The film has an interesting premise, but the loud and sometimes problematic treatment greatly diminishes its impact.
At first glance, Jayasurya looks inconspicuous, with a trimmed beard with cropped hair and plain clothes, as he appears in interviews. However, once you go into the film, it looks and sounds unfamiliar. There’s none of the casual humor he’s known for, just a few scattered laughs. In Meri Awas Suno, he is a serious man who balances work and life, believing that his voice is his identity with a job in the radio, a difficult man in the face of calamities, a very ordinary person. The film – director Prajesh Sen’s latest – has a lot of issues, but you can’t go into it without appreciating Jayasurya who has grown into an actor who can seamlessly morph into unexpected personas on screen.
Meri Awas Suno had sparked interest, especially since Manju Warrier and Jayasurya were working together for the first time. Their lives in the film – one working as a speech therapist and the other as a radio jockey – run parallel to a certain extent. the titles of Meri Awaas Suno opening with a journey through radio history, playing key announcements from decades, from a time when people only knew what was going around through the voices of announcers. It ends with today’s radio stations running 24-hour programs, RJs talking non-stop in the air. RJ Shankar (Jayasurya) is one of them, he answers phone calls from people going through crisis, shares his philosophies with them and offers them music to relax with.
Without the fascinating voice with which he is identified, Shankar has a fairly regular life, enjoying his work and time with the family – Meryl (Sshivada) and a baby son. It appears that there is an intercaste marriage that has not been commented on except for a few markings like Shankar’s tilak on the forehead. It is a happy marriage, although the workload leaves little time for the family. Shankar’s only quirk is his chain smoking. There is hardly a moment when he is seen without a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth.
Watch: Trailer of the movie
Crisis comes at a time when everything seems to be running smoothly, just as Shankar takes the stage to receive a Voice of the Year award. It damages the peace of the family and shatters Shankar so much that he becomes distant, unable to make contact with the woman he was so close to. Sshivada is wonderful as Meryl, her joys, sorrows and frustrations come through so quietly and convincingly, you easily step into her shoes and worry about her. Jayasurya turns into the troublesome man with his signature ease, conveying his misery through close-up shots of his face.
Manju Warrier returns at this point as the loud and unpredictable Dr Reshmi, whom Shankar officially meets. Her character is eccentrically written, with little regard for social norms. It seems that the unreal loud laugh, the brash behavior and the unusual treatment methods that border on problematic would make the doctor different, unique and perhaps sympathetic. But this portrayal ends up being a nasty schtick, with the doctor appearing as someone who has little regard for others, shouts orders and uses questionable treatment methods. Everything Dr. Reshmi comes up with seems unhealthy for the mind of a patient who could fall into depression at any moment, with her explanation of the need block theory sounding like a half-baked experiment and her attitude rather intimidating. While writing the character of Dr. Reshmi doesn’t seem to have given Prajesh Sen the attention he put into Shankar’s character.
The film’s tendency to over-dramatize moments begins in the intro, when an ambulance races through the road and a patient spits blood inside, the music playing high on the tension. Relying on these tools, exaggerated and unimaginative, reduces the emotional moments of looking staged, despite impeccable performances from most of the actors. The sequence with a little girl in a dangerous situation also looks so operatic that it does not evoke empathy.
However, the film has a very interesting premise and can give way to multiple thoughts – about the things you take for granted, the time you don’t give to people who matter, and how you will respond in the face of a crisis. However, the loud and sometimes problematic treatment significantly reduces the effect.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone involved in the series/movie. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organization has with producers or other cast or crew members.