Senna Hegde’s Winning Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, With Manoj KU And Ajisha Prabhakaran

Director: Senna Hegde

Solid: Anagha Narayanan, Ajisha Prabhakaran, Manoj KU, Unnimaya Nalappadam, Ranji Kankol

Based mostly on the 2 movies I’ve seen, the broad beats of Senna Hegde’s cinema are fairly… broad. The director’s second movie, Katheyondu Shuruvagide (in Kannada) was a few US-returned yuppie who opens a resort within the technique of “discovering himself”. Senna’s newest, Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, is in Malayalam, and the reply to “what’s it about?” is strictly what the title says: an engagement going down on Monday. The story revolves round a lower-middle-class father’s makes an attempt to make this occur (the lady is his second daughter Suja, performed by Anagha Narayanan) earlier than the groom-to-be flies off to rejoin work in Sharjah. There’s nothing “new”, right here, precisely. However so what? you might ask. Aren’t the story beats of most motion pictures the identical, and don’t we care extra about how these beats are narrated? Positive!

However it is a little completely different. Scratch the generic floor and also you’ll discover that the protagonist in each movies (the US-returned younger man, the harried father) just isn’t actually The Protagonist the way in which we normally outline the time period: as somebody whose journey will turn out to be the movie’s focus. In Senna’s world, the protagonist is a clothesline, on which he (and co-writer Sreeraj Raveendran) can dangle quite a few different characters, quite a few interlocking occasions. Typically, he even hangs a set of dinner plates. Early on, the daddy (Vijayan, performed by Manoj KU) chides his spouse Lalitha (Ajisha Prabhakaran, who’s beautiful) for wanting extra dinnerware. However when friends begin arriving halfway via the film, after we’ve virtually forgotten this early trade, we’re reminded of it. And never via “I informed you so!” dialogue between Vijayan and Lalitha, and never even via a glare she may need (justifiably) flashed at him. The reminder comes from the occasion itself, as the brand new arrivals wait for his or her flip to eat, as a result of the prevailing plates are being utilized by others.

About Katheyondu Shuruvagide, I wrote: “Most of our mainstream cinema thrives on occasion. Senna, as a substitute, builds a collection of ‘nothing’ moments, the place not a lot appears to be occurring till you look again, just a few scenes later, and see these moments had been truly about one thing.” That’s the attractive texture of Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, too. Bitter-gourd curry, a shaky eating desk (which, at one level, turns into a logo of Vijayan’s despair), an outdated resentment involving Vijayan’s older daughter Surabhi (Unnimaya Nalappadam), cups of black tea, the native loudspeaker that gives a relentless soundtrack, the language points with Bengali migrant employees, the murukku man relishes (it’s from an area girls’s cooperative), a lady’s proper to go to Sabarimala (even when the girl herself thinks it might be a sin): the whole lot turns into part of this small world. The worldwide is native and the native is world isn’t simply business-speak. It’s screenplay-speak, too. 

Probably the most fascinating scene is the one which opens the movie and units it up. We’re at what seems like a bus cease, at night time. We hear (however don’t see) two males. They appear to be ready for somebody named Suni. That’s how we come to know of characters, via offhand conversational bits. Even the apparently informal dialogue, in different phrases, is a clothesline, with hints about characters and occasions that can ultimately get clipped on. This stretch additionally lays out the visible grammar. (The cinematographer is Sreeraj Raveendran, who does spectacular double-duty). It’s what we name a “grasp shot”, taking in all all the scene at one go, with out edits. However in contrast to in a typical grasp shot, the digital camera wobbles — not within the vertigo-inducing shaky-cam sense we all know from the Bourne motion pictures, however simply gently sufficient to counsel a really delicate earthquake. This method is utilized repeatedly, and I obtained the sense of the unsteadiness of this small world and tremors inside its characters.

The movie is ready in Kanhangad. My ear for Malayalam isn’t fine-tuned sufficient to select region-specific nuances, however what issues is the nuance on this small sea of people that collect at Vijayan-Lalitha’s small residence. You anticipate a showdown between the person Surabhi is married to and the person who needed to marry her — it’s inevitable. This kind of factor is the mainstay of drama. What’s sudden is the loaded dialog between a bunch of ladies, centred on Surabhi’s thinning hair. The seems exchanged are priceless: we catch on to the dynamics between these folks in seconds, one thing that might have taken two pages of dialogue to convey. And when Ratheesh (the boyfriend, performed by Arjun Ashokan) tells Suja that he’s simply pretending to be courageous, I had a flashback to an earlier scene the place Vijayan unleashes all his “bravery” on his spouse however runs into the home like a mouse when the moneylender makes a go to. These small connections sit nicely, even when they flap away like free threads.

I obtained a giant snigger when Lalitha stood as much as the moneylender, exhibiting extra “bravery” than her husband — however with the movie’s explicitly “comedian character” (Ranji Kankol), the laughs appear pressured. The light situational humour elsewhere works much better. Then once more, this is extra “mainstream” in sensibility than the standard Malayalam film of this type, with a heavy nudge-nudge background rating (Mujeeb Majeed) and even a song-and-dance. (You could possibly say Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam exists in a zone between a broad Priyadarshan entertainer and the nuanced New Age Malayalam dramedy.) The one significant issue I had was with the ending. It’s tonally good: a burst of comedy when issues are getting super-serious, and a sensible spin on the “train the patriarchal man a lesson” scene, which is normally messagey and dramatic. However the brand new character launched at this level is simply too clearly “comedian”. However by then, the heat from this glorious solid, the heat within the writing had gained me over. The happily-ever-after feels genuinely earned.

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