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Hidden Details and references in Aarkkariyam(2021)

*****Warning***** Heavy spoilers ahead!! **** Please don’t read if you haven’t watched the movie already*****

As discussed in my review about Aarkkariyam, I have found the movie quite remarkable on my second watch. There were plenty of hidden details and minute expression changes from characters which I found quite fascinating and here, I am noting down a few of those which I noticed.

1. Ittiyavara and Coconut pieces: We see someone cutting a coconut piece in three different scenes. First one was Ittiyavara scolding Sheeja for chipping a peice from the coconut while cooking. Second one was Sherly hiding the coconut from Ittiyavara which was chipped by Roy (during a song sequence) evidently suggesting Ittiyavara doesn’t like chipping coconut. But why? Fast forwarding to Augustine’s(Sherly’s ex-husband) only scene in the movie where he can be seen chipping a coconut piece and eating before being hit by Ittiyavara to death. To me, these three scenes suggest Ittiyavara doesn’t like any of Augustine’s habits, just like he hated him and Sherly does know these for facts. Or is it because the coconut chipping reminds Ittiyavara of killing Augustine and Sherly doesn’t want to do that?

2. Snake scene : When Roy comes and sits on a pile of wood behind the kitchen, the docile Sundaran gets agitated pointing down. Ittiyavara says he might have sensed the presence of snake and tries to kill it. Sherly says,”Chacha, it is a sin to kill an innocent life” and walks off. Later it is revealed that Augustine’s body is in fact buried at the same spot. An indication that Sherly knows what is in there??

3. Ittiyavara falling and hurting his hand : Ittiyavara revealing the secret of the body to Roy has shaken Roy and it creates certain doubts in Roy about Ittiyavara as a person. Roy refuses to help him discard the remains of the body. Ittiyavara doesn’t eat anything that night, gets angry to Sherly for silly things and Sherly makes sure Roy knows about it. Now comes the scene where Ittiyavara falls down, Sherly was already present in the scene when Roy comes there running. Probably staged to make Roy develope some sympathy and change of mind about the body.

4. Permission for picking up daughter : Sherly had done all the planning for picking up her daughter and she has taken the interstate pass for the travel in Roy’s name initially. Now since chachan (Ittiyavara) is bed ridden, Sherly suggests Roy stay with him. She goes on to change the name in the pass and takes helper Bhasi with her. Clearly Sherly wants Roy to stay with Ittiyavara when noone else is available at the house, making space for the plan of discarding the body remains.

5. Sherly and her secrets : Throughout the movie, different characters indicate that Sherly keeps everything to herself. For the whole movie, there is no direct indications that Sherly may know about Augustine’s death. But the above 4 points are strong indicators to that theory. Now let me take you to two other scenes. First one, During Ittiyavara revealing the secret to Roy, Sherly calls them for coffee. Roy is evidently shocked but Sherly never asks him what happened, her expressions suggested she is also hiding something in her. Second, after Ittiyavara falls and injures his hand Sherly asks Roy to feed the bed ridden Ittiyavara. Her follow up expressions may indicate some hidden secrets in her. These are very minute expression changes and this is where Parvathy excells in her portrayal of Sherly.

6. Portrait of St. Sebastian on the wall : A poratrait of St.Sebastian on the wall is shown several times in the movie (thanks to my wife for identifying the portrait is of St. Sebastian). As per wiki, St. Sebastian’s death was accounted at two different times in two different stories written on him. Probably a reference to Augustine and his two different dead bodies in the movie. According to artistic experts St.Sebastian’s portrait of him baing hit by several arrows shows ‘the torture of a flawless body’. May be Augustine was in fact an innocent man. As several instances in the movie showed, Augustine is hated only by Ittiyavara. The only other guy who speaks negatively about Augustine is a ration shop guy, saying that Augustine had chopped the hand of a person in petrol pump. Later Roy himself verifies it and proves it to be a false accusation. Ittiyavara never regrets anything he had done and always puts it as ‘whatever I did was God’s wish’. Clearly indicating him killing Augustine was a pre-planned one.

From the above points, it is ‘almost’ clear(to me) that either Ittiyavara and Sherly has planned to kill Augustine or Ittiyavara killing Augustine is known to Sherly all along. Now, I will present my wild 7th point.

7. What if the body identified by Sherly several years back is in fact Augustine’s : The more you think about the movie, you will come up with more crazy thoughts and this is one of those. What if the body identified by Sherly is in fact Augustine’s. As said in the story, it was first identified by his mother and I think a mother can’t get it wrong when it comes to her child. May be Sherly also identified the body correctly and she is intentionally lying to Roy in the prologue that she is not sure if it is really Augustine’s body. Also, won’t the police do forensic tests before handing over a body? Then whose body is it? Who knows?!(Aarkkariyam?!). Ittiyavara and Sherly wants to hide it from Roy and make him believe it is Augustine’s. So just like Roy we also may have to believe it is Augustine’s body.

This is what makes Aarkkariyam one of my favourite recent movies. Uncertainties looming over several characters and we are just not able to understand what is in their mind. Yes, human mind is a complex system, one can’t really make out what’s in others mind. May be that is the whole point of the movie!!!

By sreenathjvm

I am a healthcare professional. An ardent movie lover. Writing about movies forever has been an obsession.

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