|Fahadh Faasil, Andrea Jeremiah|
With characters, places and situations that are all shockingly familiar, it is as if you are being part of the action that is happening right around you. This is a simple love story, narrated in a breathtakingly fantastic way, with every frame conveying the passion of those who made it.
Resul (Fahadh Faasil) is a taxi driver, who lives in a modest area in Kochi. After a while, he meets Anna (Andrea Jeremiah) and though he is instantly smitten by her charm, she takes some time to express her feelings. But things don't happen the way they would have liked.
As anyone who is familiar with Kochi, it's another world with a different culture that may not be similar to the rest of the world. The people are passionate and honest but too emotional and they tend to react in extreme ways at times. Some of them try to pose themselves with a modern style and some others keep bundles of cash in their drawing rooms, content living a rather ordinary life.
It's all real and eminently delicious. But then the problem starts as it all goes on and on without an end. The story unveils through the narration of Resul's friend Ashley (Sunny Wayne). After a rather detailed picture of a section of Kochi, the focus shifts to the tumultuous love story.
But here the emotions are barely conveyed using words and instead through the eyes of the two. And it becomes really effective as well. Yesteryear singer Mehboob's songs have been intelligently used in the film and it takes the viewer on a nostalgic trail straightaway.
Still, there is no room for candyfloss romance here. The characters are real and they have to face situations as anyone would face in our daily life. The brilliance of the film lies in sketching that picture so vividly on screen.
The influence of Anurag Kashyap's Bollywood film Gangs of Wasseypur, for which Rajeev Ravi wielded the camera, can perhaps be felt at times though.
Some questions remain in the minds of the viewers as the end titles start rolling, with a rather ill fitting tail end. At close to three hours, the film is tad too long and it gets tiring for the viewers in between. Anna maintains a 'stoic look' all along until the very end and it is left to the viewer to imagine what is going on inside her mind most of the time. Though the film goes into sub plots, like the love story of Ashley for instance, some crucial aspects are left unexplained for the viewer to mull over.
Fahadh Faasil, who has emerged as one of the finest actors in Malayalam screen, is just terrific. His subtle expressions are a treat to watch. Andrea Jeremiah gels perfectly to her mysterious character. Sunny Wayne underlines why he is regarded as one of the most talented actors to have happened to Malayalam cinema during recent times and his narration sets the mood very well.
Then there are quite a few actors, who have brief roles but make a significant impact. Watch out for some amazing performances from Shine Tom Chacko, Aashiq Abu, P Balachandran and Srinda Ashab, to name a few.
Annayum Resoolum has sincerity written all over it and is one of the strongest movies to have happened in Malayalam during recent years. Yes, it may be far from perfect, but it's in an altogether different league and can spearhead the concept of films here in a new direction. Don't miss this one!