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Bramayugam: Here's the best way to experience Mammootty's contemporary horror drama

The best way to watch Mammootty's Bramayugam is not to think, but to immerse oneself in it and let it wash over you. 

Bramayugam: Here's the best way to experience Mammootty's contemporary horror drama

Bramayugam movie poster

Last Updated: 05.37 PM, Feb 19, 2024


Bramayugam, The Age of Madness , is mesmerizing for a multitude of reasons. However, one of them is how mind-blowingly simple the narrative is. The trailers and glowing reviews may lead you to believe that the film employs a very unconventional narrative structure and unsettling themes, requiring you to always stay vigilant to the symbolism, clues, and subtle gestures to fully comprehend its meaning and drama.

However, Bramayugam is not a puzzle that you want to solve but an experience you must let yourself go through. Filmmaker Rahul Sadasivan imposes a well-established narrative norm on the drama in Bramayugam that explores pressing challenges facing the world today: the horrors of unchecked powers.

Bramayugam shows the impact of minimalist storytelling


Historically, the horror genre is meant to give shape and form to our contemporary fears. However, the lack of artistic will to push the boundaries of the genre, and to a large extent, laziness on the part of filmmakers, has reduced it to a handful of jump scares. Our experiences have been muddled and lazily manipulated for so long that we seem incapable of imagining a horror movie sans grotesque images coupled with startling moments.

The drawback of movies made just for inducing momentary terrors is that they are momentary, and we forget soon after the show ends. However, films that transcend beyond mere visual stimulus stay with us forever. Such movies tap into our real-world fears, not merely create an illusion of terror and allow us to draw comfort from the knowledge that we are safe because we are unlikely to encounter a creature or a ghost like this in our real lives.

A man in clown makeup is unlikely to frighten fully grown adults. But, a clown who targets young children (as in the movie "It") will strike a deep terror in a parent like no other. Bramayugam tries to achieve the same effect.

There is not a single moment in this film that is ugly. The beautifully composed black-and-white frames (by Shehnad Jalal) coupled with amazing music (by Christo Xavier) fill us with a sense of calm, the opposite of the effect a run-of-the-mill horror movie wants to achieve.

And yet, you can't help but fear what's lurking in the darkness. You can't help but get curious about what has been chained in the attic. You can't help but interpret and re-interpret everything that you saw in the film once the show is over. Because Rahul Sadasivan makes no effort to explain anything in the film.

What is the plot of Bramayugam?

A cowardly folklore singer named Thevan (Arjun Ashokan), haunted by hunger and thirst, stumbles into an old, depleted mansion. He meets the enigmatic owner of the mansion, Kodumon Potti (Mammootty), who offers him help. Kodumon provides Thevan with food, water, clothes, and a place to rest. And by lending Thevan this meager assistance, Kodumon enslaves the former.

More than once, the camera pans to an insect crawling across a spider web, clearly indicating how Thevan was getting entangled in Kodumon's game of lies and deceit. At first, it may seem that it's not a challenge to your intellect or imagination as there is no ambiguity in the narration. However, the more you think about it, you will understand that Rahul's enigmatic and symbolic narrative comes with in-built large rooms for interpretation. And you will also realize that you had an immersive and thought-provoking experience without your knowledge.

The best way to watch Bramayugam is not to think, but to immerse oneself in it and let it wash over you. Just get lost in the dark voids, vast wilderness, and long silences. And you will emerge on the other side with a slightly improved ability to think, feel, and behave more wisely.