Salim Kumar, who plays Abu, an honest 75 year old Muslim who lives with his wife Ayisumma (Zareena Wahab) amazes you with his incredible histrionic excellence. It’s indeed heartening that the national and state awards juries chose him for the best actor trophy for his splendid performance.
The story is happening in a remote village in northern Kerala, where the old couple lives with just one dream in their life – to go for the holy Hajj. Their son had left them after he got married to a girl from a wealthy family. With every penny that they painstakingly collect, the couple registers their names with a travel agent.
The director, who is also the scenarist, pours his heart and soul into the film and the honesty with which he has approached the film is there to be seen in every frame. The film is a visual treat with Madhu Ambat’s brilliant cinematography. The absorbing background score by Isaac Thomas Kottukappilly and the music by Ramesh Narayan take the film to an altogether different level.
Every actor in the film has done their role with lots of conviction. From Zareena Wahab, Nedumudi Venu, Mukesh, Kalabhavan Mani, Suraj Venjarammoodu, M R Gopakumar and Thampi Antony to those who have appeared in a scene or two like Sasi Kalinga and Jaffer Idukki, for instance, leaves lasting impressions in the viewer’s mind.
It’s perhaps an once-in-a-lifetime role for Salim Kumar and he gives subtle acting an altogether different meaning. He is just outstanding and his performance has been easily the best by any actor in Malayalam, during recent years.
There are a few situations intended to give a ‘classy feel’ like the character of Ustaad and his disciple, Hyder and also some characters which may have been used for an effect, like a Christian wood trader and a Hindu teacher who shows amazing compassion and support for the old man during some crisis moments. But then, all that acts in a positive way for this noble film.
Adaminte Makan Abu has done proud for Malayalam and will find its place among the most powerful films ever made in Malayalam. As a viewer, the easiest way to appreciate this gem is to watch it at the theatre, pronto. Don’t miss this one, it’s a must watch.