By: By Moviebuzz
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Sunday 05 July 2009
Manoj K Jayan, Swetha Menon
It's true that director Madhu Kaithapram's Madhyavenal (Mid-summer) is an honest effort. There is a pretty serious storyline that looks into some idealistic mindsets that find it difficult to digest the effects of globalization and modern ways. But sadly, the narration that shows promise in the beginning of the film, loses its grip after a while.
Kumaran (Manoj K Jayan) is a devoted local leader of the Communist party and lives with his wife Sarojini (Swetha Menon) and daughter Manikkutty (Niveda), in a village in Kannur. They are happy with their modest surroundings but the coming of a new generation bank affects the equations in a big way.
Praveen (Arun), the wily bank officer, earns the confidence of the locals and when Kumaran opposes the party's 'soft line' towards the bank, he is thrown out of the outfit. Though he manages well for himself by focusing more on agriculture, he dies soon and things go really bad for his family from then on.
Well, in all fairness, the film has its nice moments and some genuine thoughts as well. The apathy towards new developments could be justified, but it's indeed weird when the whole blame for every wrong doing is put merely on the new bank and its officer.
And it is also disturbing to see Sarojini let her teenage daughter live life on her on terms! In the end, we get the feeling that the director is trying way too hard to make the film look very serious.
Swetha Menon (the glam girl of Bollywood) looks pretty convincing in an ordinary cotton saree, without any makeup and living in accordance with the Gandhian ideologies, even using a charkha to weave her clothes and leading rallies as a rebel leader! Remember, the whole story is being narrated focusing on her character.
Manoj K Jayan looks okay as well in his rather brief role as a hardcore idealist. Niveda has role pretty similar to the one in Veruthe Oru Bharya, which won her the award for the best child artiste in the Kerala State film awards. Actors like Irshad, Augustine and Arun, in the supporting roles, needs a mention for their impressive performances.
The beauty of Kannur has been shown with fabulous visuals by cinematographer M J Radhakrishnan. The song Swantham Swantham?, written by Kaithpram Damodaran Namboodiri and composed by Kaithapram Viswanathan, is quite good.
Madhyavenal, though good in parts, is perhaps pretentious and rather too long. Why do our filmmakers turn to the same old villages, to the same issues like globalization for instance and narrate them at an irritatingly slow pace to make their films look serious? Folks, what we look forward to are some interesting stories with good scripts.
Time pass comedy entertainer
Average comedy entertainer
Decent rural family entertainer
Soubin Shahir and Mamta Mohandas shine in this conventional film