Off lately we have seen a few Malayalam films tackle the subject of anti-abortion, but Weeping Boy handles it very poorly, writes Paresh C Palicha.
Sreenivasan is a name that guarantees a certain standard for whatever project he is associated with, whether as actor, writer or director.
Filmmakers have used his star power and self deprecating humour to propagate causes they believed in.
But, you cannot help wondering what a new director like Felix Joseph intends to do by giving him the title role in Weeping Boy.
Sreenivasan plays a veterinarian named Sahadevan, who is so sensitive that anything can make him cry. He is locked up in jail and cuts a sorry figure.
He seems mentally unstable as he keeps talking to someone who is invisible to others. This brings on the flashback in which he narrates to a psychiatrist how he had married late and his wife (Lena) had gone through a few miscarriages.
When she got pregnant again, her doctor had ordered complete bed rest and Sahadevan was fully involved in taking care of her.
At this crucial time he gets a posting to a remote village called Kannadikkara. He reluctantly reports for duty as his job was at risk.
Communal animosity runs high in Kannadikkara. Sahadevan is privy to the love affair between Faizal (Arjun Lakshmi Narayan) and Geethu (Shritha Sivadas) and he gets involved in stopping it from culminating in a disaster, which ultimately lands him in jail.
We have seen a few anti-abortion (the crux of this film) films in Malayalam in recent times like Akku Akbar’s Kaana Kanmani (2009) and Anamika (2009), but this film handles the subject very poorly.
The storyline, credited to the director himself, not only depends very heavily on Sreenivasan, but it is confused about whether to tap into his comic image or to make the character a serious one.
This shows in Sreenivasan’d performance--he seems stranded between being outright funny and being sentimental.
Other actors make fleeting appearances, whether it is Jagadeesh, who plays Faizal’s father, or Praveena who plays his wife.
As one witty viewer remarked while leaving the theatre after watching the film, the film is not about the Weeping Boy but about the weeping audience.