God's Own Country' begins with great artistic and conceptual rigor, but eventually veers toward a wanton irrationality that it could very well have done without. Yet, despite its blemishes, the film does make a decent evening watch.
The technique of the multiple narrative is exploited to the hilt in 'God's Own Country', and its triumph lies in the fact that the plots hold together incredibly well for the most part. The linkages established between them are coherent, and the course that the scheme follows well reasoned.
Manu Krishna (Fahad Fazil) lands in Kerala with his baby daughter, meets up his friend Abhirami (Mythili), and has plans to get some quick money that would free his wife Asha (Isha Talwar) who has been jailed by the Dubai police. Mathen Tharakan (Sreenivasan), a public prosecutor is on his way to the court, to ensure that the accused in a rape case that has rocked the state are not let scotfree. Muhammed (Lal), a taxi driver by profession is on a desperate hunt to amass six lakh rupees that would get his sick daughter on the surgery table.
'God's Own Country' is amazingly paced, in that not a moment is lost in worthless thought or speculation. The thrills that evolve are wedged into the proceedings as a hand that fits a glove, and the diverse storylines dealt with equal ease.
There are several equally interesting characters walking in and out of the tale at regular intervals, that make the film an interesting watch. Zakir (Manikuttan), a goon out on an assignment, needs to finish off things in a hurry as he plans to leave the city with his lover by dusk. Zarina (Lena), terribly distressed wife of Vakkachan(Nandu), a member of the legislative assembly, would stop at nothing until she sees to it that her vicious and inhuman husband is brought to book.
As the film heads speedily towards the climax, quite a few tailbacks crop up all on a sudden. For one, the characterization starts suffering like never before, and at least one, starts assuming superhuman proportions. And the preachiness that follows is unwarranted as well.
Manu Krishna, the man with a baby in tow, walks into a dreaded goon colony and beats a hoodlum into pulp. He soon meets another thug right in his den, and delivers a smash or two, and walks out with some hard cash, like he has just walked out of a book store, having found a much desired book. The baby cries her lungs out, perhaps appalled at the action hero that her dad has suddenly transformed into.
No amount of reason would justify what Manu does in the final scene, as he towers over a group of agitating protestors and showers currency notes on them. The scene is a shocker literally, as it ruins the rational base that it had so carefully built up initially.
It all ends on a positive note, and even the most hardcore of optimists would wonder if life was indeed that easy. As you stare at the bag stashed with money doing its rounds and returning to the owner, you can only sigh and tell yourself that this is the stuff that movies are sometimes made of.
The performances in the film are equally good, with Fahad leading the pack with a compelling performance . Lal and Sreenivasan deliver the goods with assurance, while Lena and Mythili come up with competent feats.
And it is thus that 'God's Own Country' begins with great artistic and conceptual rigor, but eventually veers toward a wanton irrationality that it could very well have done without. Yet, despite its blemishes, the film does make a decent evening watch.
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good