse located at a scenic place inside a forest good for some drinking fun. They go to the extreme and celebrate enjoying the moments just like each of us do when we hang out with friends. They also debate on certain occasions debating their viewpoints on some hot topics.
The film right throughout maintain an equal balance and have adopted a complete realistic approach. The situations and the way in which the five of them enjoy something that we all have passed through and seen. It was too natural and believable making it so real. Sanal Kumar Sasidharan has adapted the story in a remarkable fashion and ends the film on a very strong and disturbing note.
On screen, you don’t feel that the five of them were acting. It was as if the camera was placed hidden capturing their off day enjoyment and entertainment. The performance was so natural and real.
But the reality is that most of the shots were quite long and almost the entire second half was captured in a single scene. That is quite an achievement for the actors as well the makers and technical team. Abhija the only female presence in Ozhivu Divasathe Kali was also spot on with her realistic acting as Geetha.
The storyline depicts the political viewpoints and also the mindset of the five men towards general issues. Their mentality is showed in a humorous way and when the situation demanded a serious tone in the discussion, the film never shy away from that.
Technically, the film has done its homework right. The cinematography is neat and clean. Edits are also sharp. There is no background score used but I could feel some silent music towards the end. Live sound is used very well throughout. The film has a rainy background right from the start till the climax and the sound design they have used has been so perfect giving the feel of real rain. If the rain was natural, then I have to correct and take back my words.