Based in the southern state of Indian subcontinent, Kerala is the hub of Malayalam movies. There is a charm in the Malayalam film industry that not just the Indian audience, but also the admirers of this film industry are spread across the world. The most prolific fact about these films is the realistic point of view. Malayalam movies grab attention by the way its audience relates to it. It is a well-known fact that the introduction of new ideologies and fresh concepts are majorly given by the southern film making industry. Unlike Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood, Malayalam movies do not spend loads of money, time and efforts to create something totally unrealistic, rather they focus on maximum use of the already available resources. I already mentioned the main purpose of Malayalam movies is to catch their audience by realistic approach and one such film fulfilling all the aspects is Kumbalangi Nights.
ABOUT THE MOVIE…
Kumbalangi Nights is the directorial debut of the very talented Madhu C. Narayan. This Malayalam movie was released in the month of February in 2019. At a small-scale budget of just six crores, it proves that the recipe for a great film is not the budget of the film but the elements like script, screenplay, cinematography, performances and the music, which add up to make it a score in every department and the end result is something which will stay in your heart forever. The story of the movie revolves around a dysfunctional family of four brothers, who may also be referred as half-brothers, as they are not tied with blood but by fate. The absence of parents in their lives since childhood has left them almost directionless and with that comes the lack of expressions toward the bottled-up emotions.
Kumbalangi is a non-descript island or sort of a very small beautiful village in Kerala. The movie is a story of four brothers who live in another isolated part of a land surrounded by water also called a dump yard. The location of the movie is so spectacular that it can be observed that it has a character of its own. The three elder brothers Sajji, Bonnie and Bobby are good for nothing lazy lads, they are basically seen chilling out throughout the day. Even in the mid-day you can find them in local bars drinking. The story develops with its characters in the first half of the film. Even though the youngest of the four is Frankie, he is wisest of them all and despises his two elder brothers Bobby and Sajji who can fight and argue over anything and everything, they just need an excuse. The third brother named Bonnie keeps a distance from the elder two to avoid any kind of clashes with them.
By this time, you might start feeling that the gist of the movie is going to be how a dysfunctional family got cured and came together at the end, but actually the heart of the movie lies not in the process of healing of family ties, but healing of the broken parts inside humans as they encounter forgiveness, love and when they slowly learn how to express their emotions.
In the second half of the movie Sajji is seen hitting the rock bottom when he loses his dear friend and he partly blames himself for his friend’s demise. Sajji’s pain is reflected in the moment and one can feel it. Due to this guilt, Sajji continues to break down and eventually wants to change what he has developed himself into. The incident pushes Sajji to come face to face with all the emotions he has bottled up till for so many years. Then there comes the moment when a “man” who is always portrayed as some kind of specimen of strength and boldness, shows the traits of tenderness and is expressing his emotions freely when he seeks help from a therapist. The therapist even reassures Sajji that he is in a safe place and if he wants to cry his heart out, he can do that too. Parallel to this scene Bobby is observed to share his emotions to Baby, his love interest. Just like the therapist, Baby too listens intently without any interruption and makes Bobby feel at ease to express himself. Then the next scene will make you shed a tear or two as both the characters open up their floodgates and cry for the first time telling how all their lives they have missed the love of their parents and how much they really care about each other as brothers.
Contrasting to Sajji’s character you will witness yet another amazing character of Baby’s brother-in-law, who in his mind is a “Hero”. His masculinity lies in his pride which is never questioned upon. He is the embodiment of all that is wrong with the concept of masculinity.
Kumbalangi Nights got me thinking, how cinema holds the power to change and normalize certain things in our society. It is one of the most progressive Malayalam cinemas in recent times. This movie is a satire on the twisted definition of what masculinity is all about. The cinematography and music of the film is a treat for the eyes and ears. You will definitely feel like going to the place where the shoot is being done and meet the people in real time.
This movie portrays different meanings to different people but for me it is a way to address mental health, which might be a wide-ranging theme of this movie. But to know all the layers of the movie you have to watch it.
WHERE TO WATCH AND DOWNLOAD?
- Watch it on Amazon Prime Video with English subtitles.
- Download Movie from telegram: https://t.me/kumbalanginights_movie