The humour is intermittently effective, and at times all over the place; there is so much happening on one side, and so little on the other. The context is as unreal as it gets, plenty of opportunities are missed, and grace is far from sight.
‘Kumbalangi Nights’ is much more than an account of four brothers on a frenzied quest to find themselves and each other. Drenched in a matchless mix of human emotions that range from hilarity to hopelessness, it’s a superb film that drives you into raptures and which is infused with figurative undertones, structures and symbols that hold a striking mirror to the times that we live in.
‘Kuttanadan Marpappa’ tries to make do with the done-to-death romantic tropes and ends up a much less assured version that it originally must have set out to be. The leaden comic touches do not much help either, and it isn’t a wonder that it ends up in the water, quite like many of its characters who literally do in the film.
Heartbreaking, hilarious and hopeful by turns, ‘Sudani from Nigeria’ is a glorious triumph whichever way you look at it, be it the exemplary performances, the proficient scripting or the competent direction. Words would probably do little justice to this gem of a film, that should not, at any cost be missed in the theatres.
The point that ‘Rosapoo’ is trying to get at, remains elusive throughout. The dull stretches are hardly smoothed out, and while trying to achieve too much, it settles for much less. Wrapped up in a glitter cover all around, ‘Rosapoo’ is a dreary box that springs up zero surprises on you when finally tugged open; a gauche comedy gawks at you from beneath the stylish production design.
Shamdat decides to go for a partly experimental account in ‘Street Lights’, but gets stuck with mostly one-dimensional characters in underdeveloped situations. With an add-on climax that goes on a few minutes even after all the action has come to a close, ‘Street Lights’ seems and sounds a bit too contrived to be real.
‘Carbon’ is a draining film; a confounding piece of cinema that requires as much an effort from the viewer to make sense of it, as from the film maker himself in its creation. This certainly isn’t its flaw, and where it tires the spectator out is in its decision to remain obstinately abstract throughout, conjuring up smoke swirls of obscurity and vagueness, and decisively dropping a cue here and there, driving the audience to connect together its disjointed pieces into a rational whole, and compelling them to hunt out the key to the puzzle.
‘Parava’ is a charming coming-of-age tale with a liberal dose of backtales thrown in. It does gallantly buck time-honoured storytelling strategies with innovative modes of its own, and yet leaves you with that faint regret that despite all its artistry and ambition, it’s not that absolute, flawless piece of cinema that would have left you in a daze.
Aji Mathew meanders across a road paved with grey stones in Nicaragua, where a girl dressed in a flaming red poof gown sashays down. This pretty much remains a visual statement on what the film is all about ; how empty it is beyond all the ocular flair that it displays, and how fleeting the impressions that it creates are.