Malayalam movie Ee Adutha Kalathu (ഈ അടുത്ത കാലത്ത്), directed by Arun Kumar Aravind is quite similar to a 30 year old movie named Ee Nadu (ഈ നാട്) made by the legendary film director I.V. Sasi. More than the story, this is an eye opener on how the Kerala society has changed in 30 years. While Ee Nadu was portrayed through the eyes of Comrade Krishna Pilla played magnificently by Balan K Nayar, there really is no protagonist in Ee Adutha Kalathu, but the story moves through the life of Vishnu a garbage recycler, played by Indrajit.
The story line is built around a serial killer who targets senior citizens, mostly living alone. But what makes the story interesting is the range of contemporary topics it touches- Police- Media nexus, Quotation gangs, Healthcare tourism, Family quarrels of the 21st century kind, Facebook/YouTube addicted teenager and subtly bringing to the fore the rising power of RSS. The story completely keeps off the influence of politicians unlike in Ee Nadu. To me, that itself is a significant change in 30 years. The story has been held together by Jagathy Sreekumar, who plays the editor of a two bit paper called Theepantham. One of the very real modern day dangers the film brings out is how women get honey trapped by young men who go on to blackmail them via video recordings and broadcast on YouTube. There are some direct references to the Nano car story, which Jagathy drives, as well as one of the biggest issues facing Trivandrum- Vilappilsala garbage mess.
The storyline is passable and somewhere half way through the second half, an effort has been made to end the movie quickly. But the script has done brilliantly to voice over some of the advertisements and television messages that we see everyday and it was nice to see Anup Menon playing a narcissist police officer paired against a women’s lib journalist played by Lena. Jagathy Sreekumar makes a huge difference to the movie though he does not appear in more than 10 shots. Indrajit continues to improve as an actor. I thought Murali Gopy was way too vocally emphatic than necessary. The story eventually ends making fun of the Police department, who not only ‘capture’ the serial killer through a daring act, but also find him guilty of another murder.
Overall, an eminently viewable film but nothing riveting or brilliant. And Ee Nadu will continue to remain a classic it is.