Sila Samayangalil movie review: Prakash Raj is a delight to watch in Priyadarshan's engaging film on HIV/AIDs
In trying to create awareness about the subject, Sila Samayangalil doesn’t jump at us. It lets us understand about HIV from the characters and their experiences.
Sila Samayangalil, which is currently streaming on Netflix, is not the kind of film you’d expect from Priyadarshan, a filmmaker widely popular for his highly entertaining films. Therefore, when you sit down to watch the film, you’d want to keep aside any perception you may have formed about him or his work over the years.
Sila Samayangalil follows seven people, all grouped in a waiting room for their HIV test results. As minutes and hours pass by, the tension and anxiety kicks in, making the patients restless and pushing them to do whatever it takes to get their results early. An unlikely bond is formed between the patients as they wait for their results and we get to know each one of them. As they get to know each other, they open up about their worst fears. We learn that one of their common fears is to even talk about HIV or accept its consequences. It’s also the fear of the society they (we) live in.
The film, at its core, is an awareness movie on HIV, but never does it make it obvious. It doesn’t preach information about the disease and that’s what makes the film an engaging watch. It infuses situational humour in the most serious scenes to lighten the mood, never taking away the impact the story wants to create.
It’s fascinating that the film is set in a waiting room of a clinic as it could be easily one of the worst aggravating human experiences. Waiting could be a tiresome process and it could be worse when you’re waiting for HIV test result. As each character waits for their name to be called, we can sense tension building. Some of the conversations between the characters drive home the point that people are even ashamed to talk about HIV, let alone admit they’ve come for a test.
While there’s no denying that Prakash Raj is a terrific actor, but to see him being reduced to spineless villainour roles over the last few years has been disappointing. In his reunion with Priyadarshan after the award-winning Kancheevaram, he’s a delight to watch, making us empathise with him right from the beginning — where he gets shouted for not filing out the form correctly.
He’s undoubtedly the pick of the actors and it can be said with conviction that nobody else could have done justice to his character. We also see good performances from Ashok Selvan, Sriya and other supporting cast members.
In trying to create awareness about the subject, Sila Samayangalil doesn’t jump at us. It lets us understand about HIV from the characters and their experiences. The long wait for the end is worthy, as the climax hit us like a ton of bricks. It will be strongly ingrained in our minds for a long time.
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