A static digicam inside a automotive focussing on two characters always bickering by the higher a part of one-and-a-half hours — that’s Don Palathara’s Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam in one line. But, one-liners will be misleading as to what it leaves out unsaid.
Don, who has the uncommon distinction of getting two of his movies being screened at this version of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), takes a shift from his trajectory in his fourth movie, however retains alive the factor of experiment, which was evident from his first movie Shavam onwards.
The narrative centres on Maria (Rima Kallingal) and Jithin (Jithin Puthenchery), living-together companions, who’re heading to a clinic in their automotive for a being pregnant take a look at. Maria is demanding a ‘answer’ from him. He is a small-time actor, with no regular revenue. Their dad and mom shouldn’t have a whiff of their relationship. She just isn’t but able to have a child and in addition plans for greater research. She thinks that he’s irresponsible, and the infant would add to their burden.
This demand for an answer units off a back-and-forth conversation, making them dig up outdated wounds. One can sense the strain slowly rising inside the automotive, accentuated by the closed house that we’re caught in with them. The solely actions of the digicam are these made by the automotive, and the always shifting scene outdoors the automotive, seen by the again and facet windshields.
The movie will be seen as a cross between Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, set inside a automotive, and Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise sequence, made up of conversations between two lovers. However, right here a lot of the conversations, together with a telephone name and a script that Jithin is studying throughout a break, revolve round relationships, as an alternative of being random. Don and each the performers handle to make the conversation move look natural, reasonably than scripted.
While Jithin is portrayed as a laid-back younger man with some faults, Maria, who has real grievances about his lack of seriousness, at occasions comes throughout as somebody who’s obsessive about blaming him.
But the mindset she is in at that time of time offers her some leeway.
Amid this experiment, there’s a scrumptious scene poking enjoyable at experimental cinema, when Maria, a journalist, has a telephone interview with a reasonably pompous director, who says experimental cinema is a time period utilized by those that do not know what they’re making. Don clearly has an concept of what he’s making whereas setting out for yet one more experiment.