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Apr 13, 2008


There is hope, still. All is not dead and ready to be written off in Malayalam film industry. There might still come a day of liberation for the natives from the Taliban rule of M&Ms. As long as the rebel forces under the command of Northern Alliance led by Sreenivasan don't let their pens lie silent, I will still believe in the promise of a new dawn. Arabikatha(An Arabian Tale), directed by Lal Jose is awash with shades of that hope.

Personally this movie resonates with my concept of Kerala's communist system, its evolution, ideologies and the people devoted to the cause. Being born in the heartland of Kerala's revolutionaries, it feels to me as if many of the characters in the movie were my real life neighbors and relatives. If you had lived in North Malabar, you'd realize that every aspect of the a die-hard Communist reflected in Cuba Mukundan(the main character portrayed by Sreenivasan)'s character, be it Coca-Cola or China is true and exact in its description. The way the Iqbal Kuttipuram's screenplay brings it out is laudable. There could have been no one else but Sreenivasan to fit this role.

Lal Jose is a director to watch. The choice of his stories gives the impression of being fresh and different without trying too hard. His selection of actors is commendable, everyone molding perfectly in to their roles. The supporting cast includes Jayasurya(in one of his rare negative roles), Indrajith, Nedumudi Venu, Salim Kumar, Samvrutha Sunil and a Chinese actress Chang Shumin. Cinematography is another praiseworthy aspect of the film. Manoj Pillai, the cinematographer comes from Sivan's Studio, the school which has given Malayalam and the Indian film industry some of the best in the field including Santosh Sivan.

The movie has bowled me over. The way things are going with Malayalam film industry, if another review of this kind is going to happen in this blog, looks like I might have to wait for a long time.