I was not very keen to watch a VK Prakash movie after the hellish experience of watching “Three Kings”. But a few things tempted me to watch “Beautiful” in theatre. First – the presence of my favourite actor Anoop Menon. Second – the lovely song “Mazhaneer thullikal” that became an instant hit even before the movie release. Third – the word of mouth! My friends who watched this film had a very high opinion about it. The reservation of Kairali theatre in Trivandrum for the International Film Festival prolonged my wait to watch “Beautiful”, but once the film festival was over, I got my chance to watch it.
“Beautiful” is a film that presents various aspects of life from the viewpoints of various people in various walks of life. Money is there in abundance for Stephen Louis (Jayasurya), but he is unable to enjoy life to the fullest, as he is paralysed chest down. Though his movements are limited, his imagination and confidence are unlimited. He wants to experience life and the happiness it offers despite his inability to get detached from his bed or wheel chair. Stephen is surrounded by a group of people whom he trusts and another group of people that wants to see him meeting his death. The eyes of the second group are fixed on his Rs 200 Cr worth wealth.
Stephen is amusingly interested in friendship, music, and women. He comes across a hotel singer John (Anoop Menon) and wants to be friends with him. He sends his manager Kamalu (Nandu) to “purchase” his friendship and music. John and his team are struggling to release their maiden music album. Though John was reluctant at first, the attraction of huge money and the possibility of drawing Stephen to sponsor the album enticed him to accept the offer. Even in their first meeting John is not emotionally moved by the helplessness of Stephen. To a bemused Stephen, he presents the picture of a disabled man he sees every morning when going out for work. Their friendship buds very quickly and John comes to Stephen’s house everyday to sing his favourite songs. He also takes him out and keeps him happy always.
The story takes a turn when Stephen’s housemaid Kanyaka (Thesni Khan) steals money and runs away one night. Even then Stephen’s worry is not about the money he lost but about the reason why Kanyaka was unhappy there. It is then that Alex (Tini Tom), Stephen’s relative suggests to get a home nurse to take care of Stephen. Alex is the only one in the family whom Stephen trusts. Alex’s brother Peter (Unni Menon) has been seeking ways to kill Stephen at the next possible moment. It is then that the home nurse Anjali (Meghana Raj) unabashedly enters the lives of Stephen and John, drenched in rain. More than her qualifications, her sublime features lure the hearts of Stephen and John, and she is readily accepted. Slowly, Anjali joins the group of Stephen’s trusted aides.
John realises from an old school photograph that he and Stephen were classmates once. John is overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and in one scene he admits to Stephen that he also wanted to see his death, hankering for a share of his wealth. It is the warmth of friendship with Stephen that draws him to confession. Soon, the movie is back to the story of the two sides; Stephen’s protectors and enemies. “Beautiful” is about the scenes that unfold.
As I wrote in the beginning, “Beautiful” presents various aspects of life from the viewpoints of various people in various walks of life. Stephen is a strong and healthy representation of a mind that thinks beautifully. Kanyaka is not worried at all about losing her virginity in a gang rape! Stephen’s doctor (Praveena) talks fluently about her adulterous relationship and even comments that marriage is a license to have an extramarital relationship! Anoop Menon’s character exhibits the difficulties a budding musician faces in getting fame and attention. He is also presented as a caring brother who wants to send his sister for higher studies even at the cost of their property. Then there are a lot of beautiful characters and scenes in the film! So, what’s really beautiful in “Beautiful”? Isn’t it a mix of several things – the career best performance of Jayasurya, the methodical acting of Anoop Menon, the seductiveness of Meghana Raj, the soothing songs by Anoop Menon, the lively music by Ratheesh Vegha, the pleasing visuals by Jomon, the no-loss editing by Mahesh Narayanan, the neat-and-clean script by Anoop Menon, and the stunning comeback by VK Prakash! Oops, if you were expecting my verdict then it’s right there in the name of the movie itself! Go watch it! 8/10!