Christy movie review: The film is a portrait of the hormonal brain of a teenager, Roy (Mathew Thomas) who falls in love with his tutor Christy (Malavika Mohanan).
Last Updated: 10.40 AM, Feb 17, 2023
Story: The film is a portrait of the hormonal brain of a teenager, Roy (Mathew Thomas) who falls in love with his tutor Christy (Malavika Mohanan). The duo are part of a tight-knit community of a coastal village. As Roy's grades at school continue to fall, his worried family asks Christy, a school teacher, to help him with his studies.
Review: Christy begins with the announcement that the events in it are based on a true story. But, it's more than that. It's an autobiographical account by debutant filmmaker Alvin Henry. It's a memory piece. A memory that clearly had a deep impact on Alvin's life and nudged him towards becoming a storyteller.
Christy is going through a rough patch in her personal life as she has just secured a divorce from her abusive husband. She is in a dark place and she acts out. So much so that looking at her little meltdown Roy runs away from her house, giving his first day at the tuition a miss. Going by the film's account, Roy shot a glimmer of light into Christy's life. He gives her the much-needed warmth and companionship that she failed to find with her family.
"What if she says she sees me as a brother?" Roy wonders while talking to a friend. "First, you tell her how you feel about her and then we will see," advises the friend. Even though the film is named after its female lead, the entire film is narrated from Roy's perspective. We only see Christy from Roy's perspective. Is that how Christy always looked at Roy? Did she have so much passion in her eyes when she saw him? Or it was all in Roy's head? Did he romanticise her every innocent gesture? Or did she send out clear signals? A lack of Christy's point of view in the narrative puts her in the dock. The film paints her as a lonely divorcee who piggybacks on the admiration of an unsuspecting and gullible teenager to feel good about herself.
In the film, Christy is not good at setting boundaries. She continues to be friends with Roy even after he professes his feelings for her. When he kisses her, she doesn't protest. And that incident seemingly doesn't change Christy's relationship dynamics with Roy. Did Christy really lead Roy on? It's as if Christy is willing to tolerate Roy's overtures as long as it begins and ends between the two, away from the prying eyes of their families and neighbours. But, the moment, Roy decides to take the relationship to the next level, Christy drops the hammer. The last 30 minutes, follow Roy's efforts to fly to Maldives and live with Christy. And he gets reckless and pushes things to a point that could upend his whole future. To rescue Roy from the situation, Christy says, "It's all my fault."
Verdict: A teenage Roy could think that too. "It's all Christy's fault." But, as an adult, whether Roy would still think so? Did he ever think about the trouble he caused Christy with his reckless behaviour? Alvin could have benefited himself and the movie through some deeper introspection. Even though the film is inspired by a true story, it only tells the teller's truth. Christy allows Malavika to show off her acting chops. She seems good at subtle acting. Mathew Thomas delivers a very committed performance. The other highlight of the film is Anend C. Chandran's cinematography. The dream-like quality of the frames heightens the film's nostalgic element.