‘Ottu’ Review: Grounded by a rather lifeless script

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Halfway through Ottu, one wonders if it’s a thriller, a road movie, or an ordinary gangster flick. Because there are elements here that could make it one of those genres.

In the end, there are still unanswered questions, because the makers themselves don’t seem to have decided what they want from the film yet. The credits then hint at the prospect of a prequel and sequel, after which the “Chapter 2” in the title makes sense.

The planning of a three-part series could also be the reason why there is so much left unsaid in the film. In the end, it looks like a jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing, making you wonder if it’s enough for a standalone film.

Kichu (Kunchacko Boban), an unemployed youth, makes plans to be flown out of the country with his girlfriend Kalyani (Eesha Rebba), who has secured a job in Norway. To fund this scheme, he accepts a mission from a mysterious group to befriend David aka Dawood (Arvind Swami), a feared underworld don who has completely lost his memory after a gunfight. Kichu needs to help him regain his memory, which could help the group find the location of missing gold.

Director Fellini TP, who debuted with Theevandiaims for a larger canvas Ottu, written by Hemanth Kumar. However, the ambition, reflected in the all-star cast and sprawling setting along the southwest coast from Mumbai to Mangaluru, doesn’t translate well to screen, in part due to a lifeless script.

The film invests heavily in the road trip that Kichu takes with David to relive his memories of places that are deeply entwined with his past. Aside from a few interesting sequences, much of this journey is one of sheer tedium, with the action progressing at an icy pace. The only thing that somewhat works is the chemistry between the two actors and their developing relationship throughout the journey.

The plan all along seems to have been to surprise the bored audience with a barrage of twists and soaring action in the final minutes. Despite a really surprising twist, this plan doesn’t work well. In addition to the fact that the makers kept everything a secret too late, there are also the pointless action sequences, which are staged rather unimaginatively.

A cameo by Jackie Shroff makes us wonder if he was just there to bring another popular name from yesteryear into the cast, since not much effort was put into writing that character.

The way Ottu Proceeds don’t make us excited enough for the promised prequel and sequel.

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