19 (1) (a) is an Indian Malayalam language film that was released on 29 July 2022 on Disney Plus Hotstar. The film is directed by Indhu VS starring Vijay Sethupathi and Nithya Menen as the main lead actors in the movie.
The story revolves around a young woman who takes charge of her widowed father’s xerox photocopy shop and her life is restricted to that routine itself. But one day things change after she crosses paths with Gauri Shankar who is a human rights activist and a writer. He will be leaving a highly explosive manuscript within her custody and asks her to wait till he comes back later in the night to collect it. But Gauri never makes it alive as he is shot by two people on a bike who approach to kill him. No one knows what happened to him and Nithya comes to know that Gauri was killed because of his political ideology. The rest of the story forms around what Nithya does with the unpublished novel.
Director Indhu VS has depicted a storyline that has quite the potential to execute it brilliantly but she never does that and it is quite a disappointment to know that the film has a weak script that does not entertain the viewers. Indhu has created a script that deals with a highly sensitive topic which is Article 19 as it is related to Freedom of speech and expression. Although the film begins on a promising note, the premise and characters which are established on the screen do not go well…
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Overall, the film is made on a highly sensitive topic which is Article 19 which is related to freedom of expression and speech but despite having a great topic the makers have not used the opportunity to execute it properly. Many angles could have been covered but Indhu never weaved an interesting story for the audience. It is an underwritten and underdeveloped script that had a lot of potentials to explore and make it an intriguing watch but it leads to a wasted opportunity as there is nothing to root for in the film.