Onaayum Aatukuttiyum (A Wolf and A Lamb) is the recent brainchild of Mysskin, a director known for his unconventional films. He has set the bars high once again with a gripping yet emotional criminal thriller. The movie stars the director himself and Sri of Vazhakku En 18/9 fame in the lead roles.
The film begins with a medical student Chandru (Sri), who happens to see a badly injured man struggling for life at midnight. When attempts to get the dying man medical attention fail, Chandru takes the matter into his own hands and saves the man’s life. But Chandru and his family are in for a rude shock when CBI officers reveal that the man who Chandru had helped is Wolf (Mysskin), a notorious killer and a wanted criminal. What ensues later is the hunt for the wolf and the subsequent revelations on a story of redemption.
If one has to be really picky, then the movie is a tad too long and the typical style of Mysskin might deter some strata of audience. Of course this is surely not enough reason to skip this edge-of seat thriller completely.
The brilliance of this movie is in its screenplay and narration. The first half leaves us hanging – totally uncertain of what is happening or may happen. With time the story begins to divulge the main plot. The director cleverly prevents us from being able to form any opinions on the main characters.
The absence of a female lead/songs (which form the main crux of any plot) doesn’t affect the pace of the movie in the slightest. There is minimal dialogue and the studied silence in some parts, extended ones at that, which enhance the suspense element greatly.
The manner in which the characters have been designed and executed are commendable! Mysskin shines as the Wolf donning the ruthless killer who is trying to for his sins. Sri’s portrayal as the medical student who just wanted to do the right thing is laced with fear appropriately to showcase the dilemma of a common man who is caught up in things beyond his control. Shaji Tom as the CB CID Officer with Keralaite slang doesn’t fail to impress!
Another highlight of the film is the cinematography by Balaji Ranga. All the scenes are shot at night in the deserted roads of Chennai. With very little lighting mostly derived from street lights, he brilliantly creates the right environment for the film. Some of the camera angles in the chase sequences and action scenes enunciate the keen skills of both Balaji and Mysskin’s vision. Kudos!
The music has been scored by the Maestro, Isaignani Ilayaraja. This is a classic example of how re-recording and brilliant background score can elevate a movie to a whole new level. The score is Western Classical in nature solely relying on violins as the main instrument. Without any vocals/chorus, the soulful music carries the movie along till the end. I must admit that the first time I watched the movie, I could not pay a lot of attention to the sound track. I intend on fixing this soon 🙂
OA is a cut above Mysskin’s earlier works. He crushes all cinematic clichés and manages to gives us a film we deserve. Watch it for Mysskin and Ilayaraja – you will not be disappointed.