I had posted this a few days back after watching Wonder Women, Anjali Menon's very short opus (just around 80 mins long) about prenatal care, pep talk for expectant mothers who go through a lot of physical and mental discomfort during the nine months of pregnancy or to put it more esoterically in the process of bringing a new life into this world and everything imaginable in between.
This is not a review of the film. I will just say that this film is utterly disappointing as to say in cricketing parlance; a batter gets a Free Hit but she just blocks the delivery. Same way, Anjali squanders the opportunity of having a stellar cast and a subject with a depth that could be dwelled up on for many seasons as a web series.
Here is a full-blooded review of Wonder Women by Aswathy Gopalakrishnan that fluently echoes my thoughts about the film.
And, watch Zachariayude Garbhinikal online here for free.
Given below is my nearly a decade old review of this excavated from an old hard drive (haven't corrected the typos and other errors).
Paresh C Palicha
Pregnancy is the flavour of the season in Malayalam Cinema, as it has released two films related to pregnancy in the gap of few weeks. First, there was Kalimannu, the much hyped film featuring a pregnant Swetha Menon, now there is Zachariayude Garbhinikal a film by Aneesh Anwar telling the story of a gynaecologist named Zacharia and most of them are complicated.
There are five of them that he is dealing with now. One of them is a middle age woman and and a former nun played by Geetha, who after getting out of the seminary wishes to be a mother so she gets impregnated medically by our doctor. Sister Jasmine Jennifer (Geetha) gets lot of attention from the media for her decision.
Then there is Anuradha (Sandra Thomas) who has got pregnant in an extramarital affair. Her husband played by Joy Matthew is on the deathbed after a car accident. So, Anuradha is undecided whether to terminate the pregnancy or to keep it as it will be something to live for after her husband's death.
Saira (Sanusha) is a bold teenager who comes to Dr. Zacharia pregnant and wants his help to deliver the baby safely and give it for adoption. But, on the condition that she will not reveal the identity of the person responsible for her condition.
Fathima (Rima Kallingal), who works as a nurse in Dr. Zacharia's hospital fakes pregnancy to win the sympathy of her employer who is otherwise very harsh on indisciplined employees.
With the plot laid out like this with Indrajith's voice-over. He also informs us that the typical irony of fate that Dr. Zacharia is still childless in spite of being happily married to Susan (Asha Sharreth) for a long time. And, as we expect the couple decide to adopt Saira's baby on delivery.
Sister Jasmine is the first to deliver and it is in the most dramatic way, she herself drives the car to the hospital at the height of labour pain as one of her brothers refuses to help her.
As we move ahead in the story we see Saira being taken care by the future parents of her baby. We see her change from a rebellious youngster to a responsible expectant mother.
Zacharia is a person with morals, with 'no abortion, no caesarian' values. He gives a lecture to Anuradha against abortion that too when she is carrying twins. But, his character do not go beyond this. One question lingers in our head much after the film is over as to why he did not opt for a medical solution for his childless life despite of being a gifted professional in this field. This is one of the most controlled and silent performance of Lal in his acting career.
The other characters who demand our attention are Saira done by Sanusha, where the young actress has to be switching gears swiftly from being jovial one moment to being angry or vulnerable in the next, which she does impressively well. Fathima is another one where Rima has to spread mirth using a peculiar slang that seems to be coming naturally to her. Aju Varghese playing Ajmal, a colleague of Fathima who is besotted by her is a surprise package. Here he does a role of a conventional hero, yet he leaves his humorous stamp on it.
These are the people who keep this uneven project afloat when it hits the rough whether a few times.
Zachariayude Garbhinikal is complicated in some places and overly simplified in others leaving the viewer confused by the end.
2 1⁄2 stars.