A dark metamorphosis

Avasavyooham by director Krishand tells the fantastical story of Joy and the island of Puthuvype 

Published: 25th March 2022 07:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2022 07:14 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: In Kafka’s prominent fiction Metamorphosis, the protagonist Gregor Samsa transforms into a vermin. Director Krishand’s movie Avasavyooham has the protagonist Joy transform into a frog. This absurd manifestation sets in motion events that are hilarious yet rooted in reality. But through these absurdities, Avasavyooham (The Arbit Documentation of an Amphibian Hunt) talks about environmental degradation and how it affects humanity.  

The film weaves a fantasy around Joy with elements of magical realism. Joy comes across as a mystical character with no origin. He casts a spell over creatures of the earth while possessing a disconnected life with reality. The eventual metamorphosis will leave the audience questioning the future of civilization.

The movie had its debut screening at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in the International Competition category. 

Set on the island of Puthuvype in Kochi, the movie is narrated in a disjoined oral biography style. The people whose lives have been intertwined with Joy shares their journey revealing many facets of the superhuman persona of Joy. The movie progresses as characters Lissy, Vava, Madhusmitha, Murali and Plank shares their experience. Krishand strings together three visual languages — cinéma vérité, documentary and a pure commercial style. 

As the movie comes to an end, the island becomes not just a setting, but a looming protagonist. The objection of residents towards the LPG terminal project of the Indian Oil Corporation is also retold here.  

“I wanted to create a superhero, but not a flamboyant one,” says Krishand. “The Developmental terrorism is a subject I have tried to put forth here. Puthuvyep is a densely populated island. The people are grappling with developmental changes and are affecting their lives and livelihood. These issues are part of Joy’s story.

“Cinema helps me dive into the topic and then jump right out of it. I am not against development but I believe it should be cohesive. I am not an activist. This movie is all about shining a light onto the topic through a spectacle,” he says.  

And a spectacle it is! Avasavyooham explodes with magic and will have you leave the theatre with delight and the joy of having seen a movie that satiates your artistic and commercial sensibilities. Even when deeply kept secrets are revealed, Joy remains a mystery. 

Actor Rahul Rajagopal dons the role of Joy while other main characters are portrayed by Nileen Sandra (Lissy), Zhins Shan (Susheelan Vava), Ramesh Chandran (Kochuraghavan), Nikhil Prabhakar (Plank), Sreenath Babu (Murali), Sanoop Padaveedan (Kurukkan Sajeevan) and so on. The direction, story and screenplay are by Krishand. 

Once Joy gets transformed, it leads to a string of events with everyone trying to analyse the creature. One ends up wondering, is Joy a new species, a godly phenomenon or a manifestation owing to the manmade changes in nature? This fantasy movie weaved with dark humour has to be seen to be experienced. 

India Matters


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