Sufiyum Sujatayum, the first direct-to-OTT release of Malayalam cinema has finally premiered on Amazon Prime today. The movie, which features Aditi Rao Hydari, Jayasurya, and newcomer Dev Mohan in the lead roles, marked the release of a Malayalam film after a long gap of 100 days. Sufiyum Sujatayum is directed by Naranipuzha Shanavas and produced by Vijay Babu for Friday Film House.
Did the Aditi Rao Hydari-starrer succeed in impressing the audiences? Read Sufiyum Sujatayum movie review here to know...
Sujata (Aditi Rao Hydari) and Rajeevan (Jayasurya) are leading an unhappy married life. Despite being married for over 10 years and having a child together, Sujata is unable to forget her ex-lover, a Sufi priest (Dev Mohan), and move on.
After hearing about the Sufi's death, Rajeevan decides to bring Sujata back to the native to bid him a final goodbye, so that she can get closure and give their marriage another chance. What happens during the couple's visit forms the crux of the story.
Script & Direction
Naranipuzha Shanavas, the writer-director makes a decent debut with Sufiyum Sujatayum, which is an ambitious film. The filmmaker successfully creates a visually enthralling experience with the poetic love story of the mute Kathak dancer Sujata and Sufi priest. But what holds back the movie is its reluctant, depthless script.
It is hard to root for the love story of Sufi and Sujata (despite the actors having good on-screen chemistry) due to the shallowness in the writing. Even though it begins on a promising note, the couple's deep emotional bond that survived a decade is shown in glimpses, which is definitely not enough. Sufi is shown more like a mystical being and the script never gets into his real self, which makes the character strictly one dimensional.
Similarly, we are shown the troubled marriage of Sujata and Rajeevan in bits and pieces. But it is never made clear why she is still unable to befriend him, despite having a child together. This leaves the whole 'Sujata still hasn't moved on' concept fall flat. Sufiyum Sujatayum also touches a few topics like 'love jihad', but never really gets into it.
Aditi Rao Hydari, who plays the mute Kathak dancer Sujata, is the heart and soul of the movie. The actress brilliantly portrays the emotions of her character despite not having any dialogues, with her amazing expressions, mannerisms, and dancing skills. We really hope she signs more Malayalam films in the future.
Dev Mohan, the newcomer looks perfect as the Sufi but doesn't get enough scope to perform in his underwritten role. Jayasurya, who appears as Rajeevan makes a mark with his matured acting skills despite having less screen time. The rest of the star cast, including Siddique, Kala Ranjini, Valsala Menon, Mamukoya, Manikandan Pattambi, Hareesh Kanaran, and so on have done justice to their respective roles.
Anu Moothedath, the cinematographer has done a brilliant job with the visualisation of the movie, which makes it absolutely poetic. The editing by Deepu Joseph is not up to the mark, as the movie falls into a slow pace at certain points despite having screen time of just 2 hours and 2 minutes.
The soulful songs and highly effective background score composed by the National award-winning musician M Jayachandran totally elevates the overall experience. The art direction, choreography and sound design team of this technically sound film deserve special mentions.
Sufiyum Sujatayum is an ambitious film that narrates a unique love story in an absolutely poetic way. But the flawed writing prevents it from becoming a fulfilling experience. Do watch it if you love romance and music.