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Aug 30, 2017

Munro Thuruth

On the seemingly long train journeys symbolic of my childhood summer vacations, Munro Thuruth was a mysterious station with a distinct multi-racial name. It was quite unlike other Kerala railway station names like Karunagappalli, Vadakara or Payyannoor, which all seemed staid in comparison.  During evening journeys north from Thiruvananthapuram, Munro Thuruth station was one of the first stations the train passed through after darkness had settled in for good. The peculiar name and its association with a long dead British official, who might still be haunting the dark estuaries guarded by looming, ghostly coconut palms on little floating islands, had created an aura of supernatural spookiness in my young mind.

The movie Munro Thurath by Manu does not really help in erasing out that impression. It is still metaphorically dark in the movie which is not about ghosts, but an unsettling story with live people. Since this movie seems more like an intellectual exploration rather than a prospective commercial pot-boiler, there are no givens, not in a formulaic sense.

Indrans portray a stalwart grand father figure who takes up the challenge of housing a mentally unstable teenager, his grandson. This role is a far cry from the comedic or disposable side-kick roles Indrans had enacted in his past movies and brings out the matured actor in him.

The troubled teen looks less like a teenager and more like a young man in his mid-twenties which reduces the credibility of his character and makes the surveillance setup around him seem a tad overboard.

The main character to me is the psyche of the place, Munro Thuruth. As the grand dad, a life long inhabitant of the 'thuruth' says in the movie, "there is here," referring to the slivers of land buoying on Ashtamudi lagoon and "then there is every where else,"  encompassing the vast namelessness that lies outside Munro Thuruth. The 'thuruth' is like an organism (almost reminds me of King Kong or Godzilla), cauterized from the rest of the land, with a life of its own, closing in on its inhabitants and all their actions are just reactions to its heart of darkness.