A fabulous screenplay with well-crafted characters, beautiful visuals and nothing much to criticise — that’s Kumbalangi Nights, directed by debutant Madhu C Narayan.
Storyline of Kumbalangi Nights
The movie is set in the backdrop of a fishing hamlet in Kumbalangi. The script introduces us to a dysfunctional family of four brothers — Saji (Soubin Shahir), Bonny (Sreenath Bhasi), Bobby (Shane Nigam) and Franky (Mathew Thomas). Bobby falls in love with Babymol (Anna Ben), but her brother-in-law Shammi (Fahadh Faasil) opposes their relationship due to the difference in their family backgrounds. Meanwhile, Bonny dates a foreigner and a few other parallel narratives also become part of the story line.
Bobby falls in love with Babymol (Anna Ben), but her brother-in-law Shammi (Fahadh Faasil) opposes their relationship due to the difference in their family backgrounds. Meanwhile, Bonny dates a foreigner and a few other parallel narratives also become part of the storyline.
The perfect casting makes Kumbalangi Nights a brilliant movie. Fahadh as Shammi is so mysterious and it is almost unbelievable for us to see someone like him with a pinch of grey shade — but not like usual antagonists for sure. Shammi is a perfectionist, who admires himself with him shaping his moustache several times a day. Once, he even looks at the mirror and calls himself: “Raymond, the complete man.”
However, unlike the villains we are familiar with, Shammi doesn’t shout or attack people directly. Though he affectionately speaks to people with a wide smiling face, the women in his family are scared of him. He hides his real character behind those fake smiles. And altogether, Shammi a surprise package. Undoubtedly, Fahadh pulls off the character gracefully proving nothing is impossible for the Kayyethum Doorathu actor now.
Meanwhile, despite being the elder brother of the family, Saji (Soubin) is an aimless person, who takes his hardworking ‘business partner’ for granted. As an actor, Soubin has improved a lot and it is evident from the exceptional performances he has been delivering in his recent movies. In Kumbalangi Nights, it is Soubin, who actually gives a tight competition to Fahadh with his super impressive performance. He expresses the emotions touching the hearts of the viewers (for example, the scene in which he completely breaks down due to an unfortunate incident).
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Meanwhile, as always, Shane’s character Bobby is also an aimless person but is less depressing this time, unlike his previous movies. Bobby and Baby’s relationship looks so realistic and impressive. Anna, daughter of screenwriter Benny P Nayarambalam, is too good on screen with her funny and bold dialogues. Sreenath Bhasi is okay. Mathew has done justice to his character as the most mature one among the four brothers. Despite being a short character, Grace Antony as Simi too performs well, especially towards the climax.
What stands out?
Kumbalangi Nights is, in a way screenwriter Syam Pushkaran’s magic and can’t believe it’s the debut directorial venture of Madhu. The movie has minimal dialogues and all of the characters have spoken well in the Kochi dialect. Most of them communicate through their eyes and many a time, silence itself explains the seriousness of the situations. Shyju Khalid’s alluring frames give a beautiful mood and feeling to every scene in Kumbalangi Nights.
Other interesting aspects of this movie are its beautiful songs and Sushin Shyam’s background music. The tracks have blended well with the total mood of the film.
Kumbalangi Nights is a beautiful movie. The characters are sure to stay fresh in the minds of the audience like many classic and iconic ones in Malayalam cinema. And the movie has every quality to be called one of the best movies in Malayalam. The ending is predictable, but I am sure no one expects a different climax for this masterpiece.