Aarkkariyam Review: Great Performance but Weak Execution

Aarkkariyam is a Malayalam movie that released in theatres a month ago but got its OTT release today. It is streaming on Nee Stream and Amazon Prime Video. The film runs for 2 hours 6 mins and is available in Malayalam, Hindi, and English languages. Starring Biju Menon, Parvathy Thiruvothu, and Sharafudheen, this family drama is directed by Sanu John Varughese.


The theme of the movie is very relevant. Since last year, the whole world is fighting an unknown virus named Coronavirus. Few states may be at a better right now, but states and countries are still facing the wrath of COVID-19. The movie’s backdrop is set before the 2020 national lockdown.

Aarkkariyam‘s plot is based on a couple, Shirley (Parvathy Thiruvothy) and her husband Roy (Sharafudheen), who were settled in Mumbai, but before the nationwide lockdown could happen, they decide to go back to Shirley’s maternal house to her father Ittyavira ( Biju Menon) in Kerala. They reach Kerala, and then the movie unravels further. Shirley’s father, Ittyavira, is a widower and manages the land and household. He is a retired mathematician, as shown in the movie.

The story is very simple, like yours, like mine but what really didn’t work for me is Aarkkariyam‘s execution. This is cinematographer Sanu John Varughese’s debut work as a director and he tried his best to make it work but couldn’t wrap up properly.

Let’s come to the performance now. Well, Biju Menon as Ittyavira has done a great job. What can we really say about Biju Menon? From showing an irritated retired maths teacher to being a doting father, he has done it all. Parvathy as Shirley is refreshing and eye-pleasing. Sharafudheen as Roy has been a power package. He showed the correct emotions, when he had to be supportive, he was for the family, when he was frantically trying to raise funds to clear his debts, the urge was visible in his eyes.

The script has played a very important part in this film, pre-interval the movie will hold you firmly as many revelations will be seen over the few scenes. We will get to know Roy’s financial stirrings with his friend Saiju Govinda Kurup (played by Saiju Kurup). We will also comprehend that this is a second marriage for both Roy and Shirley’s when one’s partner will disclose something very unnerving. (No spoilers, don’t worry).


There are other actors who have done their part as well. Aarkkariyam is a family drama, the characters needed to be convincing and relatable, and they were. The cinematography is good but the lighting didn’t work for me. It tried to give gloomy look but it didn’t connect.

But everything starts drooping after the interval pause. So let me say what absolutely didn’t work for me. It’s the execution of the second half of the story. The chilling thrill that ‘what will happen now?’ was not coming into my mind. I was just watching. Maybe one of the reasons was a bit of the language barrier. There are some huge twists and turns in the movie, and well, you can give it a watch one time.

Watch Aarkkariyam here.

Liked the Aarkkariyam review? Read our other reviews here.


A movie buff who does some writing stuff.

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