Ithihasa - a laugh riot with an interesting plot

Ithihasa - the title might be a bit misleasing. Its not a period movie, nor does it talk anything about history. The movie starts off with a flash back set in the 17th century - depicting a war sequence between two kingdoms. The titles roll and the movie jumps forward to the present. They open the movie showing a police jeep arriving at a shady residential complex in Kochi. Sunil Sukhada essays the role of a police sub-inspector who gets a comical build up. Then comes the build up for the hero - lots of close shots and slow motions are thrown in to introduce the hero. The intro scene builds up the hero and throws in an anti-climax as well. Alvi (Shine Tom Chacko) is a pick-pocket and a small time thief who leads a lavish life with his side-kick and friend, Vikku (Balu Varghese).  
Theatrical poster - image from the internet.

The hero's go-getter attitude is established in the following scene as he easily escapes from a case with adequate proof. The heroine - Janaki played by Anusree - is introduced a very traditional and conservative girl, who lives with two colleagues - Sreya (Swapna Menon) and Ann (Vidya). The hero's activities are then established using a song and the story wanders around for sometime without much direction. As the story progresses without a definite direction for a while, the viewer is left wondering how they'd build up the story.

Then comes a magic ring, which both the hero and heroine wear one night. The next morning, their bodies transform, and the heroine gets a male body (that of Shine) and the hero gets a female body (that of Anusree). What follows is a laughter riot - of how the Shine (now playing Janaki) adapts to her new male body - Shine essays the feminine character with ease. Infact, the small beard on the face and the very feminine behaviour makes tickles the funny bone. On the other hand, Vikku (Balu) finds a chic sleeping next to him the next morning - Anusree, now playing Alvi. The transformation of Anusree is brilliant - from a very conservative girl to a foul mouthed goon. She fights away rowdies with ease and smoke a cig on the road much to the chagrin of others.

Alvi and Janaki see each other one fine day, and marks the interval. How they solve their transformation forms the rest of the story. While they solve the riddle, Alvi and Janaki slowly fall in love. Sunil Sukhada as Inspector Sebastian has played an impressive role - albeit small, he does the best of his role. Joy Mathew appears in a cameo role and plays an important role in solving the riddle. Needless to say, Anusree takes the cake for her role - a role she has brilliantly essayed, perhaps one of the best performances from her.

The movie is the debut of Anil Narayanan - who has done a good job. Aneesh Lee Ashok's script is good - I felt it dragging at places. The movie a bit long at close to 150 minutes - they could've made it a bit shorter and crispier. Dialogues felt a bit double-edged often - not exactly a family movie.

Verdict: Go for it! Its a different movie - not a masterpiece by any extent.

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