In Kerala, politics begins in college corridors.
Debutant director Tom Emmatty’s campus story, set inside Kochi’s Maharaja’s College, is centred around two student union factions and the war between them.
While the KSQ (Kerala Students Union), under its domineering leader Roopesh (Roopesh Peethambaran), rules the campus, the SFY (Students Federation of India-the students wing of the Communist Party) is a tiny group trying to raise it head.
While Peethambaran will go to any length to deny even a toehold to the opponent union, Subhash (Neeraj Madhav) of the SFY works earnestly to secure a position for the party on the campus.
Caught in this power squabble is Paul, Subhash’s friend, an easy-going guy with no interest in politics, who finds himself in the crux of things when made to stand for election.
Emmatty’s story captures the campus mood realistically, with squabbles between the factions, inter-collegiate cultural events that are an intrinsic part of every college and the power games people play to further their end. College authorities remain mute spectators.
He also weaves in a love story (can a campus story be complete without one?) but the focus here being student politics, it fades into oblivion soon enough. Gayatri Suresh certainly leaves an impact with her Anu. When Paul expresses his love to Anu, she replies in a matter-of-fact way that she likes him too. And when she decides to call off her relationship, she does it in the same matter-of-fact manner.
The three main characters, Roopesh, Paul and Subhash are well defined. Actors, Peethambaran, Thomas and Madhav play it perfectly.
With this film, Peethambaran (who has directed two films), returns to acting after 22 years. His Roopesh is always in white, is cocky and dominating.
Madhav’s Subhash is honest and sincere. Subhash’s sole aim is to work for the Party’s ideology. Madhav gets every nuance of the character right. I loved the scene where Subhash is torn between his party and his friend.
As for Thomas, he rides into everyone’s hearts in floral shirts and beaming smile.
And, when the college union results are announced, Paul carrying the red flag faces the wrath of the KSQ members. Does he finally find a place for the SFY flag on campus?
Oru Mexican Aparatha is an engaging watch with action and humour sprinkled in good measure.
Don’t miss it!
Oru Mexican Aparatha is currently showing in the UAE.