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Wednesday, February 8SOCIAL MEDIA


Malayankunju Review

Malayankunju is much more than a straightforward survival story. It’s a movie about how, despite our “progressive” pretensions, our culture and way of thinking are really stuck in a chasm of their own making.
Director: Sajimon Prabhakar.
Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Rajisha Vijayan, Indrans, Jaya Kurup & Ensembles.

Anikuttan (Fahadh Faasil), an electrician, lives with his mother in Wayanad (Jaya Kurup). Radhakrishnan (Jaffer Idukki) killed himself because his daughter ran away on her wedding day. This tragedy haunts Anikuttan, who looks down on the lower caste and is disturbed by noises. The baby’s cries distract Anikuttan while he fixes the equipment. This small space is Anikuttan’s world. Embraces a claustrophobic environment. As the film proceeds, the allegory becomes clearer.

Anikuttan is hard to like. He’s casteist has a sour countenance and treats his loving mother (Jaya Kurup) with disinterest. Only when he fixes a woman’s laptop does he show emotion. The narrative only suggests that Anikuttan’s stern appearance hides a throbbing heart. The narrative takes place in a highland Idukki hamlet during the peak monsoon. Neighbours plan to travel to the camp during a downpour, but he refuses. A landslide traps him that night. The movie focuses on Anikuttan, if he survives, and his mother.

The other characters are hardly mentioned save Anikuttan. Sandhya is portrayed by Rajisha Vijayan. The character is underdeveloped despite her minimal screen time. Anikuttan’s father is Jaffer Idukki. Again, he’s just a great guy. The film’s father-son relationship seems undeveloped. Anikuttan’s ‘change’ is too quick and unconvincing. Were his preconceptions washed away?

The movie belongs to Fahadh Faasil, who portrays both pre- and post-landslide characters with ease and brilliance. As the traumatised son, a brother who won’t forgive his sister, he plays the role well. Malayankunju is great. Anikuttan’s tumultuous life is revealed via a shaky wedding video. He watches it on the TV and CD player in his modest room. We witness much of the film via Fahadh’s wild eyes and shouts. The undersea segment is fantastic. Fahadh’s portrayal as he struggles in the mud is flawless. AR Rahman’s soundtrack highlights the intensity and poignancy of critical scenes, yet it’s also overbearing.

Anikuttan undergoes a rebirth. From a dark, locked mentality to a hard-won morning. In real reality, awful people have accomplished amazing things. For the audience to buy this jump, we must be immersed in the character’s mentality. Too little writing prevents it. I didn’t worry about Anikuttan or the guy he’s saving. My concentration was on the film’s technological excellence. This defies the point of a survival thriller, in which you should connect with the characters so much that you can hardly breathe, much alone appreciate how it’s constructed.

Rating: 3.5/5

Watch it on Amazon Prime Video