Aadaminte Makan Abu, directed and co-produced by Salim Ahammed, portrays the struggle and strong desire of an old Muslim couple Abu (Salim Kumar) and Ayshu (Zarina Wahab) to go on the holy Hajj pilgrimage. The film conveys a universal theme along with many aspects of human relationship beyond caste and religion.
Abu, a perfume seller who lives with his wife in north Malabar, is an orthodox Muslim. Sathar their son is a beneficiary of the Gulf boom in Kerala, and is financially well off and settled in the Middle East. Sathar intentionally ignores his parents representing a generation whose values and ideas about blood relationship have radically changed.
Despite belonging to different social strata the villagers come to Abu’s help. They include a Christian merchant – Johnson played by Kalabhavan Mani and a Hindu school teacher played by Nedumudi Venu.
Man’s bias towards nature and to his co beings is depicted with the representation of a jackfruit tree and a domestic cow which Abu sells with a heavy heart for money to go on the pilgrimage. Abu’s characterisation is vivid, and the real merges with the milieu. We see him cursing himself for cutting the tree thereby destroying the habitat of innumerable living things.
Despite his best efforts to raise the required money Abu fails miserably and was forced to cancel his trip. Abu gets offers of help but the self righteous and proud Abu refuses to take any money from people other than his blood relations. The movie ends on a serene note, celebrating human resilience and never ending pursuit of happiness.
Salim Ahammed’s debut film bagged several awards including 2010 Kerala State film awards and 58th national film awards for best actor, best background music, best film, best screen play, best actor, best cinematography, best feature film and best music direction. The film was the official entry of India in the category of foreign films at the Oscars.