The writing of Romancham is pacy and there’s one hilarious instance after another, stemming from the fact that people from different walks of life and have their own quirks
Last Updated: 11.58 AM, Feb 03, 2023
Story: Six roommates in Bengaluru decide to play a game of Ouija. What starts out as fun, however, starts getting out of hand, with the spirit harbouring anger and resentment towards the residents of the house. Things turn upside down for everyone in the house, especially with the arrival of another uninvited guest. How will they face what’s happening?
Review: Who knew a movie featuring a Ouija board would be so much fun? Debutant director Jithu Madhavan has achieved what a select few has done with his latest horror comedy that doesn’t use laughs as a safety net to push the horror elements, but rather inverses it for hilarious results.
The movie would be relatable for a lot of millennials, who would have spent the early 2000s in Bengaluru, in houses with probably two or three rooms and thrice the roommates. Romancham revolves around a series of incidents that happen to six roommates, who decide to indulge in a game of Ouija to kill boredom. Things start out fun, but quickly take a turn when they find out that the spirit is real and ‘angry’. An uninvited guest, Arjun Ashokan, further spices things up till it reaches boiling point where the roommates are all on the edge.
Also read: Romancham’s horror elements are toned down as it’s based on true incidents, says Jithu Madhavan | Exclusive
From the outset, the filmmaker establishes the key characters and their quirks, and the film benefits immensely from this. Be it Soubin Shahir as Jibi, Siju Sunny as the Hans-loving, leather jacket-wearing Mukesh, Afzal PH as always-by-your-side Karikuttan and Anantharaman Ajay as the God-fearing and responsible Rivin to Abin Bino as the sportive Shijappan, Sajin Gopu as the big brother Niroop and Jagadeesh Kumar as the entrepreneurial Soman, the cast have brilliant chemistry and that’s 70% of why the film works through and through. Siju and Afzal stand out, because their expressions – mostly contempt or fear – leave the audience in splits.
The writing is pacy and there’s one hilarious instance after another, stemming from the fact that people from different walks of life, belief systems and districts in Kerala are living together in this house. Jithu makes brilliant use of that aspect, so that by the time the Ouija board and guests, uninvited and invited like Chemban Vinod Jose’s character, arrive, the audience is already a sniggering fly on the wall – watching and laughing at how the situation evolves for the motley crew.
The supernatural elements too aren’t to frighten the audience but to set an eerie ambience to evoke more laughter through the characters’ reactions. Sushin Shyam’s music elevates this already finely acted and written movie, which has cinematographer Sanu Thahir beautifully capturing the frames inside the house without ever making it feel claustrophobic. The team also ably pull off an atmospheric climax.
Verdict: If you are in the mood for an entertainer that has plenty of laughs and could also maybe evoke a memory or two of living with roommates in Bengaluru in your 20s, look no further than Romancham. Don’t let the supernatural elements fool you, this one’s all heart-y laughs.