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Bombay March 12 Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, July 8, 2011 • മലയാളം ]
Bombay March 12 Review
Red Rose Creations
Mammooty, Roma, Jagathy, Jagadeesh, Manian Pillai Raju, Irshad, Sree Raman, Sarayu
Babu Janardhan
Haneef Mohammed
Afzal Yusuf

'Bombay March 12' defy the stereotypes. It doesn't have lead men who do all the heroics, nor do they break into songs and dances. Not a love story, it is not an action movie or drama either. And even, it is not filmed at stunning locales in India or abroad. Instead, it is a tale that narrates the fates of men whose life gets affected with the after effects of terror acts done by someone else. Making a point about current day's situations where  a person who hardly has no connections with events gets victimized due to his name and religion, this debut feature by Babu Janardhanan is hard-hitting cinema with many moments that you can carry home.

The movie told in a disjointed pattern follows the life of Sameer (Mammootty), a municipality sweeper who is always under suspicion due to his brother-in-law Shahjahan (Unni Mukumndan), who is named as a terrorist and is killed in an encounter by the Army in the Andhra Border. Sameer and his wife Abidha is summoned before law many times and is repeatedly questioned so as to frame them as supporters to terrorist acts. And on the very next day of the Coimbatore blasts, Sameer is taken by the I B officers, following his phone call to the blast site.

In this daringly unusual attempt which reminds of a realistic documentary, the narratives move on back and forth, peeling off layer by layer into the core text. And a watchful viewer can only comprehend the complexities of the ride, which is the highlight and pitfall of 'Bombay March 12'.The culmination of the film has a lot of messages send across, which is indeed debatable with its share of advocates and adversaries but is, at the same time, cinematically brilliant . 

Given the realistic theme of the film, the debutante director has filmed it at real locations with utmost sensitivity. Besides, Babu Janardhanan's storytelling is very different (like his previous 'City of God) - the film unfolds in chapters happened on various dates from 1992 to 2007 - yet every chapter is so efficiently handled that you don't want to move your eyes off from the screen. Directorially, Babu has also handled the emotional moments well, but the director in him seems to have won over by the writer in him, which makes the film more appropriate for the discerning viewer and the festival circuit. The problem with the movie to win the hearts at the commercial B O also seems to be that, what could've been told in a concise format seems stretched and complicated and the viewer gets the linear track of the story only after 100 minutes they are into the film.

'Bombay, March 12 ' is embellished with superior performances, but topping the list as usual is Mammootty who is in a subdued and restrained role than ever, with no hints of heroics, emoting mostly through his eyes. Unni Govind's debut in Malayalam deserves distinction marks for the right shades of realistic portrayal of Shajahan, who is torn between terror web and fear. Roma as Abida has a tough role with ample melodrama which she just manages to do with. Sadiq, who appears as Shahjahan's father, has another notable role to treasure.

In the technical front, Babu Janardhanan has brought in the best of the performances from his technical crew. Vipin Mohan's camerawork is his best in recent times, with the very best of the shots made in appealing tonal variations.The editor Vijayshankar has also done some praiseworthy cuts. Afsal Yusuf's songs are good and aptly suits the movie. But another name who steals the show is Prashath Pillai, whose BG scores are indeed exceptional.

On the whole, 'Bombay, March 12' is a significant experimental film, which may not set the box-office afire. The movie, but succeeds where most films don't, striking the right areas that hurts. If you wish to listen to an untold account that's prudently treated with some wonderful performances, this is one recommendation.

Rating: 6/10

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