The scene that cuts to the interval and the letter Baiju writes in the climax, both makes absolute sense, thanks to the elaborate writing. Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu has the running time of 2 hours 42 minutes which is well occupied in taking us into the world or ‘Kumbalam Brothers’ and their rakshadhikari (caretaker) Baiju. Baiju who is addressed as Baiju Ettan is the soul member of the region. From little kids to the senior citizens, everybody turns up to Baiju for anything and everything.
Baiju’s present day friends are guys who is much younger than him but he is someone who is ready to play with even five year old kids and go for the first day first show of an Ajith Kumar movie at early morning 4 o’ clock. Not just Baiju but all characters are well established. The members of Kumabalam brothers, their families, their love affairs and their dreams and aspirations are all important part of the film. The film has a very good message but it is not hammered into the audiences’ heads. There are moments that will give you a heartful laugh and make your eyes wet.
Writer-Director Ranjan Pramod has previously written many super hit films and this time he successfully gives life to a village and it’s people which eventually becomes a nostalgic cinematic experience. The visuals by Prashanth Raveendran looked easy and realistic. The background score merges with the situations that you rarely notice them. Bijibal’s songs were apt for the film, they give the audience the perfect feel of what’s happening on screen. As the film requires a natural narration, the cuts by Samjith Mhd were smooth. Some may blame the length of the film but to deliver the final impression the length was necessary.
Coming to the performances, Biju Menon lives on screen as Baiju. He is relatable and lovable, moving the viewers to tears in emotional scenes through a very natural performance. He doesn’t overdo anything from his side. The film has a huge star cast that includes Aju Varghese, Vijaya Raghavan, Alancier, Indrans, Janardhanan, Deepak Parambol, Hanna Koshy, Hareesh and a lot more young actors. Everyone made their parts look as lively as possible. Special appreciation to debutant Sreekala ( Aju Varghese’s pair) who did her role brilliantly. Dileesh Pothan’s special appearance was delightful, especially the character he played is a reality check to many of us. Most of the characters get their moment in the film to perform so the long line of actors is never disturbing.
So is Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu an out and out entertainer? The answer is a NO! It never really bores you and moves without glitches. But there is no major conflict, there is no nail-biting suspense or plot twists, there are some moments that we have seen before and if you just watch it as an incidental story, you may not find it a special one. However, like the child in the film, many of us live in apartments where we cannot use the play area for playing cricket/football. Some of us may have a friend aspiring to play in the Indian cricket team, and others may have experienced a childhood similar to Baiju and his friends.
Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu takes us through a village that is full of life, it accepts the importance of development but at the same time tells the importance of a playground (the movie is NOT a fight for the playground, please don’t misunderstand) and here the playground is not just a place to play but it is somebody’s love spot, somebody’s basement to a big cricket career, an old man’s pass time, a mentally challenged guy’s place of cure and a place where Baiju spent a big chunk of his life. The film is not too emotional, it is funny and will entertain families, so give it a shot if you miss your world before the technology took you over.
Hardcore Film Lover and Ardent Movie Goer, Aspiring Film Maker.