Story: In the essentially male world of auto rickshaws is one female driver named Anitha. There is a reason behind her choosing the job for a living. Is Anitha who she seems to be?
Review: It was back in 1990 that writer-director Venu Nagavalli introduced us to the world of auto rickshaw drivers in Kerala through a beautiful movie named Aey Auto. The film made us look at the khakhi clad, rough and tough men in a new light.
Sujit Vaasudev’s Autorsha once again brings these people in the limelight but the twist is that it is a woman – Anita played by Anusree -- who is at the centre of the tale.
Anitha is naive and simple woman who, however, has a knack to deal with situations and manage to make a living. Though her background isn’t explored much in the first half of the movie, it beautifully depicts the warmth and love of people in a small North Kerala town. We get a ringside view of the lives of auto rickshaw drivers and understand them better as humans.
The nature of their jobs is such that they encounter all kinds of people and they brilliantly manage to take each of them to their destinations. There are a few heart-warming instances in the film where these drivers give a leg-up to many hapless souls including a dementia patient and a little girl. As the movie progresses, it focuses on the story of Anita who isn’t what she has been generally thought about.
Though the storyline sounds cliched, the film does not grow dated, or over-familiar. It is fresh, interesting and realistic and also woman-centric. It depicts a woman at her most vulnerable and yet her strongest phase. The viewers encounter myriad emotions such as betrayal, mystery and revenge without subjecting them to any great stress as liberal doses of fun are sprinkled in between.
Anusree as Anitha makes Autorsha an absolutely delightful journey. She wins us over first with innocence and vulnerability and later with her grit and confidence. Every character in the movie comes across as so real that you feel like meeting such lovable souls only Kannur can boast of.
The well scripted and directed movie is not a story of a victim but of a girl who fought it alone despite losing everything she possessed. However, there was this feeling at the end that it all ended a bit too quickly.
It is worth taking an auto ride with Anitha and friends. They will be good companions for sure.