Every individual in this world have some or the other form of disability that shouldn’t be concealed, more one tries hard to conceal it tougher it turns out to redeem. Ranjith Sankar’s ‘Su Su Sudhi Vatmeekham’ recounts a real-life story of man who faces the challenge of his disability with an unflinching determination.
Sudhi Vatmeekham (Jayasurya) is an assistant manager of a renowned bank and is highly regarded by his work, yet what separates him from others is his long struggle to do something a normal person finds it cakewalk in comparison, ‘to speak’. Story is unfolded through a road trip where Sudhi narrates this tale of ordeal to actor Mukesh (playing himself), who starts off as an arrogant self but soon warms up to him.
Sudhi suffers from speech disorder of stammering and seen the worst phases because revealing his defect only invites nothing less than humiliation. He is seen to be ridiculed in school, experiences anxiety while traveling in an unfamiliar bus, much to his horror, that forces him to speak to an indifferent bus conductor and embarrassed to tour the grocery because before he could complete one word, he is outrightly mocked.
Time comes when his speech impediment takes a toll on his love life relegating him back to closet. He is ditched by his fiancee, after several personal and virtual meetings followed by engagement, only to realize that there is no future in living a with a guy who can’t communicate to save his life.
Ranjith Sankar tells a heartfelt story of an ordinary guy with an extraordinary spark of determination to stay true to oneself sensibly. I would like to add that this is most probably the first ever Indian film having a central protagonist with a speech defect.
Prime reasons why Su Su Sudhi Vatmeekham works is because filmmaker invokes an emotional bonding beneath us with the character and we can’t help but root for him without feeling the need to pity him. The only flawed sequence that distracts attention from the flow is where Sudhi gets embroiled in a school politics, leading him to resign and music- though hummable- never hits a right note adding more length to it.
Jayasurya, particular known for his sharp comic timings, has successfully channelized his talents in playing complex characters in past but with Su Su Vatmeekham, he raises the bar exceptionally high. He anchors the film with his phenomenal performance as a protagonist with defect, he not only portrays the person who stammers with scrupulous details – like fumbling of words, awkward jaw movements – he also humanizes Sudhi with genuine affection, never turning it into a caricature.
A scene in which post his engagement ceremony, Sudhi is forcefully asked by friends to reveal some good qualities about his fiancee, only to stammer intensely putting himself in an awkward position to the displeasure evidently seen in his fiancees face is the film’s most heartbreaking scene and we can predict from miles away what this might result to – and it is brilliantly performed by Jayasurya, leaving you lump in throat.
He is splendidly supported by bit players like Shivada Nair (impressive as his love interest speech therapist Kalyani) & Aju Varghese (affectionate as Sudhi’s true friend).
Su Su Sudhi Vatmeekham is a gem with uncompromised storytelling that seldom shies away from throwing light on speech defects yet making it feel normal.
Link on stammer blog post, here