Manju Warrier's movies click not just at the box office but in almost every Malayali's heart. She brings an element of ''something special" in every movie she does. Another reason is trust. You can trust her films to be clean family entertainers - which is also the case with her latest film, C/o Saira Banu.
In a recent TV talk show with Rimi Tomy, Manju Warrier was asked why she wears very simple clothes for award functions and TV shows. Her reply was, "The truth is that I look good only in simple clothes." This authenticity is what makes Manju Warrier stand out as bold and beautiful.
[Image: C/o Saira Banu Facebook page ]
In Malayalam cinema too, no other actress has been able to pull off complex woman protagonists with the effortless poise and simplicity that Manju Warrier has. She is the woman who lives next door, the one we can all connect to and sometimes she reminds us of ourselves - the struggles, the challenges, the choices that she has to make while tackling problems.
In Antony Sony's debut movie as director, C/O Saira Banu is a heartwarming family drama that goes beyond the realm of exploring the mother-son relationship, taking on a bigger war between Truth and Justice within a courtroom battle. There are minor flaws and gaps in this movie but none of it feels critical because of the loving energy that soaks up almost every scene in this film. [DO READ: LAVENDER Movie Review]
This movie also packs in a powerful courtroom performance by Amala Akkineni, who was a heartthrob in South Indian cinema and is a much-loved actress in Malayalam cinema through her two stunning performances in Ente Sooryaputhriku and Ulladakam. Amala's performance, makes this movie truly one that is worth watching. Shane Nigam is a powerhouse of talent and refreshingly natural in his style of acting. [Do Read: MUMBAI POLICE: MOVIE REVIEW]
The story of C/O Saira Banu revolves around a mother and her son, whose conversations are so natural and refreshing to watch. They have several problems but they also have an amazing relationship that is strengthened by a 'naadan' sense of good humor. For instance, when Banu finds out that her son got kissed by a girl during '''Kiss of Love" protest march, she takes it in a refreshingly funny way. Throughout the movie, Manju Warrier speaks and conducts herself naturally like any other mother. She is most striking towards after the second half of the movie and steals the thunder from Amala who holds her ground strongly as a powerful rival.
[Image: C/o Saira Banu Facebook page ]
However, the scenes that had me glued to my seat began after the interval, particularly where Banu takes on advocates and how the flaws in the legal system come to light. There are subtle, power packed messages which Banu highlights - she asks the Judge why law cannot be taught as a basic subject so that every citizen has a basic idea of how things work and one doesn't have to be at the mercy of lawyers who play cat-and-mouse games with their clients. [Do READ: PREMAM Movie Review]
You are told that there are some lawyers like 'Annie' whose names are enough to get the order they seek without even having to argue the matter - this is one of the most powerful truths that Banu's story reveals. In practical courtroom battles, it is a lawyer's ''name" and "connections" that holds more weight than the "truth" of the argument itself. This movie treats the perception of justice and courtroom battles more truthfully.
Another scene that held my attention is where Banu is advised that there are egos at stake - advocates who would fight a case just to spite another or win over another. These little details are important and practical details that hold weight in an actual courtroom battle but typically these very practices are not highlighted in movies. The networking, the names of advocates and the good faith they hold are not considered important enough to be highlighted in most films.
For fans of clean family entertainers, this film starring Manju Warrier, Amala and Shane Nigam is a memorable treat. Go watch this in theaters!