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  Lisammayude Veedu
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Lisammayude Veedu bristles with hope, just like the title character played with aplomb by Meera Jasmine, who is back to Malayalam after a brief hiatus. The Babu Janardhan directed sequel to the critically acclaimed, 'Achanurangatha Veedu (2006)', is not a dark tale but is one which ends by giving the hope that it is never too late to mend, or that life always gives you a second chance.

Lisammayude Veedu is a poignant portrayal of the life of a serial rape victim, who resiliently fights back to get her mangled life back on rails. Babu Janardhan, has almost ticked all the boxes in his endeavor vis a vis the topicality and the honesty of the plot. And it would have ended up as a very good movie, had a bit more attention been given to the latter parts of the second half, when the plot loses steam and tends to become somewhat jaded and predictable.

Samuel (Salim Kumar) has lost his touch with realm of normalcy, after having endured the worst form of transgression into his sense of self respect, in which he was reduced to a mute spectator when the life and honour of his youngest daughter and in extension his entire family were trampled upon by a group of bestial elements. More than the actual traumatic experience, the sham that followed in the guise of a fair trial, when he and his daughter were forced to endure the worst, by not just the Police but also by the voyeuristic public, who celebrate sex scandals with vigour. After re-planting themselves from their homeland Peerumedu, to northern Kerala (Kasargod) to start their life afresh, things almost get back to normal for Samuel and family, aided as they are by the character of Jagadeesh(younger brother of Murali's character in Achanurangatha Veedu).

Not sure why the Director opted for the northern most tip of our state as the place ,where his plot unfolds. Is it because of the fact that the victims need to move as far away as possible from their homeland to lead a normal life? It appears as a jarring note in the otherwise positive spirit that pervades the movie. The aged and frail Samuel is oblivious to what is going on around him as his battered mind still lives in the time when he and his family was forced to go through the harrowing times of trial and humiliation. He still religiously attends court proceedings in the local court, under the impression that the trial in the case of his daughter is still on. He believes that the long arm of law will catch up with the perpetrators of the grievous crime eventually, and that delayed justice will not be denied to him. Lisamma never tries to drill reason into the head of her father and allows him to be what he is, in the belief that if the unfortunate man derives satisfaction by living in his private world oblivious to everything, so be it.

Lisamma who runs a small bunk which dispenses mobile re charge cards in the local market comes across ,Sivan a brash and uncouth leftist trade union leader, played with remarkable dexterity by Rahul Madhav. But the Good Samaritan in Sivan develops a liking for the sinned against Lisamma, which eventually culminates in their marriage and the birth of a son and happiness makes a fleeting comeback to her life. Her temporary victory over merciless fate proves pyrrhic as Sivan fall victim to the internal power struggles in his party. Lisamma and her toddler son is left to fend for themselves, which forces her to play a dirty game for a scheming politician played by P.Sreekumar ,who wants to settle some old scores with an adversary in his own party. Lisamma becomes a pawn in his hand as the old sex scandal is brought back to focus, falsely framing his principal foe in it. What follows is a roller coaster ride, as Lisamma encounters the vicissitudes of life again, as her son becomes a hard core criminal. All is well that ends well, as Lisamma gets her due, and justice is delivered to her in a typical happy ending.

Babu Janardhan deserves praise for focusing on the hitherto unchartered waters of the life, 'after the worst 'of a rape victim. The positive message that he has tried to put forward is that, rape is a hideous criminal act which should be seen in that light, and not through the lens of honor or sense of defilement. A rape victim just like Lisamma, should not be cowed down after enduring the inhuman torture, but should face the life with same passion and drive, unperturbed by the societal notions of right or wrong.

The film belongs to Meera Jasmine and Salim Kumar, as both of them have given excellent account of themselves by delivering performances of arresting and sustained brilliance. Salim Kumar's extended cameo once again underlines that, what we have seen of him till now is only the tip of iceberg, and that the national award was not a fluke. Rahul Madhav the male protagonist doesn't look like a green horn as he has taken to the role like duck to the water. Serial actress Sangeetha Mohan, Sruthy Menon, Baiju, Jagadeesh and all other actors have performed their roles adeptly. Musical score by Vinu John is decent with songs living up to the mood of the proceedings. Sinu Sidharth s cinematography is notable as well as he captures the joyous and somber moods with remarkable panache.

Verdict:The makers attempt to offer a wholesome social commentary by focusing on corruption, sexual crimes, and violent politics succeeds to a fair degree but in their attempt to stuff too many things has adversely affected the totality. Towards the climax movie becomes a normal commercial potboiler with a dramatic and happy ending. Babu Janardhan has moved ahead after the debacle that was 1993 Bombay March 12, his directorial debut, and offers hope as someone to look forward to among the ever burgeoning number of scenarist turned directors.

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