Category Archives: Malayalam Cinema

EE Adutha Kalathu – a contemporary look at Society

Malayalam movie Ee Adutha Kalathu (ഈ അടുത്ത കാലത്ത്), directed by Arun Kumar Aravind is quite similar to a 30 year old movie named Ee Nadu (ഈ നാട്) made by the legendary film director I.V. Sasi. More than the story, this is an eye opener on how the Kerala society has changed in 30 years. While Ee Nadu was portrayed through the eyes of Comrade Krishna Pilla played magnificently by Balan K Nayar, there really is no protagonist in Ee Adutha Kalathu, but the story moves through the life of Vishnu a garbage recycler, played by Indrajit.

The story line is built around a serial killer who targets senior citizens, mostly living alone. But what makes the story interesting is the range of contemporary topics it touches- Police- Media nexus, Quotation gangs, Healthcare tourism, Family quarrels of the 21st century kind, Facebook/YouTube addicted teenager and subtly bringing to the fore the rising power of RSS. The story completely keeps off the influence of politicians unlike in Ee Nadu. To me, that itself is a significant change in 30 years. The story has been held together by Jagathy Sreekumar, who plays the editor of a two bit paper called Theepantham. One of the very real modern day dangers the film brings out is how women get honey trapped by young men who go on to blackmail them via video recordings and broadcast on YouTube. There are some direct references to the Nano car story, which Jagathy drives, as well as one of the biggest issues facing Trivandrum- Vilappilsala garbage mess.

The storyline is passable and somewhere half way through the second half, an effort has been made to end the movie quickly. But the script has done brilliantly to voice over some of the advertisements and television messages that we see everyday and it was nice to see Anup Menon playing a narcissist police officer paired against a women’s lib journalist played by Lena. Jagathy Sreekumar makes a huge difference to the movie though he does not appear in more than 10 shots. Indrajit continues to improve as an actor. I thought Murali Gopy was way too vocally emphatic than necessary. The story eventually ends making fun of the Police department, who not only ‘capture’ the serial killer through a daring act, but also find him guilty of another murder.

Overall, an eminently viewable film but nothing riveting or brilliant. And Ee Nadu will continue to remain a classic it is.


Adaminte Makan Abu disappoints

After the pre-release build up in the media- both print and television, I decided to watch the movie Adaminte Makan Abu today. I returned disappointed. The story line is very flat, without even a moment of anxiety, concern or drama. Unlike the mention in the media, this is a story of an aged couple making an effort to go on Haj pilgrimage, and not the travails of one man making that effort. The movie has no trials, no tribulations, no pathos.

Almost in a documentary fashion, the narrative is about how Abu and his wife Aiyussu, played by Salim Kumar and Zarina Wahab respectively work towards making their life long desire to go on Haj Pilgrimage. The narrative tells you how to apply to the Haj Committee, or go through a private travel agency like Akbar Travels. Starting from applying for a passport to organizing money- which the couple has been doing over years by Abu selling Attar and religious books and his wife by selling milk and assorted fruits and vegetables in their compound to getting tickets, the entire process is portrayed in the film. They only wish their son in Dubai would help. Their efforts to make sufficient money fail, and they do not take any loan as Haj pilgrimage is to be performed with one’s own money.

The story just goes along in one dimension without any element of drama. There is a sub plot of the local teashop owner Hyder’s imagination making his aged tenant ‘Ustad’ as someone with extra sensory powers, which is eventually shown as a figment of Hyder’s imagination (see the freeze frame of the trailer above). There is just one dialogue which holds your attention. From the comic roles he has been acting, Salim Kumar has done well do be a 75 year old man, with great deal of help from make up man Pattanam Rashid.

The story has steered clear from the most difficult phase the religion of Islam and Malabar area is facing, and it is difficult to imagine that lives are not affected by religious fundamentalism. Haj pilgrimage as a subject fits in well to bring in that dimension to the story, but has been bypassed.

If this is an experiment in bringing art or parallel cinema to mainstream viewers, there has been better ones before. Quite disappointing for a national award winning film.

1 Comment

Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Malayalam Cinema, movies