Monday, January 20, 2014

Movie Review: Fahad Fazil & Amala Paul Sizzle Together in Oru Indian Pranayakatha



It was a pleasure to watch Sathyan Anthikad's latest film "Oru Indian Pranayakadha" which marked the veteran director's clear departure from his signature style films. 
[Confession: I never miss a Fahadh Fazil movie. I am a HUGE fan of his right from Chappa Kurishu.

Of course, there are several other actors who play their part very well in this film but you should go watch the movie to enjoy it better. I don't want to spill the entire story here.

Right from the first scene, brace yourself to be bowled over by Aimanam Siddharthan, a young upcoming politician who leaves no stone unturned in his path to become an MLA. He charts out his every move to win the hearts of the people, gain visibility with the 'High Command' and extract political mileage out of every public appearance he makes. You get the feeling that he likes to have every move charted out in advance and planned in a way that reaps political dividends for his growth as a politician. 

But his plans fall apart when 'High Command' announces a new contestant (Hint: dynastic politics at play) and sidelines Aimanam Siddharthan altogether. Crushed, angry and feeling defeated, he wants to stay away from the place when his mentor is Uthup Vellikadan (starring Innacent) who is a seasoned politician asks him to do him a personal favor. The favor is to help Irene (starring Amala Paul) with her documentary film. It is here that Aimanam Siddharthan's well-planned life takes an unexpected turn, revealing the cosmic law that no matter how meticulously you plan every move in life, there's always a twist to it that happens for the better. 

Oru Indian Pranayakatha:  Laugh Out Loud Scenes
There is a scene where Irene tells Siddharthan about how men in Kerala tend to misbehave with women, His reaction displays characteristic wit and he tells her that he isn't one of them. He lists reasons and the last one being, "You aren't as good looking as the girl I am in love with." The way he says it is so witty that you can't stop grinning and Irene, after he leaves, goes to the mirror and looks into her reflection, searching for flaws. That, I tell you, is what almost every girl/woman would do.

Another scene: In the bus, they are traveling together. Siddharthan, in jest, complains about women jostling against him in the bus and how his image as a clean politician will be impacted by it. Then Irene sits next to him and starts pushing herself closer to him, her body pressing against him, her face inches away from him repeatedly almost touching yet not touching and the best part is that they both know she does all of this on purpose. 

The calm and cool Siddharthan starts to get so flustered, his expressions are so honest yet comical and finally, he refuses to get up at the bus stop when the bus halts and he keeps a most embarrassed expression that will drive you to laughter. What I liked about this scene is it's delivery - no cheap dialogues yet all the nuances of teasing are memorably captured. This detailing proves yet again that Sathyan Anthikad does not lose sight of his core audience - the families that flock to see his films. He keeps them close to his heart and to his style of film making.

Oru Indian Pranayakatha: Sathyan Anthikad's Magical Touch
As a Malayali, I have always enjoyed watching Sathyan Anthikad's films because they are so down to earth and brings in refreshing simplicity with a magical touch. In Sathyan Anthikad films, there is an unspoken guarantee that you can watch his film with your whole family. Interestingly, this movie marks a slight shift in the usual Sathyan Anthikad style of direction but change is good, that is how I see it. 

Some scenes are suggestive of the increasing boldness and intimacy between the hero and the heroine - this is something which I have not observed in any of his previous films. For instance, in this movie, there is a scene where Irene (the heroine starring Amala Paul) goes confidently to a textile shop and orders the inner wear for a very flustered Aimanam Siddharthan - this is a clear first in a Sathyan Anthikad movie.

Another difference - in most Sathyan Anthikad's movies that I have seen - the music is by Illayaraja and to me, as a listener, it has become somewhat methodical and predictable. But in this film, Vidyasagar's music is refreshingly young, well-choreographed and interestingly romantic in terms of display of love between the hero and the heroine. 


Oru Indian Pranayakatha: Fahad Fazil & Amala Paul Sizzle Together

Fahad Fazil, as Aimanam Siddharthan, is pleasing, convincing and natural. What I hadn't anticipated is that he would share a sizzling chemistry with the actress Amala Paul. As Irene, she is convincing, her body language is confident (as always) and her portrayal is just spot on. The two actors share a great sense of timing in dialogue delivery. But I do feel there are several scenes where her dialogue delivery seems unclear and certainly not as confident as her body language. 

Verdict: It's a feel good film and I enjoyed watching it. Go watch it in theaters.

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