A discerning cinegoer from Palakkad who is a native to this place and who is above fifty and not eminently low brow will return from the theatre ,where he went to watch the flick Odiyan, hughly crestfallen .During his childhood he would have been weaned on many stories and the most prominent among them would be the lurid lore of Odiyan.During the pre -electricity times Odiyans ruled the nocturnal darkness of the countryside of Palakkad.Though nobody had ever actually seen him the hearsay amply made good for that sheer non visibility for the the rural atmospheric was always rife with Odiyan centric narratives . He invariably belonged to a particular lower caste and his assignment was to take care of the responsibility of guarding the vast rice paddy holdings and coconut groves against theft,pilferage,spiriting away of livestock and such plantation crimes which festered in the times .Pre -land reforms era teemed with such vast ranches in feudal proprietorship .Odiyans were congenital shape-shifters who used certain placental offal which they wedged behind their ears to realise shape morphing into animals most often uncastrated ,high velocity rural bisons . But whatever animalistic life forms that an Odiyan assimilates himself into has his giveaway in that an Odiyanisque faunal entity will have one of its limbs missing and it could be an eye ,leg and such.In the folklore Odiyans do kill not in the aftermath of a tumultuous fight but merely with a feathery touch.

But for Sreekumara Menon the Odiyan legend is a mere framework to re- choreograph a Pulimurugan or Bhahubali on.Much aged Odiyan (Mohan Lal) reappears in his native village of Thenkurrissi one fine morning and sits under a baniyan tree completely covered in his trademark black blanket right in the centre of the village square .His erstwhile teashop owning friend serves him tea at his place under the tree.All of a sudden a gang of young men who have congregated at the tea joint come to identify the odiyan and turn abusive and they threaten him with immediate annihilation but their ominous posturing is dented with implicit terror.One among them has some personal grouse against him for his uncle ,a former comrade, having been roughed up by the Odiyan in a skirmish which left the poor fellow bedridden with a neck condition.

A handful of flashbacks give the viewers a privy to Odiyan’s biographical matter the main features of which are Odiyan Manikkan’s infatuation with high caste prabha(Manju Warrier) in whose house the odiyan family traditionally laboured,her marriage to a booze -happy military personnel,her ever scheming and further ever stalking black hued canonical suitor,death of Prabha’s husband and that of her blind and expectant younger sister in almost similar circumstances and Manikkan’s suspected culpability in the gruesome act and all.These make us all much Manikkan wiser.But what sent him to his self exile was the death of two brothers in law which took place under the cover of darkness and in Odiyanisque operations and the second actually took place right in the courtyard of the feudal homestead.A staunchly suspecting and tearful Prabha’s plain speak proves the last straw for Manikkan and the village of Thenkurissi comes to see his summary deserting of the place .

Devi Varassyar relishes her liaison with Ravunni Nair and even prides over it but she is all in for a shock ,in an alchohol induced bout of bad temper Devi’s paramour sees his guards down and he blasts to Devi that he beds her as if she were his beloved Prabha .In further extension of the confessional he broaches the story of twin murders he orchestrated to reclaim his prized quarry with the incestous bonus of her sister. Fearing for her life Devi takes asylum in Varanasi where Manikkan also drops by in the course of his aimless subcontinental tramp which lasted some 15 years. There Manikkan saves Devi from drowning in the Ganges by chance and subsequently she tells him about her ill fate and how Ravunni Nair wrought it all and it occasions his return trip home .

By the time he revisits Prabha the cloud of suspicion has vanished courtesy the self same Varassyar. All smiles Prabha re-ushers Manikkan into the house kitchen quarter and ladles out servings of hot rice porridge.Post – rapprochement Manikkan unleashes all his ferocious occult and martial powers on his arch rival Ravunni . But unlike the textbook Odiyan with his subdued and insidious manoeuvres which form his macabre USP Peter Hains goes about executing his assignment with his diametrically opposite template of warfare . All noise,fire and brimstone and some from odiyanisque arsenal like levitation , deployment of biodiversity from his ghastly stable ranging from high power bovine hunk to deceptively meek antelope together take the audience for a rollercoaster ride of pure madness.

All songs of the film are visitations of misfortune at their untimely worst and bland at that .Mohanlal,Manju Varrier,Prakash Raj ,Siddique and other cast need not take the onus for damp squbbing the film. The predictability and funlessness of the film are too large in measure to merit a more charitable review.