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  • I have no idea who Amal Neerad is but I have heard the name a couple of times. So I am guessing he must be some sort of a big shot in the Malayalam film industry.

    I am sure this guy must have had an idol growing up. He must have looked up to a Scorsese or a Spielberg wanting to be like them when he grows up.

    So lets say he runs into Spielberg somewhere. It definitely cannot be an International film festival because if he keeps making movies like these they would not allow him near one.

    So lets say Amal Neerad is shopping at a Food market and he runs into Spielberg. Neerad has looked up to Spielberg his whole life. He walks up to Spielberg and introduces himself. Tells him that he became a director because of him. Tells him that he has made a movie titled CIA:Comrade in America that he would want his idol Spielberg to watch.

    So Spielberg says, Fine. He takes a copy of the movie with him. Goes home. Watches it. Dies laughing.

    Its just that bad.

    Dulquer seems to have peaked with Kammattipaadam.He needs to become more selective with the movies he chooses to act in.

    I have never held a video camera in my hand but I am quite certain that I would have done a better job at making a movie than the director.

    I have never acted in a movie or aspired to be in one but even I would have read the script and arrived at the conclusion that literally nothing good can come from acting in this tripe other than get paid.

    There have been dozens of movies made about how perilous the Mexican-US border crossing is but in this one Dulquer and Co just canter across the border with minimal fuss. I hope they don't release this movie in South America.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Director: Amal Neerad Screenplay: Sibin Francis Lead: Dulquer Salman

    Comrade in America starts with the dream of every young communist, a protest against a corrupt minister, blocking his way to Sunday mass, while the police, clearly antagonistical body language present, forms a protective cordon in front of the minister's house. A couple of punch dialogues filled with subtle and not-so-subtle warnings pass back and forth between the Sub Inspector (played by Sujith Sankar, the antagonist in last year's brilliant Maheshinte Prathikaaram) and two older comrades, funnyman Soubin Shahir and Dileesh Pothan (who directed the aforementioned Maheshinte Prathikaaram), and the police decide to 'lathy charge'. Scenes of carnage, which I suspect will make it to many communist party propaganda films to evoke sympathy and martyrdom, follow, and the students are chased away. Then, as the police looks at the few students who are beaten down and are unable to get up, our hero Aji Mathew (Dulquer Salman) arrives, in Neerad's patented slow-mo, stretching what would've taken 30 seconds to full-blown 10 minutes scene of courageous retaliation by the young communists, with a garish remake of an old communist anthem (that I love), as they break the hitherto unbreakable police cordon without any difficulty whatsoever, and nary a swing of the baton in the direction of Aji's handsome face. It later transpires that the minister they are protesting is the boss of Aji's father, who works for a party in the opposite end of the spectrum. Point to remember, this movie takes place in 2015, before the election, which put the communist party in power. Communist party people always love to be portrayed as fighting against the power, for some reason. Which is all right, but man, c'mon. This is Kerala, and how many times are you going to show that communist party is always fighting against the government, when half the time communist party themselves has been the ruling government? I digress. Anyway, comical situations ensue in the household, now that we know Aji and his father Mathew (Siddique) have opposing political beliefs.

    One day, Aji's passport arrives, and we delve into an alcohol-induced hallucination, in which Aji talks to Lenin, Che Guevara and Karl Marx about why he needs it (to go to America), and for what he is going (surprise, surprise; love). Flashback sequences in the middle of hallucination sequence shows Aji's hand-to-hand combat abilities (fight scene with some bus drivers), his commitment to equality, liberty and fraternity (stops some seniors from ragging freshers), his god-awesome football skills (he wears Messi's No.10 jersey), and his relationship with the American Born Confused Malayali girl Sarah Kurien (Karthika Muraleedharan). Needless to say, Sarah's bourgeoisie parents disapprove of the communist Aji, and one night Sarah is whisked away to the USA on false pretenses. Determined to fight for his love, and egged on by a Malayalam poetry spouting Che Guevara hallucination, Aji decides to go to America and get Sarah. Unable to get the visa on such short notice, he decides to get into America illegally.

    Now we get into serious business, or so I thought, after waiting till halftime for the decision to go to the USA, land of the free and plenty. Nothing wrong with taking your time, it helps in developing characters and arcs for those characters. But what follows later disappointed me, at least. The journey of getting to America illegally is one of the most dangerous things to do in the world, I hear, apart from being a beefeater in 13 of the states in India. Amal Neerad glosses over most of the journey from Nicaragua to Mexico in a taxi, driven by a (ex-LTTE, its implied) Sri Lankan. The journey seems too smooth for that beaten up cab, and Aji seems to carry a lot of US Dollars to not even haggle with the Sri Lankan cabbie or the agent who promises to get them over the border. A few other people from different nationalities join him, each with their own obviously sad stories, but Neerad's deficiencies as a director shows, as he is not able make us invest in these characters. There's the Pakistani Muslim, the Chinese guy wanting freedom, the Hispanic family of four, and the conveniently Indian pretty young girl. Neerad had one half worth of screentime, and plenty of characters with enough background to become compelling characters with a shade of personality thrown in. Yet, he completely fails to develop them beyond black and white caricatures. More damningly, he utterly fails to capture the difficulties involved in this dangerous and taxing journey, and even inducts a stunt piece where Aji once again gets to play hero, protecting the girl from getting raped, against four guys carrying semi-automatic guns. Some of the dumbest bad white guys I've ever seen. This deadly trail turned out to be a tough but not-so-deadly stroll through some random desert, with a thorny tree and a rogue agent turning out to be the deadliest foes they come up against. Where is the danger from the cartel and general law-and-order situation on the trail? Where is the dangerous trek across the wilderness which threatens the would-be immigrants mentally and physically? Where is the actual danger of being killed by the bullets of the cartel, the bandits on the way and finally, the merciless US Border Patrol? I'm supposed to believe that they got to the border in time, without facing all these perils, like a leisurely stroll down a random barren wasteland, without a guide, armed only with a made-in-china GPS? And the ability of the Border Patrol on show compared to the newfangled tech that they possess that I've heard so much about is much ado about nothing. I'm so disappointed by how a movie with such potential was handled by Amal Neerad, but I shouldn't be surprised, he has always disappointed me.

    The last few scenes were light and funny, but the payoff isn't worth it.

    First Half: 6/10 Second half: 3.5/10 Music: 5/10 (not very memorable) Direction: 4/10 Screenplay: 4.5/10 Acting: 5/10

    Stray observations:

    Communist party people are the shiz, yo. They are socially conscientious, protests corrupt politicians, practices equality, liberty and such, they can fight like Bruce Lee, they can love like George from Premam. If only all the real life communists were like this. Dulquer's characters always seem to leave their home/town/state/country for one reason or other. Amal Neerad is still obsessed with slow-motion video technology. If you're not sure if you reached America, consult the signboards.
  • Summary (no spoilers)

    This movie is about Aji Mathew who is an adorable, fearless and humble youngster, who lives in a place in Kerala called Pala. He meets an NRI girl Sara in collage; they fall in love despite of their background. Their moments of love did not last long so do his happiness.

    My Review (no spoilers)

    This movie has a really good and unique plot I have not seen this concept in any other movie. It was filled with a somewhat action, a little adventure but not much thriller. Dulquer did his part well he can't be blamed for the way this movie was directed. Karthika has a lot to do to improve her acting skills, Chandini on the other hand got very less time span in this movie but her acting was noticed among the others. The other notable acting would be Siddique, Dileesh, Soubin and Maniyanpilla Raju. This movie had some really good standout songs. Amal Neerad as a director could have done a better job. The ending of this movie was unpredictable and good.

    No I would not recommend people to watch this movie.

    My Rating 6/10
  • Movie: CIA: Comrade in America (U): Action/Thriller - Malayalam

    Positives:

    • Dulquer looks extremely fresh and stylish in the film. His performance is major asset to the film.
    • The action scenes are excellent.
    • The locations are a treat to watch in the second half.
    • The cinematography is at times top notch.
    • The BGM is terrific.
    • The second half is very gripping.


    Negatives:

    • The change in the tone of the film is good but could've been brought up in a better way.
    • A few songs click, while others simply don't.
    • Except Dulquer and Ameer, no other performance works.
    • The screenplay is good but the editing is weak in the first half at times.
    • The romantic thread, like almost all films, is pointlessly weak and at times, forced in the narrative.


    Repeat value: Yes

    Overall: 4/5

    CIA: Comrade in America is an entertaining action thriller which can be seen and liked instantly.
  • Comrade In America (2017): Lately, Malayalam films have been high on communism when the concept itself is dead, at least in India. Earlier this year, we had Oru Mexican Aparatha, which dealt with student politics. Last month, actor Nivin Pauly had Sakhavu, in which, the protagonist rediscovered his left-wing ideals. And now, Comrade in America, which just used communism for hero's backdrop and nothing much.It is mostly about hero's search for his lover Plot: Aji Matthews (Dulquer Salman), a follower of Communism, travels to USA illegally to stop the wedding of his girlfriend Sarah (Kathika Muralidharan). He along with other people gets caught by the American police while crossing the border.

    My Review: There's an interesting portion in the film where a drunk Aji imagines himself having a conversation with Karl Marx, Lenin and Che Guevara, who persuade him to find his love, Sarah. Were you under the impression that communism was at the core of this film? You were wrong. Even though the setup where hero narrates his flashback to history legends,his love story is so clichéd.Actors performances and Gopi Sundar's music helped the movie.

    It is surprising to see that our Comrade doesn't even reach America by the last 10 minutes of the movie.First half is entirely in Kerala and second half mostly consists of his struggle to reach the border.

    Amal Neerad has great potential in the script but he could have made it lot better but he stuck to the simple way.We can clearly see the clear wastage of huge script.

    Dulquer is as usual with his charm and terrific performance.He is perfect as Aji and he even became a singer for this film and he is amazing in his debut as singer too.Actresses are also good looking and gave decent performances.

    So,CIA is just a decent watch even though it has lot of potential in script.Watch it if you are Dulquer's fan.

    My rating 6.5/10
  • Comrade in America is one of the most awaiting movie of the year.

    Amal Neerad,The Man Who Give Audience a New Treat has Not Gonna Gail Here.

    i Watch the film In First Day First Show.

    Positive

    *Great Direction *Great Cinematography *Nice Character Sketch(Especially Aji Mathew as Dulqar Salman) *Dulqar Does His Best *Supporting Cast Steal the First Half(Especially Saubin and Dileesh Pothen) *Mass Intro In Dulqar's Career *Unpredictable Twist

    Negative

    *Second Half is Very Lagging And Boring *Heroin's Acting is not Satisfied *Not Much Better Than Other Amal's Film
  • CIA is the type of film that you could watch with tight mouth and could relish joy of the beautiful frames moving through the screen. The film explores many themes and fails to deliver it perfectly to the audience. It just switches from one another that you will be quenching the worth of your money till the end , where the film stops abruptly.

    Dulquer's acting was great along with the secondary actors who shone brilliantly and their comic appearances burst the theatre into joy.The visuals along with the music was so good that the on screen cinematography and direction needed to cope up with them.

    CIA has a shallow plot and a disastrous screenplay and we quite often forget why we are here - what's the film's message ?

    I have never waited for a film due to a director and Amal Neerad had done his work quite well. Although we did not see the type of direction as seen in Iyobinte Pusthakam And a short film in 5 Sundarikal, Amal has done justice to his part and has left me happy enough. The film offers great themes for the audience to feast on. Communism , Romance , Don't expect much in life and many other themes frequently found in coming of age dramas and films that have released in many decades over the time.

    In short, watch this film on your own risk as never go expecting a film that goes with you, but a film that you must go with. Breathe in the visuals my friend, for the cinematography is great.

    My Rating - 7.8/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    CIA: Love Can Make You Cross Borders! Satyajit Ray once said – "The director is the only person who knows what the film is about". If I take a cue from his quote I doubt whether Amal Neerad himself did know what the film he is making about here in this case of 'Comrade in America (CIA). The name and some of the early trailers which were released are misleading. It makes one feel that it has something to do with revolution and the erstwhile communist leaders like Che Guevara. Rather the film CIA reduces these communist leaders like Lenin, Karl Marx and Che Guevara into caricatures and put them into funny scenes which has nothing to do with its ideology and history. CIA claims to dedicate this film to millions of migrants in the world and does a veiled attack on US President Trump's proposed border wall that would eventually stop animals and people that have migrated for centuries across the US's southern border with Mexico. Is it a formula cleverly devised by the current filmmakers to piggyback some current social and political issues which they superficially and with least sincerity turn into stories with the false hope of making it into a runaway success? In short, Dulquer fans can throng the theatres to watch their hero perform with utmost ease but unfortunately in a nonsensical movie. Comrade Lenin, Karl Marx and Che Guevara might be planning to make a comeback to avenge this political disaster of theirs in CIA (Pun Intended).
  • ajith-v-m4 September 2017
    I was never a fan of Dulquer Salmaam. Not that I have anything against him, but I wasn't convinced that he could carry the legacy of his father, the great Mamooty. I realized now that I was wrong all the while. I watched 2 movies of Dulquer; Kali and CIA, and I must admit, he was beyond brilliant in both movies. Great acting skills, has a strong presence, charisma and powerful execution. I also like his choice of movies, he doesn't pick up any money making trash to disappoint his fans.

    I'm now officially his fan and wish to see many more movies of his. I would also like to meet him someday and apologize for my misconception and poor judgment in his skills. CIA is by far the best Malayalam movie of 2017. The story is different, direction, cinematography, background music score etc..Everything is just top notch and you must be ridiculously retarded to miss this movie that I define as 'Brilliance personified'.

    I don't want to lament anymore, I would leave it with you to go and see this fantastic movie and then get back here to agree with me or not and mind you, all those who read my comment have seen the movie to return and agree with me. Fantastic performance Dulquer and team! Thanks for making my evening!
  • CIA is 2017s 3rd left branded malayalam film after oru mexican aparatha and sakhavu. But, it has nothing to do with communism or politics, its just another love story. Plus points of CIA are the first half which is very neat with all commercial elements blended well-humor, romance and action. Amal neerad's making is stylish as usual backed by renadive's dop and the locations were good. But the whole problem starts with the varanam aayiram meets maryan meets cast away second half where it becomes a survival thriller in which our hero is illegally crossing the Mexican border to reach America. Lack of tension element is clearly evident in this phase where instead of sitting at the edge of your seat one becomes restless in their seat waiting for it to end. Its so boring. And after hero reaches America, his purpose goes vain making us cheated. The love story also is not developed well. On the whole, CIA is another misfire from amal neerad.
  • CIA- a travel for love and meaning of life U CAN WATCH UT FOR A EVENING SNACK TIME MOVIE..its best for it A must watch watch amal neerad film..there is not much of big story but the way the director had made us to feel in this movie makes us great.. Dont expect much in this movie..without expectation watch and get the most fun of it and sure i say climax gives us a worthy satisfaction.there goes the credit to director..and excellent screenplay and amazing DOP BY cameraman.gives us a pleasing throughout the entire movie.. Some drawbacks i feel was..if some story would have been that would been an excellent to dulquer as he can keep this in some good movies list yet its a good movie..it doesnt waste ur time..
  • The movie was a good one. I felt it like two parallel world's joined together to convince the audience. The movie could be shot as two different films.
  • smubtasim13 May 2020
    After watching this movie....now im dq's die hard fan. What a movie!!! Just amazing
  • Alright, first thing first, the Intro Music of DQ(Kerala Manninayi) made me to checkout Comrade In America and this movie is definitely not about communism or about the communist leaders. It is about the struggle, the hero goes through to reach his lover who is in America without visa and the life lessons that he learns through his arduous journey.

    DQ's presence and acting is the only saving grace of the movie. As an audience you neither feel connected nor empathise with any of the characters.

    The surprising part of the movie is the casting of Stalin, Karl Marx, Lenin and Che, which was remarkable and they looked so real and believable. Apart from that there is nothing enjoyable about the movie.
  • A Dulquer Salmaan film directed by Amal Neerad – that's enough to send the expectations soaring for the fans of the actor and the director. For Amal, the movie is a marked shift from his cult action films such as Big B. The turn began with the featurette Kullante Bharya in the anthology Anju Sundarikal that had Dulquer as the protagonist, followed by Iyobinte Pusthakam and has now led to Comrade in America, a coming of age tale scripted by Shebin Francis.

    The movie, apparently based on true events, kicks off with a few politically-charged scenes that take cues from some recent developments in Kerala politics. It introduces Pala-based youth Aji Mathew (Dulquer Salmaan), a die-hard communist who follows the ideologies to the T. Be it digging graves for social outcasts, picking fights with unruly bus employees for harassing college students or lending a hand to those in need, Aji is the model communist, a hero of the masses. The plot though quickly devolves into a love story – that now challenges Aji to go the whole nine yards for love!

    Sarah (Karthika Murali), the girl Aji loves, goes to the US out of the blue and her wedding is fixed with another guy. Her last call implores him to reach the country to talk her parents out of it. However, the hassles in front of Aji are numerous – two of them being that he has no passport or visa. How he overcomes these and if he makes it in time forms the plot.

    Dulquer is perfect as Aji – the impish charm adds to his character's taunting persona while he balances that out with the innocence when confronted with the problems that he has no solutions for. He also nails the Kottayam accent and his swagger especially in the intro and climax scenes is pleasing. Dulquer never once seems out of place as the youth from Pala, even as he finds himself in Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico.

    The scenes between Dulquer and Siddique, who plays Aji's dad, and those with Dileesh Pothen and Soubin, elevate the entertainment quotient of the film with clever use of humour. Where the movie slacks though is the second half in which the struggles to get to the US doesn't quite hit home despite the script pointing out the misery of several characters. Debutante Karthika Murali doesn't have much to do but plays her part well. The casting team deserves a special mention for the casting of three renowned comrades – Che Guevara, Lenin and Karl Marx – in the movie. John Vijay and Chandini Sreedharan too put on a decent performance.

    CIA also takes the audience through Mexico and the US, and the cinematographer Ranadive has done his best to capture some splendid visuals. Gopi Sunder's background music adds so much to the film. Amal Neerad has refrained from using stylish sequences in the film, which once again complements the story and its flow that takes its own sweet time to develop.

    The film is an entertaining affair, which has humour, drama, great visuals, a good soundtrack and most of all, a splendid performance by Dulquer.
  • Very nice movie

    First half is full of DQ s mass action performance, comedy Politics ,romance.and DQ s mass entry. 2 nd half is based on a adventure travel. GOOD DIRECTION 8.5/10 GOOD ACTING 8.5/10 GOOD STORY 7.8/10 Must watch. Don't miss. Movie is collecting good at box office.CIA is 3 rd biggest opener in Malayalam movie history. And 3 red highest initial collection Even there is bahubali 2
  • This movie is the movie by amal nee-rad then also this movie as some problems that is first half quit party film that a son whose father is congress and the son is a great comrade by that this film gives a quite comedy thriller in the first half but in the second half this movie is changing entirely different story that a man who is traveling for his lover to America by different way that is though Mexico to America through Mexico border it gives common story
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Amal Neerad's latest directorial venture is sure to evoke mixed/divisive reactions. However, I feel I'm a bit positively inclined towards the technique Neerad uses to cover up those large holes in the plot (with the collective energy that drives the film forward in entertaining fashion). After a lacklustre intro sequence (ripped off 'No Church in the Wild', a song by Jay-Z & Kanye; due credits given though for 'desi'-fying it!) for its protagonist Aji Mathew (played by DQ) that even reminds you a bit of Mohanlal's entry in Run Baby Run (the entry is designated as 'mass' but in actuality the impact it leaves is minimal!), the story proceeds to shed light on his daily activities as a member of the Communist Party and his incessant battle with the police force of the state. The title credits though (which comes after the supposed mass entry) are extremely well-done. There's a pulsating anthem playing in the background ("Kerala Manninayi" is superbly rendered by Gopi Sunder!), there's break-neck editing style, slo-mo is used well and the shots are crafted beautifully.

    There's really no novelty to boast about in terms of synopsis. The first half is breezy, the dialogues are catchy and relatable. The comedy quotient is amped up via Dileesh Pothan, Soubin Shahir n' co. The depth in the writing helps stage some of the scenes quite well. The friendly banter between Aji and the stalwarts of Communism (Che, Marx, Lenin) doesn't come across as over-cooked (although we've already been through similar treatment with St. Francis and Lord Krishna in Malayalam cinema earlier!). There are a few more 'mass scenes' (one that involves a slickly choreographed fight sequence at a bus- station à la Tamil/Telugu movie style.. ANL Arasu – the name says a lot!) that reinstate the fact that DQ is here to stay. "Kannil Kannil" is another delectably-shot melody. Aji's love-life is cut-short when his lover flees (or is forced to flee) to the U.S of A. So, our hero is left with no choice but to travel to the States on short notice, before judgment day (i.e. her wedding day) strikes. There arises the issue of securing a visa. The screenplay is ready to embrace a few delicious twists. Great interval block, to be honest!

    Can't really say that the movie went downhill from here, but the fact that the movie all of a sudden put on a serious face was somewhat difficult to assimilate. The viewer is educated about the difficulties faced by illegal immigrants (at times resulting in unquestionable death!). Unlike the interesting character arcs in the first half, the ones that take centerfold in the second suffer from being underwritten (including Arul and Pallavi, played by John Vijay and Chandini respectively). The proceedings don't leave the intended jolts. But hey, this is commercial cinema. Not every bit is debatable. However, the climactic finale is a definite crowd-pleaser (replete with folding of the mundu, slo-mo walk and breakbeat BGM!).

    That said, the real star of CIA isn't Dulquer Salmaan. If there's an actor who has left a sure-shot impression on your mind by the time the end credits roll, its Siddique. The man is the 'DAD of all DADs' in the flick. He gets to mouth the best (politically subversive) dialogues, emotes well and cracks the coolest jokes. The Kerala- Congress bit mentioned by him at the climax is just one of the many hip(pest) instances. Shibin Francis adds himself to the list of fairly- exciting screenplay writers to watch out for, in the future. Cinematography by Renadive warrants special mention (the shots are exquisite and rich, whether it be the lush greens of Kerala or the thorny landscape of South America!). Overall, it is safe to say that Amal Neerad has packaged CIA with enough commercial flavor to justify a visit to the cinema halls this summer (if you choose to overlook the screenplay-contrivances and reasonably large plot-holes i.e.)!
  • noufalroyal17 May 2017
    Comrade in America (abbreviated as CIA) is a 2017 Malayalam language​ romantic comedy survival film directed by Amal Neerad. starring Dulquer Salmaan,Karthika Muralidharan and Chandini Sreedharan .in the lead roles. The film released on 5th May. also the birth date of Karl Marx. Aji Matthew is a Kottayam based youngster and a strong follower of Communism.