Compartment Malayalam Movie Review
Salim Kumar's directorial debut 'Compartment' is effectual in patches, and does have a few quiet and intimate moments. However it falls short of being an admirable film, chiefly on account of its inability to stay absorbed on its very perturbing premise.
Anumol (Angel) is a differently abled girl, who lives with her grandmother (Nilambur Ayesha). While Anumol attends a special school, the old woman tries hard to make both ends meet by selling papads. A kind neighbour (Sree Laya) keeps a watchful eye over Anumol, when the old woman passes away, leaving the hapless girl all alone in the world.
The compassion that the film maker shows for the unfortunate kids is quite evident, but it does not elevate 'Compartment' into an outstanding film that you expect it to be. The empathy is very much in place, but the film leaves a lot to be desired.
It seems for a while that 'Compartment' is equally concerned about quite a few characters, like Rappayi for instance, who comes across as a versatile performer on stage. The youngster, who is often ridiculed for his gluttony, hits it right back, when the continual banter by a boy goes a bit overboard.
However, Rappayi and a few similar characters give way for Anumol and her grandmother, and the story becomes increasingly concerned about the girl's future. Perhaps the most poignant part of 'Compartment' lies in the lament of the old woman, as she worries her head off wondering about the doomed future of her granddaughter.
The very last scene of 'Compartment' strikes a chord with the viewer's heart as a much older occupant of the shelter home, welcomes Anumol into their midst, with a potted plant in her hands. She finds herself at home in no time, and rushes over to the window to watch a train pass by, as the end credits start rolling.
There are the occasional pitfalls in the film that stops it from the lovely movie that it should have evolved into. There is the focus for instance on a teacher who is obsessed with chatting over the phone, and the sequence is painfully stretched. When it comes to believability too, the film suffers a bit. One fathoms that an institution for the differentially abled will employ specifically trained teachers, who have gained adequate guidance in dealing with the children before them. It comes as a surprise then to have a teacher (Kochu Preman) who claims to have several years of service, behave rudely to a student who simply cannot comprehend the US President's name.
There are also a few scenes that have been penned to prove that the old woman's desolation is complete, which involves her two sons (Kalabhavan Shajon and Salim Kumar). Perhaps the intention behind scenes as these was to bring in a smile or two, but sadly they serve as mere detours that let the spotlight shift away from the central theme.
What is perhaps most admirable about the film is the exceptional way in which these differently abled children have come up with their best performances for 'Compartment'. Supporting them are artistes as Sree Laya and Anjali Aneesh, while Nilambur Ayesha delivers an outstanding feat as the distraught grandmother.
'Compartment' dwells on a heart-rending question that we have often shied away from. If only, there were a few answers as well.
Saw the movie today. Two goodsongs, Nilambur Ayesha is at her best, excellent performance by physically/mentally challen... Show moreSaw the movie today. Two goodsongs, Nilambur Ayesha is at her best, excellent performance by physically/mentally challenged children. Agree with Veeyen's review.