Cast: Nitya Menen, Asif Ali

Direction: Sibi Malayil

Music: Anand Raj Anand

Genre: Family Drama

Plot: Conventional story on 3 Christian women set in Fort Cochin

Bottomline: Romancing despondency

Now that Nitya Menen is spreading her wings to Telugu movies, the Malayalam movie Violin gets dubbed in Telugu with a Hindi title that is not , apt for the story at all. Three women, Angel and (Nitya) her maternal aunts — Annie (Lakshmi Ramakrishnan) and Mercy (Reena Basheer) are seen doing only three things… going to the church, baking cakes and looking at men with disdain. If Angel isn’t doing any of the above mentioned, she plays melancholy tunes on a violin gifted by her mother, as her aunts watch the niece adoringly. The young, fiery and angry Angel is the custodian of her aunts (mother’s sisters). She is always seen riding a cycle, trashes anyone who looks at them or even dare take photos with the cell phone but eventually the man hater falls in love with Abey (Asif Ali) who comes to live in the upper portion of their house. Guitar playing Abey, who considered Rosevilla (Angel’s home) as a tigers’ cave, soon enters the ‘forbidden territory’ by winning their hearts, much to the chagrin of the neighbours who have been kept at bay for years.

Dil Se begins well but gradually loses its depth and begins to resemble an antique piece. It is predictable alright but the twist in the tale comes in the last half an hour, raising hopes that something magical could transform the seemingly never-ending gloomy story. However, what you finally get is a very regular melodramatic, formulaic ending. There is flashback narrated by Angel to Abey about her family, how her father has been killed by her mom and how she later suffers from a mental disorder and dies leaving her sisters to take care of Angel — that is the reason for Angel’s broody and defensive behaviour. The music therapy fails to connect after a certain level. Abey’s presence livens up the proceedings and all the three women come out with winning performances.

Nitya Menen comes up with intricate expressions and the camera captures her moods unfailingly. The dialogues, the costumes, the locations and the ambience are reminiscent of a small place in Cochin, but the second half doesn’t hold your attention at all. The film attempts to be realistic but falters meaninglessly towards the climax. Ironically, another Sibi Malayil film that released recently Apoorva Ragam and dubbed as 50% Love too had an ending where at least more than one person dies. If you are in a mood to drown yourself in sad tunes, Dil Se is the film