The movie was a good one. Music,including background music is a high point of the movie. I think what stood out most though was Tilakan's acting. Tilakan is indeed a veteran actor. Dulqar is also very likable with his simple charms.
The start of the movie was interesting with Sidhique trying to get a boy child. While there were many sections of the movie that were very heart-warming, as a whole piece, somehow, there is an incompleteness. It is fine to leave threads open.
The movie is about a youngster trying to find his life. He pursues his dreams innocently and more or less succeeds in that. His grandfather offers him all the guidance. There is a positive interaction between Dulqar and Tilakan and you feel good as you watch him grow. There is a universal appeal in that theme - youngsters relate to it as their present, older people relate to it in their past.
Music is definitely a high point of the movie. Appangalellam is an interesting number and the fluorescent painted faces in the night is impactive in the theater. Other songs have a heart of their own as well - vaathilil aa vaathilil , sanchari nee.
The movie presents a lot of situations that you do not see usually. The camera work is excellent in certain sequences.Though personally, I am not a fan of Nithya Menon, I think the slow motion running sequence of Dulqar and Nithya has been excellently shot.
The theme background of the movie is awesome.It gnaws at you all the while - there is no escaping it.
The sequence where Tilakan talks about rain in the desert somehow impresses you deeply. The camera work is excellent here too. Some pieces talk too directly to you that you cannot express it. You need to get it from the depths where the impression is and sometimes you don't reach it.
The movie also attempts at presenting real-life situations that people go through in their daily lives. The sequence where Jishnu complains about the food and how deeply hurt Dulqar is as he makes the dish again is a good one. The sequence is earnest and complete in itself and serves to characterize Jishnu but otherwise seems to not integrate. Or may be not, that is how things are in real too. The prejudice against a cooking job. The lorry driver misbehaving with Dulqar in Burqa. Youth who try to live their passion in music.
The movie talks about hunger and how millions are still starving. This sequence is again presented well. It is a feel good movie and I might watch it again.
I can watch it again for all the wonderful people in the movie and the endearing gentle malabari accent. Technically, we watched the first day first show of the movie. We reached 6:45 for the 6 PM show but the 6PM show had been canceled due to lack of people. So 9PM was the show and we were there.
Well, we did watch it again and this watch was as worthy a one, in fact a more worthwhile one. The first half is almost flawless. Varying techniques have been used in different sequences to keep the movie interesting. Humour was the highlight of the first sequence where Siddique is looking for a boy child.The second scene has a continuous sequence where between cuts, the number of sisters with him drop off one by one as they get married one after the other. Dulqar is a Europe returnee and the movie has not one scene in Europe where as the impression is well established.Through catchy music and sketch art, his life abroad is presented through the credits screen.The ego clash between Siddique and Dulqar has been carefully presented too - using mirrors to represent the egos and carefully calibrating the sound inside and outside the bathroom door. This attention to detail is also seen when Dulqar leaves taking just cash and not the gold chain or passport/credit cards from the drawer. Thereafter, the world around Usthad hotel is very well presented as well.
However, looks like there are flaws towards the second half.The usthad hotel is repainted with enthusiasm. But thereafter, the older look of the hotel seems to have been presented again - at least that is the impression I got and that in itself is a flaw.I think there is some lack of focus towards the end.
We have the hotel in trouble, then we have the people fighting and getting it up. And then Dulqar gets an offer to work abroad and is about to go and then Tilakan gets a heart attack. Tilakan sends Dulqar to Chennai Chef who exposes him to hunger and his service based approach to cooking.Then he comes back and Tilakan is not there and the hotel is closed. He then takes over and the hotel becomes a huge success. Looks like some unnecessary coding has been done here.
If I were to redesign this, I would take out the job offer abroad and the heart attack out from the equation. Tilakan can just send him to Chennai Chef as part of one of his assignments and Dulqar can decide to settle down in Ustad hotel.
Either ways, malayalam movie industry is so very back. Earlier I used to hope for more good malayalam movies. Now, I don't have to hope - I just have to look forward to the ones that are on the way.