Within an hour or so, I was sure that I was watching arguably the best thriller from Indian cinema. By the end of it, I thought there was no other Indian movie, that could be compared with OA. If any one thinks there is one, let me know please. However, OA is not just a thrilling movie. There are multi layers to it, that elevates the movie to an even higher level than a brilliant thriller.
I didnt know at all that Mysskin was releasing a new movie. My last experience with him, after the brilliant Yudham Sei, was a terrible disappointment. I could not believe somebody like Mysskin would go for a commerical potboiler like Mughamoodi. But the posters of OA sparked my interest right away, the design and the name - Onaayum Aattukuttiyum (The Wolf and the Lamb) was so appealing that I decided to watch it even before I saw the name of Mysskin in small fonts, under the title. There were hardly 20 people in the cinema and with the very first shot - a dark top angle view of an over bridge and an injured man running into the middle- I think the director impressed me. I am sure he had impressed almost every body inside.
Chandru, a medical student, finds an injured man by the road side, late at night. He tries hard to get help for the man, but hey this is India. Hospitals, Police they all have their own ways. Finally he has to use his own surgical knife, with the help of his teacher (over phone). What follows for Chandru is a day and (majorly) a long night of life inspiring/changing incidents.
There are only a few main characters, and many supporting ones. But even the supporting extra characters impress, each one of them, is not a small feat. The movie proceeds from one dark side of the city to the other to the final Cemetry, and the viewer is more than engaged, inspite of having no idea about the story behind 'Wolf'. The thrilling thread is brilliantly woven to keep the viewer engaged. But the identity of some indivduals joining in different moments, stretching the suspense, can make us wonder - what the hell is happening!!! In that brilliant Cemetery scene, when a fable is told, finally we get the picture. I thought that was a master stroke by Mysskin. Have we ever witnessed anything like this in Indian cinema, when the great Indian technique of 'flash back' is ignored and a kind of short bed time story is narrated out to explain, the events. Among the many scenes, which will make you want to salute Misskin, this story telling moment is one of the best.
The thrilling scene in front of a temple involving the blind mother, the one after that which involves the two police men, the scene in which a police officer speaks out, the final basement ... there are so many superb scenes. In fact more than 90% of the scenes are superb by themselves. I am wondering, if Mysskin wrote the script for OA , as if he was scripting Theatre. The scenes shift from one part of the city to the other and the events and the story slowly unfolds in these different venues. I don't think (not sure), if any of the venue comes back in the script. As the venues change, we can also feel that the movie is going up from one level to other, to a level superior in quality and feel to the previous one. Incredible it was. I am afraid, I am not explaining it well enough.
Brilliant performances by every one in the movie, may I say. That is quite abnormal for Indian cinema. Mysskin has managed to make Camera and Background music two characters by itself. Especially the BGM by Ialaiyaraja will get a lot of reviews. I am not saying OA is a perfect movie. There are few glitches here and there and the one which stood out for me was the performance of Mysskin during the story narration. A bit more subtlety might have made it even brilliant At the same, this is not a polished character, so... But no compliants, Mysskin is definitely the man here. He has scripted, directed and acted in one of the most important roles too. What a make over as an actor, from Nandalala to OA. And an even higher leap to a high quality director.
Mysskin deserves a place among the best directors from India. Friends, we have a man who can make our own movies, in a level even better than what you expect from the ones like Tarantino (I dont like most Tarantino movies). This movie, if marketed well, can make India proud internationally. Of course, one might think about some of those Korean revenge sagas, but thats it, OA is quite a different kind of Indian saga from Tamil.