A Malayalam film directed by Ranjith
A Malayalam film directed by Ranjith less
“Leela is both haunting and classy”
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Ranjith's Leela has been in the news ever since the project was announced a few years ago. To start with, it was a movie adaptation of Unni.R's popular Malayalam short story of the same name which was being worked upon for the big screen by Unni.R himself. Also the various casting choices for the main lead role of Kuttiyappan which included Mammootty, Mohanlal and Shankar Ramakrishnan kept viewers guessing as to who would eventually end up playing the iconic character. Eventually the role went to Biju Menon, a wise decision one would say after watching the film.
The tale revolves around Kuttiyappan, a wealthy carefree individual who goes about living life on his terms. His constant companion is Pillechan (Vijayaraghavan) who is there besides him on all his escapades. Kuttiyappan expresses his desire to hire an elephant and thus sets out looking out for one along with Pillechan and Dasappappi (Indrans). On the way they pick up a young girl (Parvathy Nambiar) with a traumatic past who is rechristened as Leela by Kuttiyappan. Their pursuit for an elephant leads them to the hill ranges of Wayanad where eventually the mystery behind Kuttiyappan's desire to hire an elephant and pick up Leela is revealed. Unni.R has gone on to make suitable changes to the overall concept in the process of converting his short story into the screenplay for the film.
But despite the changes the basic plot remains more or less the same, Kuttiyappan comes across as a bizarre yet interesting character with a lot of quirkiness in him. Prashanth Ravindran's cinematography is impressive and Bijibal's music is quite effective. Manoj Kannoth's editing leaves the film with a tight finish and with a run time of just 101 minutes, it makes you ask for more. Parvathy Nambiar is effective as Leela and leaves a mark despite having no dialogues, Indrans impresses once again and Jagadeesh as Thankappan Nair, the perverted father of Leela is a revelation in a role that's very different from his usual work. Vijayaraghavan delivers one of his career best performances as Pillechan, his body language, dialogue delivery and mannerisms are a treat to watch. Biju Menon as Kuttiyappan is a natural and sparkles in almost every frame, be it with his interactions with Pillechan and Dasappappi or with the various women.
As the film ends it might shock you, upset you, repel you or impress you but whatever be it I'm sure that it would leave a lasting impact on you.