Christo Tomy makes an impressive debut with ‘Ullozhukku’, a story about two women brilliantly played by Urvashi and Parvathy

The first-time writer-director has a firm grip over both his craft and his understanding of the psychology of his two heroines. The result is a wonderfully humanistic drama.

Ullozhukku, meaning undercurrent, is essentially a showcase for two women – I am talking about both Urvashi and Parvathy Thiruvothu, and the superbly written characters they play, mother-in-law Leelamma and daughter-in-law Anju. They are from different generations, of course – but in this small place in Kuttanad, time seems to have stood still in some respects. For instance, Leelamma wanted to study medicine, but her parents wouldn’t hear of it. They got her married off at a young age. Anju, on the other hand, is a working woman as the film opens. She is a salesgirl in a sari shop. But after marriage, she, too, becomes a housewife, looking after the numerous needs of family. But at least one thing has changed across generations. Leelamma accepted her fate with resignation, and perhaps even with a bit of delusion. “The Lord is jealous of my happiness,” she says, when she talks about her ailing son Thomaskutty (Prasant Murali). And we wonder: was happiness ever in the picture? But Anju – Thomaskutty’s wife – isn’t one to wallow in a dream world. She sees her reality clearly, and it stinks.

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