Have you been recently into a film that takes its own time to unfold its relevant strong topical theme, in a realistic manner? How many times have you find in recent films where the editors of commercial ventures are never forced to resort to jump cuts, editing gimmicks and unnatural tones?
And can you imagine a family entertainer extending to 170 minutes, but without a single song and still maintaining interest? Promising filmmaker Roshan Andrews in his new movie 'Ivide Swargamaanu' is making such a gutsy experiment, trying to narrate a pertinent storyline in the style that is inherent with classic films. Though this patterns may sound regressive to new age audience, 'Ivide Swaragamaanu' is definitely worth a watch for the refreshing air all around, that makes its stand apart from the regular stuffs.
Going back to the theme of love for land and labour, the movie has Superstar Mohanlal as Mathews, a self taught agriculturist and a farm house owner, who with the help of his family is maintaining a highly productive farmland, named after his father Jermias (Thilakan). Into their peaceful life arrives Aluva Chandy, (Lalu Alex) a wealthy scheming but idiotic businessman, who is hell bend to grab this beautiful piece of land in the banks of Periyar, as he has got heavy advances from an industrialist from the north eyeing to develop it into a big resort. Chandy and the big land mafia operating under him, goes by the routine, advertises their plans to develop the serene hamlet into a township, pushing up land prices, offering the local men big jobs, acquiring their pieces of land and pressurising Mathews to sell his farmland which is in the centre of the proposed project. He also uses the government machinery to create new troubles for Mathews in the form of pollution control boards, State financial corporation's loan debts and so on. The movie goes on to tell how the simpleton Mathews finds ways to fight this 'land mafia' and to survive the impending pressures to maintain his land for ever.
The movie makes an ordinary start but gradually builds up tensions and curiosity and the final hour of the movie is a scream, 'the best' in the offering with finely worked out scenes, few good wits and one liners. Though some sequences remind you of scenes of Midhunam to the recent 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', James Albert's story lines had got that sincerity in every dialogues and the protagonist also maintains his 'agrarian' directness in all his proceedings. Mohanlal as usual, has a cakewalk through the role of Mathews, who is never projected as a superhero, but as a helpless ordinary man with right dose of emotions and strains. But it is to Lalu Alex, the film rightly belongs to. Portraying the villainous Aluva Chandy in a peculiar manner that is characteristic to his own style, he has his best role of the decade, in the movie. The three lead ladies presented by Priyanka Nair who appear as Betsy, the Television journalist, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, in negative shades of the SFC manager, and Lakshmi Rai, who appear as Sumathy, the lawyer, does their parts well. The director has been able to bring out the best from every one in the cast lines including Thilakan, Sukumari, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Raju and Shankar.
In the downside, the movie could have been trimmed a bit, particularly in the former half where it meanders around unwanted territories, with little results. The equation of Lal-Thilakan and Kaviyoor Ponnamma, hasn't been utilised to the best which could have given much more life in the former half. And for the few who have the least interest in a theme related to agriculture, few scenes in the initial half may give an air of a docu-drama on agriculture and on maintaining farmlands.
The technical side of the movie is also pretty good with cinematographer Diwaker doing wonders with the lights of the desi locales. Art director Syril Kurvula also excels with his sets while Renjan Abraham in his editing could have applied his scissors, a little sharper in a few scenes. Gopi Sundar's background scores are also adequate and interesting.
Anyhow 'Ivide Swargamaanu' is a worthy watch for every connoisseurs of feel good cinema. Easily prescribed as one of the best from its director Roshan Andrews for its honorable and blameless intentions, the movie may work out well at the Box Office, if marketed intensively.