9 August 2017 | praveen77
An enthralling ride
Whatever be one's opinion on the movie as a whole, there can be no denying the impact it had for the better on Malayalam Cinema. This was a landmark film in Malayalam movie history simply because it marked the definite turning of the tide from the mediocre and mostly sub-par work which was being churned out of this once luminous film industry. Speaking as someone who was depressed at the state of Malayalam cinema in the first decade of the 21st century, I am eternally grateful to the whole team behind this masterstroke of a movie, especially its director, Rajesh Pillai. Because post this, it looked like our cinema just couldn't stop being experimental. I can unabashedly say that I am a huge fan of new age Malayalam cinema and its embracing of modern storytelling themes. But without this to lay down the marker and challenge an audience which seemed to be creeping into acceptance of the superstar parodies of neighboring states, the change may not have taken wings.
The premise is simple. A famous actor's daughter is dying and needs a heart transplant. An accident happens and a matching donor is suddenly found. Now it's a question of getting the heart from one city to the other in the middle of rush hour traffic in a couple of hours so that the transplant can be done before it is futile. But the emotional trip this puts us through is what the movie is all about. Adrenalin rush at one point, emotional outbursts at another point, a whole host of characters are brought together in intersecting story lines. They all perform well, but special mention must go to Lena and Kunchako Boban, both in stereotype defying roles which probably resurrected their careers. However, after a long time in Malayalam, here was a movie which rather than being noticed for superstar actors had instead a superstar script, and found overwhelming acceptance from a state known for its acceptance of good films but deprived of the same at the time.
Sadly though, Rajesh Pillai passed away recently. His first movie was the forgettable Hridayathil Sookshikaam (Kunchako Boban and Bhavana in the lead) and he disappeared from the scene for a while before unleashing this thunderbolt out of the blue. His subsequent movies didn't live up to the almost impossible expectations this one set, though I did like the pleasant Milli. However sad his passing, we can have the consolation that he left behind such an epoch defying movie for us to savor.