Aelay (2021)

Aelay (2021)
Dir: Halitha Shameem

Halitha Shameem who previously directed a gem called ‘Sillu Karupatti’ is back with another gem. This time with a village folklore and a poignant tale of father-son relationship – Aelay.

Aelay has a fairly simple plot. But what makes it engaging, despite a few disjointed elements, is the twists and turns Shameem brings into it.

An unexpected event forces Parthy (Manikandan) to visit his hometown where he discovers some startling secrets about his estranged father Muthukutty (Samuthirakani), an ice-cream seller.

Halitha’s screenplay has some really heart-wrenching moments as the story unveils, often juggling between dark-comedy and the emotional turmoil between Parthy and his father. A secondary character brings in an unexpected twist to the plot.

At the onset, Aelay is a dramedy of sorts and traces the lives of Parthy and Muthukutty over different time frames. But, it soon slips into a thrill ride in the latter half.

Theni Eswar captures some really beautiful frames. I was transported to my childhood and the memories it brought in.

Samuthirakani is the heart and soul of Aelay. He brings in so many shades into his character that you cannot but endure him. His comical timing is as powerful as his emotional scenes. After Sillu Karupatti, this one’s the best one has seen of him.

He has always excelled as an antagonist in many movies. But this one is above everything else.

Aelay is a feel-good entertainer that also subtly talks about the society in general. It’s a film that surely deserves a watch. Producers Pushkar-Gayathri who directed the acclaimed Vikram-Vedha deserve equal credit to back a film like this.

Aelay is streaming on Netflix.

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