Critic's Rating: 3/5
Monday 10 November 2014
In a rather ordinary year for Malayalam cinema, here comes perhaps the finest movie of the year! Cinematographer and director Amal Neerad unleashes sheer magic on screen with ?Iyobinte Pusthakam?, a period drama that leaves the viewers spellbound.
The story happens over a period of some decades, in Munnar, where an Englishman named Harrison owned the tea plantations. After Harrison?s death, the ownership of the plantation and the hills reaches Iyob (Lal), his confidant and he continues to rule the hills, just like his English master.
Based on the quote from the Bible, ?It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right. (Job 32 : 9),? the film paints the intriguing lives of Iyob and his three sons, Dmitri (Chemban Vinod Jose), Ivan (Jinu Joseph) and Aloshy (Fahadh Faasil).
Aloshy flees from home pretty young, after witnessing the gruesome murder committed by his brothers, to join the Indian Navy. He returns home after being indicted as part of the Naval Mutiny. But his presence is seen as a hindrance by his ruthless brothers who are ruling the hills.
Meanwhile, a wily businessman named Angoor Ravuthar (Jayasurya) approaches Iyob for some deals and their rivalry turns out to be pretty costly for the old man. The coming of a group of communists and the presence of characters like Martha (Isha Sharwani) and Rahel (Padmapriya) makes the story more interesting.
The film is a visual treat. With a rather predictable plot, Amal Neerad presents breathtaking frames, which makes it a thoroughly engaging experience. The emotions, the dialogues and the grandeur are all conveyed spectacularly by Amal, who has also wields the camera.
The story has been developed mixing history and fiction. And there are no efforts to hide the stance of its makers when it comes to politics and their version of history. The mention about the industry?s dependence on satellite rights and also the colourful dance numbers including a surprise item song by Amala Paul which comes in between reminds the viewers that this one is meant to be seen as an entertainer. And it is a fantastic entertainer for sure.
Though the songs are perhaps only meant to suit the mood, the background score adds to the effect in a competent manner.
One of the many highlights of the film is the superb casting and their performances. Every actor has put their heart and soul into their characters. Fahadh Faasil, Lal, Padmapriya, Chemban Vinod Jose and Jinu Joseph need special mentions but the surprise package is Jayasurya, who is just terrific.
Iyobinte Pusthakam is delicious and it takes Malayalam cinema to an altogether different league. Grab a can of popcorn and enjoy this one pronto. It?s a must-watch by all means!
Time pass comedy entertainer
Average comedy entertainer
Decent rural family entertainer
Soubin Shahir and Mamta Mohandas shine in this conventional film