Critic's Rating: 17/5
Sunday 24 March 2013
Lijo Jose Pellissery
Fahadh Faasil, Indrajit, Swati Reddy
When was the last time you came out of a film wishing you could go back in and watch it again? It's not often that there happens a film like Amen. With top-notch visuals, magnificent narrative style, superb performances from the entire cast, this is a shockingly spectacular experience that takes you to an altogether different world.
The story is happening in a village called Kumarankary in the backdrop of a Christian church. The all-powerful vicar Fr. Ottaplackan (Joy Mathew) believes in an orthodox world and is generally against the emergence of new thoughts, just like most of his parishioners. Meanwhile, the altar helper of the church, Solomon (Fahadh Faasil) is in love with Sosanna (Swati Reddy), who hails from a wealthy household.
As the parish seriously discusses whether to retain the church's band that had lost to the rival group in the earlier band competition, a young priest Fr. Vincent Vattoli (Indrajit) takes charge under Fr.Ottaplackan. He is stylish, dares to defy conventions and is in support of the romance between Solomon and Sosanna. His actions irk the senior priest and things take a serious turn after a while.
You may like the theme here or not and there are chances that you may feel uncomfortable with the fart jokes and the use of some expletives. Also, the story tends to move along in a predictable way, especially towards the film's climax. But there is no way you can't be mesmerized by this visual spectacle. The sincerity of those who made this film is written in every frame.
Lijo Jose Pellissery, who made critically acclaimed films like Nayakan and City of God earlier, proves that he is one of the finest talents in business. The screenplay and top-notch dialogues by P S Rafeeque, based on the director's story is truly commendable. Abhinandan Ramanujam's outstanding cinematography is going to be discussed for a long time from now. Prasanth Pillai's music is impressive as well.
Amen boasts the best performance you will see by an ensemble cast in a long time, and that includes even the bit players. Among the actors, Indrajith is witty and genuine as the young priest, he gives evidence of his potential when trusted with well-written roles. Joy Mathew just shocks the viewer with his looks and style and Swati Reddy is bubbly and beautiful.
But then, all the actors regardless of the length of their roles, underlines their eminence with well-written characters. Kalabhavan Mani, Sunil Sukhada, Sasi Kalinga, Kulappulli Leela, Nandu, Sudheer Karmana, Anil Murali and Makrand Deshpande need special mentions.
But the story is about Solomon and with another spectacular performance; it is Fahadh Faasil who tells the world why he should find a place among the finest actors ever in Malayalam cinema. He is spontaneous, lovable and limits his presence to certain mannerisms. But this actor continues to surprise everyone with his versatility and terrific screen presence.
When most films move out of your mind minutes after you leave the theatres, Amen just grabs you in a fantastic way. It is has its flaws for sure, but just don't miss this gem. Two big thumbs up and a must watch recommendation for Amen!