My Mother's Laptop' is a near perfect product for a generation who loves hardcore art house movies. Rupesh Paul, the young director of the movie, a journalist and writer, has honed his skills and begun to fulfill the promise he showed with his initial video films, through this movie. He has crafted a deceptively complex trilateral character study of maternal love, despair and unexpected compassion. However even with its stylistic promotions and bold multi layered narratives, the filmmaker may not be able to transcend its target market to reach a wider audience.
Based on a compassionate popular short story 'Parudheesa Nashtam' by Subhash Chandran, 'Laptop' proves a worthy adaptation that takes the appropriate liberties within the text to heighten character interactivity. The movie also layers a fetishistic trend of exploring illness and dis figuration of the female form in relation to their underlying sexuality and complex but sentimental needs.
'My Mother's Laptop' has Suresh Gopi as Ravi, a famous theatre artist who returns home after thirty long years, to find that his mother slipped into a coma state following some terminal illness. Enmeshed in an array of guilt and deep regrets of having deserted her, Ravi tries to complement by being with her all the days in hospital, rejecting his career and passions. He even can't accommodate his girlfriend Payal, who arrives back from Calcutta to console him and persuade him to return to his profession.
The film has several concealed layers of complexity about a man who is virtually lost in the memoirs of his mother and the love for her. The film explores how love can drift into obsession and how desire kindles uncontrollable emotions. The suggestions of Oedipus and of bedsores in the unmovable beautiful body, to the specimen taken after a total abdominal hysterectomy suggest so many manifestations of meanings as never before.
'My Mother's Laptop' is also an extremely well acted film by all in the lead and has some effectual moments of stillness that should sensitize even the most hardened cynic. While performances from a delightful cast are unsurprisingly strong, it is definitely Suresh Gopi who makes the most impact, delivering one of his careers best. The insecurities of Ravi are apparent beneath the surface of a man who keeps his emotions and past in check. His characterisations adapts well with Payal's(Padmapriya) unsophisticated but emotionally mature portrayal of a woman with youthful feminine sexuality. Shwetha as Ravi's mother also induce intense feelings, in each of the transitions to the past.Indu menon's explorations of each character throws in emotional truth and sincerity, though occasional detachment into unemotional perspectives like that of aadivasi mother and SEZ zones, prove pretentious.
The film emits a feeling of personal reflection and identification in those who embrace it without prejudice. Roopesh as a brainy director has not failed in delivering the emotive equivalence of the basic story, much in the earlier half. It is quite rare after the good eighties, that such brilliantly done subdued sexual implications, power of long silence and the tonal distinguishes are utilised with expertise in a mollywood movie. Roopesh partially falters to pull out enough substance in the later half, filling the sequences with often repeated shots. Largely depending on the wider shots, he fails to build up the desired intensity towards the climax but completes the narrative with elaan giving a worthy finish to the affairs...
The cinematographer of the movie, Vinod also shows a wonderful eye for frames and composition. He manages to stay intimate with the actors and the surroundings in an elegant way. The others in the crew including the art director sujith Raghav also rise above the mild hiccups, compensating with an amazingly focused intensity. A special ovation must be made for Sreevaltsan J Menon who with his songs and rerecording elevated the film to the level of international merit. Songs like 'Jala Sayyayil' by Kalyani Menon is definitely one of the best heard in the recent times.
Yes, the movie has some flaws and inconsistencies. Presumably much for the reasons of economy. But most of the movie is admirable as one cannot expect much wonders than this one that was made in a short take of just eleven days and a shoe string budget. The movie also reminds us that better art isn't all about creating beauty out of unsophisticated perceptible moments. All in all, this is definitely a feast for the connoisseurs of thoughtful cinema.