Ramante Eden Thottam: A refreshing take on Self-Discovery
Cast : Kunchako Boban, Anu Sithara, Joju George
Director : Ranjith Sankar
We rarely get to see a movie about love which inspires and liberates. And, even scarce is a story wherein the protagonist, either one or both, break free from the shackles of convention, norms and marriage to discover happiness. But, director Ranjith Sankar has taken a look at the elephant in the room, but keeps it strictly in the safe zone.
Having said that, there is nothing revolutionary in Ramante Eden Thottam. It is a simple story about mature love and self-discovery and Ranjith weaves it on a breathtaking canvas, a resort where nature is in its purest form.
Malini, played by the stunning Anu Sithara, has a loveless and uninspiring 10-year-old marriage to a philandering husband, which has ended all her dreams and talents. It leaves her scarred and that’s when she undertakes the life-changing journey to a resort in Wagamon. There she meets Raman, whose life is as pristine as his ‘Eden’.
Raman is someone with an ability to nurture, be it forests or your forgotten dreams. While undertaking a mission to create urban forests, he also finds time to heal Malini’s wounds and push her to find her lost sense of self. Now, before you think Raman is the protagonist, let me make it clear that it is Malini who owns the story. It’s her tale of self-discovery and how she connects with Raman’s dreams easily.
The movie traces her transformation from a scarred soul to a liberated woman who thinks it is better to create two separate beautiful worlds for a child, than to be caught between warring parents.
Ramante Eden Thottam’s best moments are, however, set in the resort. The place is rich and soothing and it leaves us in awe. A bit of effort goes into teaching us about Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki and his concept of urban jungles, but we aren’t complaining. It is amidst this wilderness that Raman urges Malini to find herself.
As for the characters, Kunchacko steps into a side role, limiting himself to being a mentor to Malini. Anu Sithara takes over the story and does her best in it. Joju George, who plays her alcoholic husband Elvis, plays him to perfection. However, he is forced into the stereotypical shoes of an abusive, drunken and philandering husband. The director, obviously, wanted enough justification for the wife opting to end the marriage.
Mostly, Ramante Eden Thottam progresses at an unhurried pace. We are given time to soak in the beauty of the nature, and understand the myriad emotions of Malini. Overall, Ranjith’s movie is worth watching.