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Nov 25, 2011

City of God (Malayalam movie)

The end is the beginning is the end as Smashing Pumpkins had it figured out, on behalf of Batman. City of God, the newest movie from Lijo Jose Pellissery lives by this rule. I have decided to craft this review in the same vein – results first, facts later. I liked City of God, one of the better movies to come out of Malayalam in the recent past, Prithviraj’s superman act could’ve been toned down a bit. Well, you can’t have it all, right?

Multi narrative tracks are the flavor of the season in Malluwood. City of God joins Traffic, The Train and The Metro in an ever lengthening list, which I am sure is only in its infancy. I am expecting to see the list mature into a full-fledged Godzilla at the end of this decade. 

City of God is comparable to its Brazilian namesake in that the favelas of Rio are replaced by the cheris (slums) of Kochi and both are multi narrative films portraying the chaotic lives of a bustling, breathing third world metropolis. But I find the story structure more similar to another multi narrative film – Crash, where everything begins and ends with a road accident and the viewers are taken down different threads at the same time to be led back to the beginning in the backdrop of the City of Angels (LA.)

Prithviraj as Jyothilal, a high profile bodyguard/hitman/buddy of young industrialist Sony(model turned actor Vinod Pillai) has been bestowed with a fist and physique to deliver dialog, so he broods a lot and talks less. Reema Kallingal has juicy role as an actress under duress. She delivers a good performance talking in her own voice, literally without any dubbing artists to share her success. So does Shweta Menon  in a short but strong role. Indrajith lands a winner again with Swarnavelu,  a happy go lucky Tamil laborer and we get to see a very different Parvathy (debutante in Notebook) in her comeback to Malayalam as a migrant laborer with a lot of dark grease makeup.

Lijo Jose Pellissery, the director has created an interesting, true-to-life movie, esp. when compared to other movies of the same genre, maybe that's why it didn't set the box office ablaze. Despite its obvious Hollywood and international 'inspirations', it is one of watchable new movies(not for kids though.)



Sounds interesting.
Must have a look at this.