Friday, July 1, 2011

Adaminte makan Abu

It is not a movie that defines simplicity. It is beyond that. It gave meaningful insights of my life in a very succinct manner. I don't have to be a poor man, or a Muslim, or a brilliant critic, or a rural person to understand it. That's the beauty of the movie. I have always believed that every human being has a good and negative spirit within him. But, one of them is always dormant for reasons better known to us. Abu reveals the good spirit that is perhaps dormant in many of us. Maybe it needs a reason like wanting to go to Hajj to unveil the positive energy within us.

There were subtle moments in the picture that made me smile wide open even though unintended. When Abu comes back home, discussing about his business not doing too well, he said about how people only cared about Gulf-made perfumes. Back in Muscat , every time an Omani woman would pass by swaying her abaya the rich scent of Attar would hypnotize my senses for few seconds. That strong was it's scent. Though all the young teen cousins of mine would demand for any, just any perfume that has an Arabic price tag on it , I would be gleefully looking at the Attar that would be kept on an exclusive shelf of the store.

The first time he woke up from a nightmare , deterred, which in contrary was a dream of his journey to Hajj , it not only showed how beautiful the experience was but also how difficult it is to get there. Dreams are my favourite . The only time you can just imagine you are on a roller coaster ride , licking your favourite praline and cream from Baskin Robbins , set in the middle of the Grand Canyon, blissfully closing your eyes to the beautiful Rahman number in the background. Where else can you picture all this that too for free??? :))

When Abu and his wife began their preparations for Hajj, there was this scene where the lady was posing for her passport size photograph. Once the photographer captures the face, there is this smile she gives to Abu that is kind of an approval of having done justice to all the time she took in getting herself ready for the moment. A smile of assurance that could mean so many things na? For some it is plain arrogance if you don't smile with your teeth shown, for some it means nothing more than diplomacy, for some it is a moment etched forever in their minds and for some - plastic. What I found more innocent was the way Abu jittered after he was photographed. The same kind of jitter that happens when you are caught unaware. That one expression was so captivating that I really had to take a moment from the reality of the character to appreciate the skills of the director, Salim Ahmed. Another scene that was humorous was when his wife thought that Mukesh's character resembles their only son who abandoned them, Abu , very bluntly, replies how good a person is Mukesh unlike their son. At a time when one would think he would remember his son and it would be one of those tear jerker scenes.. Salim Ahmed strikes yet again with a tinge of unintended humour :)

All said and done when Abu is unable to go to Hajj due to lack of funds, I really wanted to tell him that he doesn't have to go there to consider himself closer to God. Because, he already was God in disguise. To have a pure heart, a forgiving mind and honesty in it's own way very divine. But what made me realize that he (here I am referring 'he' to Abu & the common man) is not God and can never be one when he talked about why God never let him make it to Hajj despite his honest efforts and wishful thinking. Quoting the famous Om Shanti Om dialogue - Kisi cheez ko pure dil se chaaho, toh puri kayinat use tumse milane me lag jaati hai. I guess he didn't wish enough. In the climax - Abu and his wife were discussing about how they would have been celebrating at Hajj if they could make it on time , etc , there was a very valid point highlighted by him - How selfish a man is for his wants. We are never content with our needs and keep going to whatever extent possible to own everything we want. Abu, is too innocent by considering his idea of selling the tree, grown in his garden , a selfish deed. That was one of the ways to collect his money for Hajj. He felt God has punished him for doing that since the tree is also a living thing. A very thoughtful message. I don't know if there are any selfless deeds a man indulges himself into because at the end , Abu, plants another small sapling into the soil. With this deed he intends to go to Hajj the next year.

I don't want to underrate it by calling to simple, beautiful and meaningful. It is a movie that will surely open your eyes to the needful side in you that is inevitably hovered by the wishful side :) Don't watch it because you are a proud Malayali or because it won the National award. That way you'll only be able to clap hands during entitles instead of sinking into what Salim Ahmed has portrayed. This movie also speaks of how the 'superstar tag' is never a hindrance in creativity that is born out of such conviction. I'm luvin it :)

P.S. Sorry I am not a great writer who can ornament every scene in a manner by which I can compel you to watch this movie. Bare with it please :)


Krishna said...

Hi Neha,
Beautiful movie aint it! Amazing screen play n art, very glad that there are still people around who can make good movies. One clarification though, what did the maram cutting have to do wit him not being able to go to Hajj?

Neha Sasikumar said...

Abu felt that God had punished him for cutting the tree, which is also a living thing, and hence didn't fulfill his wish of going to Hajj. That is why he plants another sapling at the end of the movie.

Thomas Viruvelil said...

You have written well.
What touched me in the film is the acting or rather transformation of Salimkumar in to Abu
But I wonder whether there can be a person like Abu living anywhere in Kerala.I doubt it.People no more value so much for values and doing everything right and even finding reasons for misfortune to his own deeds(Like Abu did)
The film itself appeared to me as a dream unlikely to happen and to that extent it does not relate well to life in it's reality.That is a defect of the story line itself.
I am not an expert to talk on technicalities of the film like good or bad elements of directorial efforts.

Neha Sasikumar said...

The fact that he planted a sapling at the end of the movie.. was in a way showing his selfish side. Also, how he is angry with his son and is not willing to hear anything related to him is another believable trait. When he refuses to accept money from Mani .. it highlights his honesty the same time his ego I do feel there is a lot to relate with him..

Sashwath said...

Beautifully written . . I really like the way you have narrated your experience with the movie , Makes me wanna watch the movie . . Will surely when i get a chance. I really like the dream part

" Middle of the Grand Canyon, blissfully closing your eyes to the beautiful Rahman number in the background"

Really creative, Not sure these days it really so tough to be nice. Especially when people around you know you are nice and try to take advantage of it . I guess at the end what we choose to do is what defines us .

Keep Writing . . Keep singing . . :D

Thomas Viruvelil said...

First of all there is a technical error in that selling of plavu tree.It is too small to fetch Rs.60,000/- Any one dealing with wood purchase knows that there can be hollow inside a plavu.So Mony a wood seller could have and would have given that 60K free instead of paying for that tree.Director should have verified facts before picturising sale of tree like that.
A man who cannot try for "porutham" with his own son,trying for "porutham" with even old enemies.There is real mistake in that story line.At least there had to be an attempt of "porutham" with his own son.
Over all I can say that the story lacks credibilty and only thing that stands out is acting of Salim Kumar

Krishna said...

I hope you guys know the fact that this was inspired from a true story n tht Salim Kumar him self set out to meet this person n met him a few weeks bck.

The point we are missing here is tht no person, or his deeds for tht matter, is bigger than his dreams. Having said tht only the righteous path can lead us there.

Neha rightly pointed out tht Abu was being selfish by cutting down the tree n tht he paid a price for it. Well said! some how it skipped my mind.