Directed by Aashiq Abu of the Salt n Pepper fame, 22 Female Kottayam is an extremely brave attempt at showcasing the life of a woman from a female centric perspective. Like his previous attempt, 22 Female Kottayam is a chip above the rest. Though the film has its share of flaws, the movie definitely makes you sit up and notice.
22 Female Kottayam looks inspired from films like Kill Bill by Quentin Tarantino, Ek Hasina Thi by Sriram Raghavan and Cabaret Dancer by N Sankaran Nair.
Tessa K Abraham (Rima Kallingal) is a nurse who has come to Bangalore from Kottayam and dreams of flying abroad some day. Tessa meets Cyril (Fahad Fazil), who is a Visa consultant. The two gradually fall in love with each other and make love in his apartment after being drunk one day. Tessa soon moves into his apartment and begin to share some wonderful time together.
Fate has some other plans for Tessa and she gets brutally raped one day. Life changes completely for the bold and beautiful Tessa as she fights to get over the physical and emotional agony.
Never before has rape been depicted in such a painful manner. One cannot help but empathise with the emotional trauma that the protagonist is going through. 22 Female Kottayam is a honest attempt at showcasing the modern day life of a woman in a cosmopolitan city, without making the female seem like a rebel or someone with a negative shade. Writing by Abhilash Kumar and Syam Pushkaran is brilliant. Visuals by Shyju Khaled and music by Rex Vijayan and Biji Bal are excellent.
It is evident that with 22 Female Kottayam, director Aashiq Abu has paved way for good female centric films with a modern perspective. However, somewhere down the lane, the plot has the same 'male chauvinistic' approach. The character of Rima Kallingal could have been portrayed in a better format. While Tessa is sometimes shown as a bold and brave girl, there are times when you wonder whether the director wants to portray her as a strong willed lady or a weak minded person.
Rima Kallingal has given a top notch performance. 22 Female Kottayam is undoubtedly one of his best acts so far. Rima has handled every emotion with utmost honesty and conviction. Director Aashiq Abu has managed to extract wonderful performances by all actors.
Overall, 22 Female Kottayam is like a fresh whiff of breeze. Cheers for director Aashiq Abu for experimenting with such a novel and path breaking plot.
Director: Aashiq Abu