On a lighter vein, the posters of Artist announce Shyamaprasad as the creator of Rithu. Let's make a conjecture. Those posters say a lot about Artist as well, since the filmmaker want to highlight his most 'popular' venture and not the rest of his mostly boring, philosophical sagas that rarely managed to connect with the viewers!
And the director surprises for sure. Artist, based on a story by Paritosh Uttam, is a fantastic tale that shakes you up with the way it delves deep into the minds of the lead characters and with some riveting performances.
Michael Agnelo (Fahadh Faasil) is a gifted painter and an eccentric man. His junior at the fine arts college, Gayatri (Ann Augustine) falls for him pretty easily and the two start a live-in relationship, surviving the stiff opposition from Michael's Goan based businessman dad and Gayatri's conservative Brahmin parents.
Their romance is blaringly realistic, with Gayatri being forced to act more matured than her age to stay cool even as her beau is an arrogant and selfish guy. Of course, they love each other in their own special ways. But all the happiness is cut short when Michael meets with a fatal accident.
In less than 110 minutes, Shyamaprasad skillfully sketches the lives of a few characters in your heart. Sham Dutt's visuals and Biji Bal's music helps him in the process in a big way.
But the highlight of the film is definitely the spectacular performances of Fahadh Faasil and Ann Augustine, who give their heart and soul to their characters.
Fahadh proves once again why he is regarded as the finest actor of his times. The egoistic nature of his character is carried on to the screen with some brilliant lines and also with a finesse that is rarely seen in Malayalam films these days, when it comes to acting.
Ann Augustine makes you spellbound with a mesmerizing performance that will haunt the viewer for long after they come out of the theatres. The story is being narrated from her point of view and she looks convincing to the core.
The supporting cast in the film needs a special mention, with each one of them making their presence felt in a big way.
Artist may be far from perfect, but it can leave you shocked for sure. When bold experiments that defy conventional formulas can only take Malayalam films to a higher level, this one needs to be appreciated for sure. Don't miss this passionate attempt!
Verdict: Very Good