Ever since we started making films and web series based on the pandemic, a soulful attempt on the traumatic experience of the quarantine days was expected, conceived by a visionary team. Taking the lead, Malayalam cinema once again proves its supremacy with Sunny — the first Indian film based on the 14 days quarantine stay of an individual. Revolving around a troubled soul returning from Dubai, checking in a five-star hotel for his two-week time period, Sunny is largely a solo-character film made with courage.
Sensitively directed by Ranjith Sankar and impressively enacted by Jayasurya, it is all about how isolation takes a toll on an individual and brings the much-required change, transforming or saving a precious life. Focusing on the only visible character throughout, Sunny takes some time to make you feel the connection but doesn’t get stretched or boring in these initial moments. We hear voices of other characters in the phone conversations and also get momentary glimpses of the staff helping the people staying in the hotel. However, it all gets depicted without any forced sub-plot, comic moments, or an unnecessary deviation to provide casual entertainment.
As we see more of Sunny, we form a relationship remembering our personal experiences of the pandemic in the last two years. At one point, the film also makes us recall the deaths of our close ones, including the doctors who were constantly in touch on the phone, guiding us regarding medications along with providing mental support. That remains the most powerful moment of the film, pointing towards the uncertainties of life with or without any pandemic.
Among the shortcomings, it’s an uneventful film in which nothing shattering happens on the screen. Thus, it can also be called a simplistic presentation of grave life-affecting issues such as loneliness and mental trauma, leading to suicidal tendencies. But then, it’s this simplicity that keeps Sunny away from the typical melodrama or loud sequences with all that clichéd exaggeration. In addition, the short runtime of 90+ minutes and a soothing background score also help the film stay focused on just the right things.
Overall, Sunny might not be a powerful take or a deep study of the subject. But it’s certainly a subtle commendable attempt as a first of its kind of film that deserves to be seen, both for its execution and the solo act of Jayasurya.
Title: Sunny (Malayalam)
Cast: Jayasurya, Shivada Nair, Shritha Sivadas
Director: Ranjith Sankar
Rating: 3.5 stars
Platform: Amazon Prime Video
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)