Sunday, March 29, 2015

English - A Shyamaprasad film

      Movie about keralites settled in London. Captures a lot of life. Lot of content/ insights in the movie.So many stories interwoven beautifully and all stories have things to tell you.
       Generation difference 
       Captures the generation difference between Mukesh/wife and their daughter. Kids are portrayed as being resistant to speaking in malayalam. Teenage insolence. However, when a group of thugs come in to their shop and starts to ransack the place, Mukesh is unable to handle it while the daughter comes out and shouts and chases male thugs away.
      Elder son / younger son of old woman
      Mukesh is the elder son and takes care of his mother at their house. His younger brother is not portrayed as a bad person. He seems to be unaware of how his own irresponsibility and his being overwhelmed by his own work / family has put so much more burden on to his brother.
      Daughter in law
     Mukesh's wife, who needs to take care of his mother gets frustrated due to the mounting tasks on her plate.She is a good woman but is stretched thin by her work pressure, her kids, taking care of the mother etc.
      Nivin Pauly
       Portrayed as a bachelor playboy chasing girls, not too keen to acknowledge himself as a malayalee. He is yet to meet a girl whom he wants to see in the morning again. He gets close to his friend's wife played by Remya Nambeeshan and sees in her the girl he is looking for for a long term relationship.
    Both Remya and Nivin develop a liking for each other and Nivin is portrayed as someone able to take the relationship further if he decided to.  And he calls on his conscience and decides not to.
      He is seen as starting to transforming himself after and acknowledging his own malayalee culture much more easily.
     A well accomplished doctor, as a function of his stressful work life potentially ends up in a homosexual relationship with an english junior doctor. He is the senior doctor you and I would meet in a top notch insurance paid hospital and a father of two kids.
    Nadiya moydhu - Doctor's wife
     She has always been a house wife and is mostly an ideal mother / ideal wife. She is conservative and wants to go back to India. As she chases her husband around town, she gains confidence and confronts her servant's husband about their domestic violence.
    Helplessness of Mukesh as he has a bad dream of his daughter running away from him with an african. He is unable to exert any influence on his insolent daughter and is essentially helpless in having her walk the way he thinks she should.
     Daughter, herself is put into a new culture and tries to conform to the current trend, facing opposition from her family. She is stretched across the two 'worlds'.
     He is the gentle 'shudhdhan' who has trained himself in 'Kathakali' and loves his childhood sweet-heart deeply and writes her letters every night.  He gets into a fight with his boss over a degraded portrayal of his art form and loses his job and his dwelling. He does through a lot of hardships and gets robbed facing all the terror. His colleague finds him in the streets and instills him back to the same job - something that would never happen back at home.However, there is hardly any other options in London and it is a fair choice for him.
    All these characters and lives are beautifully woven together and to me, exposes the narrow world that these people are forced to live in.  There are only as many bonds as there needs to be. Hardly any backup. Mukesh has to take care of his mother. He has no-one to rely on except himself.  Jayasurya has no option to have a difference of opinion with his restaurant owner. When he does that, he loses not only his job, also his dwelling. When Nadiya moydhu finds his husband in an illicit relationship, she hardly has any alternative to take care of herself and her family.
    Mukesh hits the limit on having to make all decisions about his bed-ridden mother when his brother forces him to single-handedly have to take the decision to take his mother off the ventilator.
      These off shore keralites have tried to re-create their own lifestyle fabric in London and it clearly is a much weaker fabric than what they had back in Kerala. The reason is very straightforward. The years that have gone into making the fabric in kerala have not gone into making of that kind of a fabric in Kerala,London.
     I watched this movie while I am in Atlanta and hence the movie felt very relevant to me.I can see me not being able to connect to the movie if I had watched this when I was back in India. Clearly, a life abroad does leave a lot of wish for even while it presents so many opportunities that are not present back in the poorer home country.

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