Lalitham Sundaram Movie Review

Sometimes we want to unwind with a simple, feel good family story that we can identify with and which provides a mirror to our own lives. Madhu Wariar, who makes his directorial debut with Lalitham Sundaram, attempts this and he both succeeds and falls short.

Annie, Sunny and Jerry take a break from their busy lives and make a rare trip back to their parental home in the hills to see their aging father, prompted by a video message made by their late mother.

The siblings’ relationship with each other is barely smooth on the surface and at the first sight of a clash or trouble, they are waiting to rush back to their work and city lives.

Annie (Manju Warrier), a corporate CEO with a supportive stay-at-home husband (Saiju Kurup) and two children, is a workaholic even on holiday.

Sunny (Biju Menon) had recently faced a serious setback in his events management business and visiting without his wife (Ramya Nambeesan). IT guy Jerry (Anu Mohan) is there with his live-in divorcee girlfriend (Deepti Sati).

The story, apart from the 80s style picnics and niceties, delves into what has caused the problems in their relationship and forces them to look inwards and see that things are not necessarily and they seem and they might be in the wrong themselves.

The problem with Lalitham Sundaram, written by Pramod Mohan, is that it feels too simplistic and old-fashioned, particularly with the hill station setting. It is a family drama but doesn’t feel punchy enough to totally engage us.

Saiju Kurup is becoming such a solid actor, that even in this smallish role, he almost steals the spotlight from fine actors like Manju Warrier and Biju Menon, who seems more dour than usual.

Anu Mohan is good as their younger brother. Deepti Sati is fine in her supporting role and, to a character that could have been a cliche, Sudheesh perfectly brings lovability and a poignant wisdom.

It seems like Madhu Wariar plays it safe by directing a simple story such as this, but he does a competent job, so it would be good to see him try something a bit more daring or experimental in his next.

For now, Lalitham Sundaram is a pleasant enough film for the whole family to enjoy and maybe that will prompt some self-contemplation.

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