Kumbalangi Nights Review
One of the best slices of rustic life is in offer here sans any eventful hullabaloos in a plot that proudly stands tall with its superiority in simplicity. That slice of countryside life exudes the aspirations and disgust of a string of locals living in mediocre surroundings. Set in a picturesque village, Kumbalangi, the plot is refreshingly delightful with a tad emotional touch formed in the stream of relationships. Scenarist Syam Pushkaran's brilliance in simplicity and director Madhu. C. Narayanan's craft make the narration outstanding even as the conflict is too subtle in 'Kumbalangi Nights'.
Four jobless brothers are living in a dilapidated house adjacent to the backwaters, and no wonder there is absolute chaos at home with the eldest Saji (Soubin Shahir) and his younger sibling Boby, played by Shane Nigam, engage in scuffle most of the time. The other two---Bony (Sreenath Bhasi), who is dumb, and Franco (Mathew), a student of sports school-- are affectionate each other. One night, hurt by the thrash by Bony, a mentally-upset Saji goes for boozing with a Tamilian friend. And it changes the fate of Saji.
In one corner of the village, Shammi lives in his wife's house and he plays a father figure to the family as his father-in-law is no more. Fahadh Faasil plays Shammi, a charming cynic with fiendish intentions, and the actor takes the film by storm with authentic supremacy. The degree of shudder is equally shared between his wife Simi (Grace Antony) and the viewers when Shammi appears with a mysterious grin on his face. When he realises that Simi's sister Baby (Anna Ben) has an affair with Boby, he reacts in a bizarre manner and such villainy is refreshing, at least in Malayalam.
Indeed, 'Kumbalangi Nights' is harmony epitomised when you witness an African woman and a Tamil woman along with Saji and his brothers co-exist in a ramshackle house. Franco has inferiority about his house and it's evident from his occasional remarks about the house. He also hesitates to invite his friends from the city hostel to his home by saying that family members are afflicted with chicken pox.
Soubin enthrals immensely as the petals of his expressions effuse realistic phases of emotions. His passion and dedication in the portrayal of Saji meet at the right juncture of perfection, absorbing you into the pain he bears. Shane is on the threshold of effortless and natural performance in 'Kumbalangi Nights' and it's a sort of revelation to see his different mien. Shyju Khalid's visuals unfold the beauty of backwaters and the serenity of the lake.
In her debut, Anna Ben (daughter of scenarist Benny. P. Nayarambalam), as the guest relation executive of a resort, keeps inhibitions at bay and her confidence is palpable in every scene. As usual, it's Syam's penchant for unique characterisation creates the enchanting effect. Once again, he proves how to extract the 'selling idea' from your own premise, and it evokes the feel of effortless writing.
Characters as ordinary villagers attain striking originality aided by the realistic treatment of Madhu in his debut movie. Rooted in reality and hobnobbing with ordinary events, the flick makes the strong nudge to explore the unique in the seemingly petty milieu.
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