Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ഹരം (Haram) (2015)

Director: Vinod Sukumaran
Writer:    I dunno and am not arsed to find out by going through the credits again
Cast:       Fahadh Faasil, Radhika Apte
Language: Malayalam

The film's IMDB page doesn't have a synopsis and there is no wikipedia page for the film at all. So, after somehow finishing the film, I have to come with a synopsis for it on my own to top it all. Basically there is a central relationship involving Fahadh Faasil and Radhika Apte who had met at work in a call center in Bangalore. She was going through a breakup and Fahadh, who is skeptical about love and relationships, proves to be a should to cry on and romance develops after initiation from her side. These are shown through timeline jumps and right now they are separated and going through divorce procedure. So we have to piece this all together and this kind of cerebral activity keeps us engaged till the intermission, despite the shitty acting by all involved except for Fahadh. In between all this, there is another working class relationship between a body double actress and her boyfriend which takes a violent turn. Fahadh kind of gets involved through an accident and that is about it.

The film does not seem to have a Facebook promotion page which means that even the makers had also given up on it. I have absolutely no idea why I went out of my way to watch it. The acting and writing for almost all the characters outside of the central two are absolutely pathetic. The second story about the working class relationship adds nothing to the film and is an unwanted distraction. If the aim of that was as an attempt to depict the protagonist as someone with communist/socialist thinking, then it fails gloriously like it did in 'Iyobinte Pusthakam', and ended up being half-arsed. I don't think the director really intended to do the film as a metaphorical attempt to relate our confusion about it to the muddled thinking of the protagonists. It is just shiite. You get all the cliches of recent so called new-gen films like- poorly Malayalam speaking 'Yo' characters, very forward thinking father of the daughter role played by Renji Panicker, pseudo-intellectualism by quoting from books that I haven't read, gritty chase sequence through narrow streets, multiple story lines etc. Music for the film is done by the band 'Thaikudam Bridge' who makes a living by leeching on Malayalee nostalgia by remixing older songs. Their attempts at coming out with something original have been atrocious and their work in Haram is no different. 

To sum up, it is an atrocious film that kind of keeps you interested till the intermission because of the timeline jumps. It is poorly acted and poorly written and leaves you confused about what they were really attempting to do. The trouble is that many of the Malayalam films that I have liked from recent times are attempts by debut directors (Akam, Neram, Annayum Rassolum, Vedivazhipadu, 1983 and even Munnariyippu) . This one is also from a debut director and  you don't have any frame of reference to actually decide whether to watch a film or not and only way to know is by taking the plunge. Sometimes it works out and this time it didn't.

Rating: 1/5