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Paradise Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2024 | Drama
Critics:
Audience:
Prasanna Vithanage's "Paradise" juxtaposes Sri Lanka's natural beauty with its political and economic crises, unraveling a compelling narrative of oppression, human nature, and resilience through the journey of a Malayali couple.
Jul 3, 2024 By K. R. Rejeesh

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The irony in the title itself makes Sri Lankan writer-director Prasanna Vithanage's film a captivating affair. The connotation in the title is such that reality is unveiled before us about a country which is known for its picturesque beaches and scenic landscape. 'Paradise' begins with the touring of a Malayali couple to the island nation when Sri Lanka is embroiled in economic turmoil. On their way, the couple witnesses the stir of people on the roadside as they call for an end to political unrest. In certain scenes, Vithanage repeats the issue of scarcity of diesel, besides succinctly unfolding the real political turbulence through the events in the life of Keshav and Ammu.


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Roshan Mathew plays Keshav and Darshana Rajendran appears as Amrutha aka Ammu, who reach a hillside of the country for vacation. The children from the ethnic families of the region are seen selling bitter guava on the road to the hilltop. The humane trait of Ammu's character is revealed in that scene and one can also realise the pinnacle of her pathos during the hunting scene. In the misty landscape surrounded by verdant pastures and woods, Vithanage gives a vivid picture of the country's blissful natural landscape where oppression and injustice are also hovering over the heads of ethnic people.


Indeed, this contrasting balance in the plot makes 'Paradise' a compelling movie that becomes haunting as well as shocking at times. Though it has a ubiquitous theme of oppression and exploitation, the gradual unravelling of volatile human nature is somewhat striking and beautiful. As Keshav is excited to begin his film project, his belongings including Ammu's laptop are burgled from their cottage at night.


Led by their driver Andrew (Shyam Fernando), the couple reach the police station where police officer Surgeant Bhandara, played by Mahendra Perera, assures them of finding the stolen devices soon. The real conflict of the movie is established in this part and the couple witnesses how the preoccupied police accuse people of the theft. Kesav is relieved when Bhandara arrests a few youngsters charging them with the robbery. They undergo brutal duress in police custody. But a kind-hearted Ammu is upset as she realises the dirty game of police.


Things go out of hands when one of the accused dies due to custodial torture. Considering the rising public resentment against police in that area, Bhandara along with a policeman reaches the couple's cottage to give them protection. He also quizzes Shree (Sumith Ilango), the caretaker of the cottage, and cook Iqbal (Isham Samsoodeen) that night which entirely redefines the life of Keshav and Ammu. Here, the director never relies on loud and over-the-board melodramatic situations to convey the essence of the plot. He just deftly uses the underlying shades in the screenplay to expose the gravity of the devastating political and economic situations of the country that goes to bankruptcy on April 12, 2022.


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The various interpretations of the Ramayana through Andrew's words bring out the satire in the tale and the temple guide who gives a riveting version of the epic reveals the real plight of people to eke out a living. They do believe that Ravana has not died but in a long slumber and he will emerge to save Sri Lanka. As the protagonists, Roshan and Darshana have confidently guided the film to create a real impact with their sublime performances. In fact, Darshana gets the scope for going deep into the soul of the character and she has handled the emotions perfectly.


Sri Lankan actor Mahendra Perera amps up the intensity of the conflict with a strikingly realistic outing. The 93-minute flick gets the adept handiwork of editing by Sreekar Parasad and succinct BGM scoring by K, besides the whole premise is smartly enhanced by the visuals of Rajeev Ravi. Apart from a fine blend of political and personal crisis, 'Paradise' raises several questions; prominently how marginalised fellow beings are being treated in a country by those in power. It is a simple theme but highly effective in portraying the dismal state of affairs of a country.

K. R. Rejeesh

   

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Sree

it is the trend that some take pictures for award and send it to world film festivals and thereby they earn money, and l... Show more
it is the trend that some take pictures for award and send it to world film festivals and thereby they earn money, and later release it in theatre. this is such a movie. from first scene, it starts in srilanka and ends in srilanka and most of the dialogues goes on english, singalam and hindi, so that a malayalam movie runs with malayalam sub titles. there are 300 ramayana stories. in one of it, sita kills ravana and not raman kills ravana. this is the core subject and worth to watch an award movie.
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