Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Manjadikuru is a whiff of fresh air

Director Anjali Menon's Manjadikuru (Lucky Red Seeds), which has already received appreciation at various prestigious film festivals, puts the viewer on a nostalgic pedestal.

In his likeable baritone, Vicky (Prithviraj) travels down memory lane to an old household in a remote Kerala village, which he had visited years back on a trip from the Gulf with his parents (Sagar Shiyas and Urvashi).

His grandfather had died and Vicky was witness to the intriguing mindsets of some of the adults there.

The members of the family were mainly keen on divvying up the ancestral property, and everyone had their own issues to sort out.

The tensions affected the warmth in their relationships to a great extent, but that didn't stop the young Vicky (Siddharth) from becoming friends with his cousins (Rijosh and Arathi Sasikumar), and also with a young Tamil maid, Roja (Vyjayanthi).

While the kids were busy trying to find money to send Roja back to her hometown, the elders were busy hatching plans to get hold of the fortunes.

The initial portions of the film show the contradictions in the thought process of the kids and the grown-ups. But it is later revealed that almost every individual has a noble mind; it's just circumstances that make them the way they are.

With superb visuals by Pietro Zuercher and music by Ramesh Narayan, the writer-director packages this cute film in a genuine way. Though it would have been more delicious had the length been a little shorter - mainly due to some of the songs that come in between - the film will deepen your attraction to this wonderful land called Kerala.

It is to the credit of director Anjali Menon that she has used the stars only to the extent that the script demands, without considering their 'off screen aura'.

Prithviraj makes his presence felt mostly with his spectacular narration. From Murali, Urvashi, Bindu Panicker, Rahman, Praveena, Sreedevika, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Sagar Shiyas and Sindhu Menon, all the actors have done their roles in an impressive manner.

Manjadikuru comes as a whiff of fresh air. Enjoy this fabulous debut of a new talent called Anjali Menon straightaway!

Verdict: Good


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