OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Ullozhukku movie review: Terrific Parvathy, Urvashi anchor this emotionally pregnant film about secrets and closure

Ullozhukku movie review: The emotional exchange between and the dynamic of Parvathy and Urvashi’s characters brilliantly keep Ullozhukku afloat

Ullozhukku movie review: Terrific Parvathy, Urvashi anchor this emotionally pregnant film about secrets and closure
Urvashi and Parvathy Thiruvothu in Ullozhukku

Last Updated: 06.18 PM, Jun 21, 2024


Ullozhukku story: After spending years of her unhappy married life taking care of her unwell husband, Anju finds out that she is pregnant—just before he passes away. Her mother-in-law, Leelamma, tries to find new hope in this but as soon as secrets unravel, the two women are forced to confront themselves and the ones they love, as floods prolong the burial.

Ullozhukku review: Within the first 10 minutes of director Christo Tomy’s debut feature film, Ullozhukku, the audience would find themselves knee-deep in Anju’s (Parvathy) headspace. That she is burdened with taking care of an ailing husband, whom she had married due to her parents’ pressure, and that she feels bogged down, enduring an unhappy married life in a house that is often waterlogged due to the floods, is conveyed so efficiently that, just like the constant rain in the background, you allow yourself to be soaked in the emotions that she has to constantly go through.

A poster of Ullozhukku
A poster of Ullozhukku

It’s a great hook for a film that revolves around two characters: Anju, who is pregnant with another man’s child, and her mother-in-law, Leelamma, who tries to cling to the memory of her deceased son through this ray of hope. It’s the emotional exchange between and the dynamic of these two characters, as they wait for the water to recede for the burial of the person that brought them together, that keeps Ullozhukku afloat. And that Christo could achieve this so well in his debut attempt, is praise-worthy.

What makes this possible is that the filmmaker, who has also written the movie’s script and taken inspiration from incidents in his real life, immediately thrusts his protagonists into a space where they have to make impossible decisions at the most challenging of times. While the question of ‘what others would think’ would seem like an overused trope, Christo uses it along with the other two aspects to create a tense and rewarding drama that benefits from terrific performances by Parvathy and Urvashi.


Add to these the secrets and lies that unravel within this limited time, adding to the drama and changing dynamics between its lead characters; this further makes watching Ullozhukku, which is pregnant with emotions, a fulfilling experience because you are invested in the characters and how/if they weather this storm. Kiran Das’ editing, which is filled with seamless transitions that just let you flow with the narrative, and Shehnad Jalal’s cinematography aid the storytelling just as much as Sushin Shyam’s music, but without really taking the audience away from the inner turmoil of both of these characters.

Parvathy as Anju is brilliant, especially in the first half, where she has to curb her inner emotions due to the situation. Christo has used her reflections and her rowing a boat amid heavy downpours to showcase this; it’s in these pregnant silences that you empathise with her and long for the moment when she finally decides to leave. And when it comes, it’s Urvashi’s character Leelamma that takes charge of the film; she anchors the second half—almost akin to taking the viewers through the stages of grief, from denial to acceptance—except it is about how she makes peace with what she has lost and finds closure.

A still from Ullozhukku
A still from Ullozhukku

Another well-written character in the film belongs to Arjun Radhakrishnan’s Rajeev, who finds himself in a situation that is again exacting. His character’s arc further lets us connect more with Anju’s than Leelamma’s, while also showing how love, in any relationship, is earned. Despite this, it's Leelamma's character who moves you the most in the movie and given its potential, especially as the film has characters navigating complex family dynamics and personal struggles, we wish there were more such moments because, at the end of it, even though you feel the rain has abated and there's a sense of comfort, it also comes with a certain amount of void. 

Though Ullozhukku unfolds mostly after a death and the impending burial, it also serves to remind us how the construct of family, which sometimes is built on lies, secrets and decisions taken by others, requires something earth-shaking for all of it to tumble out in the open. In recent times, Malayalam movies have often used weddings to make this happen, but Christo’s employment of a funeral setting maximises the impact.

Ullozhukku verdict: Ullozhukku is sure to strike an emotional chord, as Christo Tomy’s confident debut is bolstered by Parvathy and Urvashi’s terrific performances.

Get the latest updates in your inbox