Cast: Mammootty, Nyla Usha, Salim Kumar, Balachandra Menon
Direction: Salim Ahmed
Music: M. Jayachandran
Coming for the National Award winning director Salim Ahamed, ‘Kunjananthante Kada’ is a movie in the same league of his debut film but narrated with lesser pace and finesse. A movie which talks about contemporary issues , but in a more personal level, the movie also points about the level of egos that makes it difficult to appreciate relationships, love and even development.
The movie has none other Mammootty as a egoistic man Kunjananthan. He, though entered into a love life with Chithira(Nyla Usha) after a period of romance, is currently in a tumultuous married life with no understanding or adjustments between each others. Kunjananthan has spend much of his life in the grocery shop, with proud memories of his father who was appreciated by everyone in the village of Vattipuram. His shop and its groceries mean much to him who cares for them just or more than his family and often engage in soliloquies with it. He doesn’t even pay heed to the owner Nambiar’s offer for a big money to shift to another place and start something new. But as the Road Development Society of the state plans to widen the roads and serves a notice to evacuate the place in 15 days, Kunjanthanan is left with attempts to somehow avoid leaving his priced possessions.
The writer in Salim Ahamed has successfully balanced the personal ethos of a egoist and the social realities around in a skilful manner, just like in his award winning debut film. His dialogues planted in the Kannur Slang were so real that the arguments between the wife and husband seemed so real . He also takes time to wisely criticise the mindset of people to use religion, emotion and even the suicide of a mentally challenged for their own causes. Each of his characters in the frame appeal very realistic and matched the situations and stances in which they are.But the lethargic pace in the latter half may not interest lovers of popualr films.
Salim Ahamed is sure to earn accolades for the direction of this film as well, which is top notch as per festival standards. And in the technical side he has got the support from the likes of senior cameraman Madhu Ambat and Rasool Pookkuty, whose frame and sound designs seems the best contributory for the movie. The synchronized sound recording has not been such perfect in Mollywood in recent times. The music by M Jayachandran was also impressive though the BG Scores by Issac Thomas Kottukappally appeared jarring at times. A good applause must also go to the art department which was finer than ever, recreating a realistic village junction and the associated structures..
The performance side is really impressive with Mammootty getting the best of the roles in his last dozen films. He does justice to the role with awesome support from debutante ‘Nyla Usha. Her role with a definite stances is aptly balanced and supported by the writing, though she has nothing to do in the final scenes of transformation. The kannur dialect used, add to the realism of the movie.
Kunjananthante Kada is a movie that needs to be appreciated for sure, but the slow pacing especially in the later half and the lack of commercially viable factors may mar it’s theatre run. But in the festival circuits and among serious viewers, this movie will get awesome applauds for its meticulous making and content .