Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Maheshinte Prathikaram

You know, am more than jealous about off beat Tamil cinema of modern days. One of the reasons for this jealousy is because of their beautiful casting. It is not just that these new Tamil cinema creators come up with indigenous stories and cinemas, they also pick up the right people for all those characters, even if those actors are absolutely unknown. They don't care at all about the looks or the lack of any kind of glamour quotient in those actors. In fact, it is only Tamil cinema, who do not have any issues at all with black actors. Every where else in Indian cinema, black skin is looked down at. And it is a big credit to Tamil movie fans that many of these off beat cinema has also done reasonable business in box office. I have always wondered, why Malayalam cinema (we dominated Indian cinema in the 80's with our quality) look spineless when it comes to casting. It is as if directors and producers are scared to test new faces, even if the role is of secondary importance. 

Maheshinte Prathikaram has just reassured me, in a big way. Except for Fahad Fazil and Soubin, there are hardly any prominent actors in the whole cast. Still, there is not a single person who have done anything short of excellent. Each and every character, except Fahad, looks like locals, who were picked after a tedious audition process. 

MP looks like a simple short story, which has been painstakingly made into a beautiful cinema. Absolutely, this is an excellent entertainer, and am so glad there is one in Malayalam, even if it has come after long time. Frankly, the director seems to have taken some leafs out of Rajeev Ravi's book of cinema making. The result is pure, genuine and indigenous cinema.  

All the following make this movie a wonderful entertainer. 

- It has a simple thread, reminiscent of a short story, which is told in an even simpler way with beautiful visuals.
- It looks absolutely indigenous:- 
    with its location - its the first Malayalam cinema after Annayum Rasoolum which let you feel the ambiance of the locality.
    and its genuine characters - Sathyan Anthikkad movies always presented characters - as if they were picked from our village - with some exaggerations, where as in MP, they are just realistic. There is nothing unnatural about these people. I really liked that, same as in off beat Tamil cinema, none of the characters in this movie behave as if they have just walked out of a Holly/Bollywood script, or as if they are aspiring for a dreamy Indo-American life. (There is one character of course, but it goes so well with the story) Its normal Malayaalees, all around.
- Wonderful performances from every one, who have simply tried to just be there, no acting. 
- When is the last time, we saw, ordinary Malayaalee girls/women talking and behaving like normal people in our cinema? This is applicable to men too. There is hardly any make-up!
- Arguably, the best natural fight scene Malayalam has seen, after Thazhvaram
- A stupendous climax scene too
- There could be a smile in our faces, for nearly the whole length of the cinema!
I do not want to nit pick, but feel it could have done with fewer songs, using some instrumentals instead. 
I would also say, they could have found some body else for the role of Fahad Fazil, who would have looked like a typical villager, like all the other characters. Fahad has done a good job, though. But it looks like, the only glamourous guy in the whole of Idukki happens to be living in Prakash city. 

I cant wait for the next movie from this debut director, Dileep Pothan. He has given me lots of hope.