Duration: 2 Hrs 2 Mins
Director: Naranipuzha Shanavas
Release Date: 3rd July 2020
Streaming On: Amazon Prime
Star Cast: Jayasurya, Aditi Rao Hydari, Dev Mohan, Hareesh Kanaran, Mamukoya, Siddique, Kala Ranjini, Valsala Menon, Manikandan Pattambi
Plot: A married couple Sujata (Aditi Rao Hydari) and Rajeev (Jayasurya) despite being married for over 10 years and having a child together is leading an unhappy married life as Sujata is unable to forget her ex-lover - a Sufi priest (Dev Mohan), and move on.
Rajeev wants to give their marriage another chance. And what happens next forms the story.
Review: Malayalam cinema has finally premiered Sufiyan Sujatayum, the first direct OTT release on Amazon Prime today. With a poetic love story between a Kathak dancer Sujata and a Sufi priest, the writer-director Naranippuzha Shanavas has tried to come up with a decent debut. But despite the actors having good onscreen chemistry, the ‘depthlessness in love’ due to the shallowness in the writing, is quite clearly visible.
As even though the film begins on a promising note, the couple's deep emotional bond that survived a decade is shown in glimpses, which is definitely not enough.
Also the mystical romance between Sufi and Sujata is shown more like in bits and pieces. Since much of the first half of the film is set in the flashback, what made Sufi what he is or what makes Sufi and Sujata fall for each other is not clearly portrayed. Hence, despite the couple ( Rajeev and Sujata) having a child together, it leaves the viewer’s wondering why Sujata still hasn't moved on in life and makes the concept fall flat.
Sufiyum Sujatayum also touches a few topics like 'love jihad', but never really gets into it.
When it comes to performances, Aditi Rao Hydari, who plays Sujata, is the heart and soul of the movie. Thumbs up for Aditi. Despite not having any dialogues, the actress has brilliantly portrayed the emotions of her character with her amazing expressions, mannerisms, and dancing skills. While Dev Mohan as the Sufi, a newcomer looks perfect but doesn't get enough scope to perform in his underwritten role. Even Jayasurya, who plays the role of Rajeev despite having less screen time makes a mark with his matured acting skills. He has managed well to maintain the balance between the suppressed jealousy of a husband and a man who yearns for his partner’s unconditional love.
Whereas 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 too.
As far as the technical aspects of the film are concerned the editing could have been done better, as the movie falls into a slow pace at certain points with a runtime of 2 hours and 2 minutes.
Cinematographer Anu Moothedath has done a brilliant job with the visualisation. Even the art direction, choreography, and the sound design team deserve special mentions. Also, the soulful songs and highly effective background score composed by the National award-winning musician M Jayachandran is top-notch.
However, with all the visual elements being there, it still does not make up for the absence of the film’s ‘rooh’ (soul) - a script with well-etched characters.
Overall, Sufiyum Sujatayum is a slow-paced movie that disappointingly lacks depth and prevents it from becoming a fulfilling experience. A one-time watch for those who love romance and music!