“Women Empowerment” – Indian National Congress Party and its Vice President spoke a lot about this being their prime motto until they faced a massive defeat in the Loksabha elections on May 16th. Just one day later comes in this beautiful movie without much fuss which actually does a real job in inspiring ,motivating and empowering its women audience in only 2.5 hours! How old are you tells the story of 36-year old Nirupama Rajeev (Manju Warrier) who sets aside all her big dreams after marriage for her husband and daughter and how certain circumstances makes her come out of the shell and chase those dreams finally.
‘Mumbai Police’ and now ‘How old are you’ shows you that Roshan Andrrews and Bobby-Sanjay have learnt a big lesson from their Casanova debacle ,which is that no big star, no exotic locations, no rich costumes or no big hype can make up for one single most important thing needed in a movie -‘Content’. Now having grown to a brand that you can associate only with quality Cinema , Bobby-Sanjay team is easily one of the best things that has happened to Malayalam Cinema in recent years. The concept of a lady protagonist setting out to rediscover her identity is not new but these talented writers add their signature style to the same which is why ‘How Old are you’ primarily works. Watch out for how cleverly they instill mystery and suspense to the first half of the movie over Manju Warrier’s character.
Age, a big gap of 15 years and issues on her personal life – Manju Warrier returns to big screen with all these on her side and it was always unfair to expect that same Manju we saw back in 1999. But the good news is she still delivers a bravura performance as Nirupama Rajeev which tells a lot on why the director and writers always wanted her in the first place and which makes sure that you are now going to see a lot more of her in coming years. This 36-year lady is going to give the younger heroines a serious run for their money. The hilarious sequence where she boasts around of her meeting with the President and the emotion-filled interval in the airport are only few proofs of why we say ‘Class is permanent’
Nirupama’s husband Rajeev represents an average Indian husband. He is soft spoken at times. But he is also self centered, manipulative and takes his wife for granted during others. Kunchacko Boban’s performance as Rajeev is both terrific and a pleasant surprise. Sethulakshmi still continues to be talked about in the same light as the protagonists appearing only in few scenes. After Mumbai Police, Diwakaran’s visuals once again translates the thoughts of Roshan Andrews and Bobby-Sanjay beautifully on-screen. Gopi Sunder’s background score is awesome which is but no longer a surprise these days. The only minus I could think about in this movie is whether in real life so many extra-ordinary things can happen for a person in such a quick span. But kudos once again to Bobby-Sanjay in packaging everything in a believable manner.
How Old Are you is brilliant. It is so brilliant that if you happened to watch the movie with your friends first, you would now immediately want to take your family and go back in there again! If you are hearing terrific response inside the theaters and seeing long queues of ladies in the ticket counters outside for this movie ,it all re-affirms one fact – Manju Warrier might have stayed away from the limelight for 15 year but she never ceased to reside in our hearts. As for that enormous gift which made her a heartthrob in the first place, it still remains very much intact as well.