Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chaappa Kurishu - A humble review

Please don't go ahead if you have not watched the movie because I have given away the suspense :)
Aararane ! Nyano neeyo araarane !

Over the flip of a coin around a 1000 true stories are portrayed through the conviction of a man, Sameer Tahir. Based on several MMS scandals that has happened in the past, and is happening even today, this movie goes beyond that basic concept, painfully showing the hovering of emotions and how it can require just one incident to trigger it off!

Ansari (Vineeth), who has been leading a very plain, dull life as a salesman at a supermarket; seems to be unaware of how it would feel to be the king of his kind of world. On the other hand, Arjun, who seems to be a Casanova, is somewhere deep down aware of how he plays his game. The two extremes are evident in every angle of their emotions. When love is blunt and so openly exposed between Arjun (Fahad) and Sonia (Remya); we have Ansari and Nafisa (Niveda) who speak it through the language of sight. One would call the latter 'old age’, but only if one could understand the whole universe of love that revolves around the beauty of silence. Sameer has shot few scenes so realistically...like how Ansari plunges his teeth into the banana, having bountiful bites at a time, hungry from a half day of tiresome work. There was so much of innocence on his face only to know what a crook he can be when he gets the power. In fact everyday he goes to have one porotta from a nearby eat out and is always ridiculed by another man for having to live on minimal food and sarcastically asks him to borrow money for a plate of Biryani. Also, loved how Nafisa took the first step of extending a hand of friendship towards Ansari, trying to make him comfortable and letting him know that he has someone to rely on since he is away from home.

After a steaming lip lock between Arjun and Sonia, their love making was intentionally captured on his mobile ,and from there begins the adventure of how these two extremes will come together for the same purpose. When Sonia becomes aware about the existence of Ann (Arjun's fiance), she gets into a bickering conversation asking him to back out from his wedding. During this mishap ,Ansari , who at that point of time was there to deliver a letter, happens to possess Arjun's phone that slips out of his hand in mere pressure of losing Sonia and having revealed to her about the their taped video. There are a few talks between the two main protagonists but what I thought was the beauty of this movie is, Arjun being absolutely unaware of how backward Ansari is when it comes to technology. The former is worried on having another stranger possess the clip but is totally unacquainted about how Ansari doesn't even know how to make a call from that phone!! But, it is only when Ansari feels cheated during their first meet (where he asks Arjun to come alone) when he spots two other friends of Arjun accompanying him to the discussed place (where the phone would be handed over), that the game begins ... Not only was Ansari disappointed ,but he also realized how everyone just took him too easy just because he had no power. Now that he knew that he had the phone that could bestow powers upon him, he wouldn't dare risk the chance of giving it all up too soon!

Right before the interval, there is a scene when Ansari calls Arjun to a park where he assures him of handing over the phone. Eventually he doesn't and ends up playing around with him, making Arjun do bold things which Ansari himself was insecure to do so. They both sit on either sides of a bench, a smirk slowly developing on Ansari's lips, a smirk that says it all. That one smirk is his acknowledgement of power, of remote control that is in his hands. It was the unveiling of the little demon that was triggered off from his dormant dream!

I love how Sameer has juggled with emotions, each commanding the other, depending from situation to situation. At one time, Arjun was so comfortable dealing with many girls at a time, but after having lost his phone it was only about Sonia that he cared. He just frantically searched the net to see if his MMS clip was uploaded, only to feel glad about its absence. If it wasn't for Nafisa's disappointment over Ansari's weird behaviour changes, leading to lies; maybe he would never give up his new found power. On Nafisa's word, he decided to return the phone back. There are a series of other phone calls between them and I was continuously wondering how the hell a phone battery stays that long. But, at this prompt moment, the battery dies and Ansari hands it over for charging at one his friend's shop. On the other end, Arjun was dying out of angst, helpless as to what he could do to get his phone back; what he was unaware of was how huge a scandal was waiting up the line for him.

Yes, the video is uploaded by the friend who charged his mobile and Sonia and Arjun end up becoming the libido factor for many of the perverts who enjoy the tape soon after. The climax is a fight sequence between the two which was full of anger, impatience and the urge to end the pain. There were no fashionable stunt scenes to highlight the muscles of our respective heroes which are exactly what made me applaud. It was a pure fight that was a mixture of guilt and fury. There was a point when both stood opposite each other, one contemplating the other's move; it was that moment which spoke about how scared and confused they both were of the consequence.

Another scoring point was how the female characters were given limelight. Sonia who is shattered with failure in love does not break into a dramatic outburst of tears, and very strongly speaks whatever is there in her mind. It somehow gave me a picture of how strong women are emotionally. We do know how to handle the worst of situations, and sometimes can save a sinking ship. After having learnt about her video on the net, there is a scene where she stops by in the traffic, through the rolled down windows one can see a guy handing over money to a prostitute. In a look one can get how she equates herself to the other woman across the road. For absolutely no fault of her's. Nafisa is so simply portrayed throughout the movie. She talks so little... but whenever she does it is like sweet music filling into my ears. There was so much of honesty and sincerity in her eyes, and this lady is so damn expressive!

Meanwhile, the end seems to be a sort of closure, in a more positive way, for everyone. Sonia, who contemplates on giving up her life, decides to move on and is surprisingly accompanied by Arjun who at last understood how truthful her love was for him. Ann, feels deprived of his love with this scandal churning up more hits day by day, but feels lucky to have survived the mistake of getting married to him. Ansari is a happy, young man now. He got to taste the power and at the same time feels good to have retaliated to whatever injustice (according to him) done to him. He lives his life the way he has to and ends up being served that one plate porotta yet again .. This time he does oblige to the ridiculed comment, and asks for those 50 Rs, believing he has earned himself a Biryani!

I loved every aspect of this movie. I don't think you should watch it just because it is experimental. I would refrain from using such terms as it will undermine the other highlights within the movie. I found Salt N' Pepper experimental too, only because it dealt with the most common topic, love, with edible delicacies and subtle humour. If one calls Chaappa experimental for its technical brilliance, then a movie would be incomplete as it only fulfills the technical side. But, Chaappa has everything from a strong story line, to brilliant casting to brilliant music ,by Rex Vijayan, complimenting every scene perfectly. Bravo! to the whole team of Chaappa Kurishu. Don't flip a coin over watching this movie, because you will miss one helluva movie if you lose it ;)


Manu Varghese said...

Just loved the film.. The way which the film has been picturized.. Matured acting by the young actors. Innovative and Interesting.. Malayalam film industry is on its changing period,I can say.. It shows,not superstars,not punch dialogues,not marketing,but the direction,casting,cinematography,script matters the most.. Inspiring. :-) een picturized.. Matured acting by the young actors. Innovative and Interesting.. Malayalam film industry is on its changing period,I can say.. It shows,not superstars,not punch dialogues,not marketing,but the direction,casting,cinematography,script matters the most.. Inspiring. :-)

Anonymous said...

Any way the plot is copied from "Handphone".The trailer from "21 grams".So what to be appreciated???wat experimental??and if u see the first one.the orginal is better.more convincing.well presented.

Neha S. Nair said...

I agree.But so are some other great Malayalam movies like Thalavattom. And they could have given an inspirational note /credits to the original. But nevertheless I still loved the recreation and I felt it had some very individualistic elements that belong to the director.

Anonymous said...

this combination of careful planning with original ideas is what makes the the difference between creative people and the rest!! ..

Neha S. Nair said...

Yes, and I did find a lot of creativity in this movie too. Apart from people giving it high reviews mostly for it's technical side, this dark cinema communicated a lot more to me- a helpless momentum of consequences ,orbiting around 5 lives succumbed to emotions are put in a very straight forward manner.

Appu N. Bhattathiri said...

Good one...

Hari said...

Something about the movie struck me real hard! The contrast in sophistications of the two main characters was most clear when Ansari picks up the phone and Arjun blabbers a lot in english to this Ansari replies "Ingalkku Malayalam ariyumo?"

Everything is shown raw but yet so beautifully, IMHO :)