It isn’t clear or even coherent how the film’s young heroine Meera (Megha Akash) gets impregnated when she has never had sex with her boyfriend Sarvannan (Kalidas Jayaram). Who thinks up such stories at a time when reproduction and condoms are affable bedfellows.
“Have you been with another guy who took advantage of you?” the stern gynecologist asks Meera as she sobs quietly repeating that she is a virgin.
So, how did this happen? It takes the director a good hour to solve the mystery of Meera’s immaculate conception. And when it’s sorted we are hardly relieved for the couple. They still have a long struggle ahead including a media brouhaha and a rude run-in with a religious sect who insist their daughter is ‘God’s child’.
All this seems more suited for a satirical treatment. But director Balaji Tharaneetharan goes for a crossbreed narrative which gambols between quirky and tragic, though I must admit I was never moved only amused by the goings-on. The tone is deadpan. And that, I realized, is the only way to tell a tale as outlandish as this.
There is an early sequence where Meera’s parents call Sarvannan home and proceed to stare him down contemptuously. Instead of telling them that their daughter and he are both virgins, the boy looks askance, as though he were trying to figure out the plot, ‘virgin’ on the ridiculous, as much as we are.
Still the film is not offensive. Rather it has its own artless charm, a distant innocence whereby melodrama is largely eschewed except when it erupts like a vicious virus at the end. The last half-hour where the baby girl is held captive in a temple is soundly anti-ritual. But the director wants to offend no one. Hence, the anger at the child’s trauma is guided not at religion and blind faith but the ignorance of the wider social structure where immaculate conception is more acceptable than pre-marital sex.
While the lead actors and their parents are just about adequate, it is the little boy who plays a self-designated ‘God’ in a parallel subplot who steals the show. His loopy grin and twinkling eyes suggest he gets the point. I am not too sure I got it. So, I'll go with 3 stars.
Image source: IMDb
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