Siri Ravikumar is the heart and soul of the film, as also Midhun Mukundan's soothing music score
Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye Story: Prerana Sagar (Siri Ravikumar) is a counsellor at a palliative care centre. Her job, of preparing terminally-ill patients for the inevitable, and her lackluster marriage, have all but put out the spark in her. Every day is the same – at home and at work – and she goes through the motions, until a new patient arrives at the centre and manages to, in his limited time, lights that spark in Prerana yet again.
Swathi Mutthinna Male Haniye Review: Raj B Shetty’s understanding of women and how that reflects in the presentation of female characters in his films is the breath of fresh air one often yearns for, but rarely ever gets even a whiff of in Indian cinema. A man writing something from a female perspective, and doing a great job at that, deserves applause. But none of this would have mattered if it were not in the hands of an artiste capable of doing justice to his writing - one who’d let you see the character and never the actor. He struck lucky there too, with the amazing Siri Ravikumar in the role of Prerana.
Siri is the heart and soul of Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye with an understated performance that’s a treat to watch. Armed with a role that seems tailor-made for her, she goes to town and owns it and leaves you wanting more. Special shout-out to the stylist and her selection of sarees and blouses. When you make someone who doesn’t care much for the six-yards take note, that’s an achievement. Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye is about Prerana, and Raj happily takes the backseat, letting his words, more than his actions, do all the talking.
As much as I loved Siri and Raj and the rest of the cast who had small but impactful roles, what really stood out for me was Midhun Mukundan’s music. The violin is a beautiful instrument and sounds best in the hands of a maestro, as it has here. Midhun’s background score has a soft and soothing feel to it that’s perfect for the film. In his words, it’s like a pillow, and I couldn’t agree more. Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye is a beautiful film, no doubt, but it’s the kind you’d want to watch curled up on your sofa or bean bag on a rainy day, or even better, cuddled with a loved one. It is not going to work for a large section of the movie-going populace, which Raj knew and still went ahead and made for the few who will appreciate what he wanted to tell.
Verdict: If you are looking for a grand theatrical experience, Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye is not that film. This is a film that you have to allow yourself to soak in and then enjoy bit by bit. That requires a love for good cinema and loads of patience.