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Alif Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Monday, March 2, 2015 • മലയാളം ]
Alif Review
Lena, Kalabhavan Mani, Joy Mathew, Irshad, Zeenath and others.
MK Muhammed Koya
MS Biju
Pandit Ramesh Narayan

After getting fine reviews from IFFK, the much discussed ‘Alif’ from debutante director N K Muhammed Koya is finally out to theaters. A bold movie which discuses relevant issues holding a mirror to religion and its applications, ‘Alif’ is a deftly scripted, brilliantly acted and tautly directed flick.

Alif’ resonates the struggles of a Muslim family, basically comprising of women. It has Lena as Fathima, the grand-daughter of the late Kunhiamman Sahib (Nedumudi Venu), a freedom fighter and a progressive thinker. Divorced  by her husband Abu (Irshad) just because Fathima and her mother Attabiwi (Zeenath) won’t allow him to pawn the land on which their house stands, Fathima's kids Ali and Sainu are still unable to understand why their father has left them in the lurch.

The family now contains of Kunhiamman Sahib’s widow (played by Nilambur Ayisha), Sahib’s daughter Attabiwi, Atta’s daughter Fathima and Fathima’s kids. Trouble starts as Fathima questions a speech by a local preacher, whose interpretation of the holy quran is  unassumingly biased towards serving the man's pleasures. But a woman questioning religion is not pardonable, and the whole community starts to react to the family, which is ostracized pitilessly.

Even the children are deprived of entry into the local madrasa. The already struggling Fathima now reaches a breaking point, but soon she decides that living their  life comes before religion. And how she takes control over her life forms the rest of the movie.

The highlight of the movie is that  even while discussing a tale that is controversial, it very rarely is judgmental, with the blame never placed on any religion.  The statements are made, that too in a non-violent manner through the four generations of women who suffer identically. They forms the mouthpiece of millions of women out there from all castes in a patriarchal society who are subjected to ill treatment and misery, citing biased observations from religious teachings. Though the deliberate support of communism occasionally fell a little overt, it also strike a balance by citing that not everyone in the religion is corrupt. Each of the characters in the frame are manifestly identifiable, with discussions always in the sensitive plane. The movie goes into an example of perfect film making with a fine, rousing climax.

Lena puts up an impressive performance all through and appears one of the best roles that she had been with, though the  sophistication in her body language shows at times. But  senior star Zeenath steals the show with her powerful performance as the strong yet defenceless Aatha,with very controlled performance, that never go overboard.

Others seasoned actors in the fray also offer gripping performances, whether it is  Nilamboor Ayesha as the ailing grandmother, Nedumudi Venu as the late grandfather who is a pillar of  strength to Fathima, Kalabhavan Mani as the good Samaritan, practicing communist , Joy Mathew , Ershad and even the child artists..M J Radhakrishnan's splendid cinematography as you expects, capture the very quintessential spirit  of the film, while Ramesh Narayan's striking musical score  gel well with the plot and the theme..

‘Alif’ is one movie that is  a must watch for its cinematic sincerity and bold theme which is elated by its sensitive directional calibre of  N K Muhammed Koya. Undoubtedly, this is one good movie of the year, to make  it into the list of bests in 2015.

Rating - 7/10




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