Oththa Seruppu, Size 7 - An Audacious Experiment Where Parthiban Dominates The Cinema He Tries To Make!
Otha Seruppu, Size 7.. is easily the supreme of the technically well made Parthiban experiments. The sound design of Rasul Pookutty that livens up the ambience from a pissing sound to blood gobbling out of veins in a slaughtering scream.. The heavily lit, tungsten-blued cinematography of Ramji that provides a macroscopic view to the whole film.. A surprisingly subtle score by Sathya for a film that's zig zag on dramatic peaks and melodrama.. everything about the film touches quite its best. The only let down is it could have been truly an international attempt given it had a story that's worth enough to be conceived in this format!
The film doesn't necessarily demand a one character, one location approach. But director Parthiban chooses to show what he wants to.. which is, One man! Himself! There are other characters roaming all around him. There are voices. There are third persons talking through phone calls heard through speakers. There is even a psychologist who treats his client with Mozart's tracks playing (how Parthiban as Masilamani reacts to Mozart is one truly finest moment in the film and is a joy to watch). Yet, the film chooses / is interested only to capture whatever Masilamani is doing.
The film loudly addresses the curse that poverty is! The story is weaved around people who desperately want to come out of it. The character's constant aversion to system, law, police and particularly, the rich is consistently brought out through the narration and dialogues. At one moment, the film does beautifully evolve into a knot of this poverty Vs loopholes in the law. But again, the thriller angle is just for the film to be engaging all the way. And there is a track of an ailing son who needs to be treated for his fatal muscular dysfunction which contributes for the need and melodrama that binds the blank dots.
In a sense, Otha Seruppu is quite a fascinating idea for an experimental film. It would have worked better had it been released in an OTT platform. But for a film of theatrical release, it lacked the cinema it needed to be! Especially for the Oscar standards that Parthiban kept promoting and projecting the film as, it is more of a gimmick than a film! Wipe away the technique, wipe away the extended narration, all you have is a one hook twist that's barely convincing for a single room thriller!
Apart from the highly theatrical performance by Parthiban, I loved how Gayathri has dubbed for the character Usha. The presence is felt without we ever seeing her. Parthiban, also extensively gives us a character sketch of the psychotic mind. It is probably the closest we have come to what Anurag does with Raman Raghav. The difference is the psychological and philosophical insights there are replaced here with puns and more puns and some more puns!
Still, it is about how Parthiban keeps on wistfully does his direction. How he keeps playing these little mind games with his audience is what makes it engaging despite the lengths and lags. Like a pun between mop and maapillai.. or RMB & Aarambi.. Parthiban's heavy relying is still on the dialogues. And that's where the problem is. A film like this would have done wonders in a visually treated narrative. But here, we hear everything. About the victims. About their appearances. How they looked. How they walked. Its all verbose. Parthiban does the exact of what GVM would do with voiceovers in his film. Overcook!
Parthiban's "Otha Seruppu, Size 7" is an audacious experiment whose biggest strength is that Parthiban is in it and has made it. It is pretty much its weakness as well!
Rating : 3/5