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No dancing dupattas, just eyes that speak

S.R. Praveen
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Reels of Reality:Fahadh Fazil and Andrea Jeremiah in Annayum Rasoolum
Reels of Reality:Fahadh Fazil and Andrea Jeremiah in Annayum Rasoolum

Film: Annayum Rasoolum

Starring: Fahadh Fazil, Andrea Jeremiah,

Sunny Wayne

Direction: Rajeev Ravi

In romance movies, the nature of the first meeting between the lead couple usually sets the tone for what is to follow later.

Resul and Anna first catch a glimpse of each other when he is in the middle of a car heist along with his friends, an act which is one of the few aberrations in the life of an otherwise well mannered and law abiding taxi driver.

As he speeds down the highway, she comes out of nowhere and gets trapped in front of the car.

He slams down the brake, they stare at each other for a while and they each go their own way. No fluttering duppattas, no falling leaves and not even a clue of a mushy romance. All one feels is an underlying tension, which is how the rest of the narrative proceeds.

Directed by cinematographer turned director Rajeev Ravi, ‘Annayum Rasoolum’ is a peek into the lives of two lovers (played by Fahadh Fazil and Andrea Jeremiah) who belong to the struggling class of Kochi, she the sole breadwinner of a conservative Christian family and he a taxi driver. He pursues her around the backwaters, in the boat taxis and through the narrow alleys of Kochi.

The only response from her is a stare or a reluctant smile, both of which effectively conveys her fear in plunging into a relationship.

Their relationship, even when it blooms, is marked by silence. Only a handful of short dialogues are exchanged between them. The rest of the frames are filled with raw expressions, with a few guitar strains in the background. Even in that long sequence where her brother and his fellow goons beat him up and she screams out in pain, all their sounds are muted with a soaring string section playing in the background. The narrative never slips into the realm of the melodrama; rather it is marked by everyday scenes of struggle.

The romance is situated amidst snippets from the lives of a handful of other characters, each of whom adds to the charm of it and gels with the story, rather than sticking out as sore thumbs. Be it the violent life of Resul’s friend Abu (Shine Tom) and his wife’s (Srinda Ashab) worries of their future or his brother’s (Aashiq Abu) fruitless quest for a passport to the Gulf. The movie proceeds through the narration of Ashley (Sunny Wayne), who himself is mending a broken heart.

The performances of the support cast are worth recalling; even those who appear in a handful of scenes like her mute father (Joy Mathew of ‘Amma Ariyan’ fame). Not to forget Fahadh’s brilliant essay full of subtle expressions.

Andrea has done what was required of her character. A few more dialogues for her would have made it complete.

The live dubbing drowns out certain dialogues; still the Kochi slang which is maintained throughout the movie is a delight. Madhu Neelakantan’s cinematography gels with the spirit of the locales. Rajeev Ravi, a master behind the camera, proves to be in command. ‘Annayum Rasoolum’ is a tale that moves leisurely. It speaks of love beyond the cosmetic (unlike Thattathin Marayathu), where the eyes speak rather than dupatta's flutter.

S.R. Praveen

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