Director: K R Manoj
Producer: K.R. Manoj
Music Director: Rajivan Ayyapan
Cast: Murali Gopy, Lena, Maniyanpilla Raju, Indranse, Nandhu, Sudheer Karamana, Sunil Sugatha, N. L. Balakrishnan
The concurrence of the three key characters in ‘Kanyaka Talkies’ isn’t of the traditionalist kind; rather, by throwing the three of them together, the film does achieve the ostensibly improbable feat of placing the unlikeliest of players collectively on board, with their fates irrevocably intertwined with each other.
Ancy (Lena) who makes do with her menial job as a home nurse in the city sees dreams of making it big as an actress some day. Lured into the sleazy world of pronography, she finds it difficult to retrace her steps back to normalcy. When a video clip that involves her inevitably goes viral, she is left with no other option but to flee from her village before dawn breaks.
Holed up in another corner of the village is Yakub (Alencier Ley), the owner of the dilapidated Kanyaka Talkies, who survives by playing soft porn films in the theatre. Yakoob is shattered when both his daughters elope, and his distraught wife takes her own life. The man leaves the village for good, and moves to town where he starts life afresh.
The church that takes over ‘Kanyaka Talkies’ from Yakub, demolishes it in no time and establishes a cathedral in its place. Fr. Michael (Murali Gopy), the zealous young priest who takes charge at the church, takes to his job with immense keenness, but is soon bogged down by his wayward mind that is led astray by vagrant thoughts.
Death, and the silent tranquillity that accompanies it ushers in a serenity in Yakoob, while Ancy is driven forward by a fortitude despite all the unfairness that life has bestowed on her. The priest is increasingly beset with gloom and desolation, and takes refuge in the almighty, hoping for salvation and deliverance.
‘Kanyaka Talkies’ does hold up to close scrutiny, and comes across as a thoughtful exploration of the states of human mind, and the patterns of existence that invariably accompany them. The gradually tightening noose that the film throws around your neck stifles tremendously and leaves you gasping for breath.
The film has the very special flair of keeping the viewer off-balance, and while it sure takes time and patience, the outcomes are profound and tender. Talk and tension hold up to each other, and this sensitively directed film is laden with sub texts.
The acting efforts of the leading cast have to be lauded indeed, and it’s Murali Gopy who remarkably deals with the multi layered complexities that make Father Michael an enormously intricate character. He is a true delight to watch, while Lena proves yet again, why she needs to be considered as one of the best actors we have today. The melancholy is further fortified by the infectious musical score by Rajeevan Ayyapan, and ‘Kanyaka Talkies’ is adeptly caught on camera by Shehnad Jalaal.
The composite emotional weather that the film sports makes it maddening and nurturing at once, rendering it an almost enigmatic feel. And it is this ethereal complexity that ‘Kanyaka Talkies’ inherently has, that makes the film singular.
3 out of 5 (Good) 3 out of 5 (Good)