There have been movies which have focused on death as their central theme, but it is always the person dying around whom the film focuses ... never have I come across a film in which all the characters - ESPECIALLY the person dying - are merely peripheral players, and Death, itself, is the lead player ... such a unique example is 'Sukrutham' - a study of death, if there ever was one.
Mammootty delivers, here, a career-defining performance as cancer victim Ravishankar - and yet the victory of the film lies in the fact that it is not ABOUT Ravishankar per se, but about the persons around Ravishankar, and how they are affected by what happens to Ravishankar. To that extent, Ravishankar remains basically a pivot around whom the film revolves, while the film itself is a masterful character study of everyone EXCEPT Ravishankar himself.
Gowthami, as Ravishankar's confused wife, also acquits herself commendably, and, even at the end of it all, one remains ambivalent about her character which, like Ravishankar himself, remains consigned to fate. Scripted, almost obviously, by M T Vasudevan Nair, 'Sukrutham' is not easy, or even comfortable, viewing, but it is a memorable cinematic experience, and is a harkback to the introspected, searching performer that Mammootty was then ... at par, in every way, with his 'Thaniyavarthanam'.
Cinema can't get more serious than this.
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