Sunny movie review: Jayasurya shines in one-man show about mental health

ByHaricharan Pudipeddi
Sep 24, 2021 10:16 AM IST

Sunny movie review: Jayasurya is effective at conveying the inner turmoil of his character.

Director - Ranjith Sankar
Cast - Jayasurya

Sunny movie review: Jayasurya shines in a one-man show.
Sunny movie review: Jayasurya shines in a one-man show.

It takes a lot of courage for a mainstream actor like Jayasurya to have no qualms about doing a project like Sunny, largely a one-man show, as his 100th film. If not anything else, Jayasurya deserves praise solely for the intent behind doing Sunny, an impactful film on the importance of taking mental health seriously. Director Ranjith Sankar’s film, set amid the pandemic, is about how isolation can take a toll on you.

Jayasurya plays Sunny, who has just returned to Kerala from Dubai. On the way to the hotel where he must quarantine for two weeks, he burns his passport, making us wonder if all’s well with him. He checks into the luxury suite of the hotel and soon starts drowning himself in alcohol. As we get to spend more time with Sunny, the sole character of the movie except for a few fleeting appearances by others, we get to learn about his problems – from his marriage being on the verge of collapse to owing a lot of money to his business partner. To top it all off, the isolation takes a toll on his mental health. He starts having suicidal thoughts and the rest of the story is about how he battles his inner demons and emerges a reformed man.

Watch the Sunny trailer here:

As the world continues to limp back to normalcy, watching Sunny is unsettling. The film takes its time to make us feel invested in Sunny’s story, but the relatively short runtime works in the film’s favour and keeps it engaging. Nothing groundbreaking happens in the movie, but some simple stories can leave a lasting impact when told in the way they’re supposed to, and Sunny is a good example of this.

Sunny works more as a psychological drama-thriller. It deals with the subject of mental health very sensitively, and doesn't trivialise Sunny's drinking problem. Jayasurya is effective at bringing out the helplessness of his character. It’s a moving performance because Sunny internalises most of his emotions.

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