Sunday, August 7, 2016

ആൻ മരിയ കലിപ്പിലാണ് (Ann Maria Kalippilanu) (2016)

Director: Midhun Manuel Thomas
Writers:. Midhun Manuel Thomas, John Manthrichal
Cinematographer: Vishnu Sharma
Cast: Sunny Wayne, Baby Sara, Aju Varghese, Leona 
Language: Malayalam 

Ann Mariya (Baby Sara) is a ten-year-old daughter of a doctor couple where the father of the house is away in Syria as part of a red-cross mission. This creates tension in the house with the wife not happy with him being away. Ann Mariya wants to emulate her father by winning a long-jump medal but her PT teacher, with whom she is at odds with, deliberately calls foul on her jump. Ann Maria is furious, which is a literal translation of the title, and puts out a quotation on him by trading her iPhone with whom she presumes to be Goondas (Sunny Wayn and Aju Varghese) but are actually unemployed small-time fraudsters.

This is Midhun Manuel Thomas' second film as director and third film as writer. His directorial debut, Aadu Oru Bheegara Jeeviyanu, didn't do very well at box office partly due to its positioning as a children's film when it was patently not so. But it went on to become Malayalam's first internet cult classic film with the help of torrent medium. Ann Maria is not marketed as a children's film but as one with a child as protagonist. They get that right as it is a film that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Based on the reactions that I've seen so far about this film, it is those who particularly didn't like Aadu who seems to be really taken by this film. Others like me are just finding it to be a very decent watch without even coming close to the standard of the tale of Shaji Pappan and his gang. It is similar to the level of Om Shanti Oshana, MMT's debut film.

AMK is fast paced with right dose of 'story' elements thrown in to keep things lively. It is shot very well and great BGMs are a given in Midhun films. It is a role out of his comfort zone for Sunny Wayn as he plays a full on comedy role. He pulls it off quite well even though there are a few scenes where his limitations are exposed. Siddique puts in a very hammy performance which is not uniformly great. Rest of the cast do a very decent job. Aadu 2 was announced halfway through the shoot of this film and I wonder whether it affected this film as the ending portions of it looks a bit half-baked capped off with a very amateur looking fight scene.

To sum up, it is a very decent one time watch for adults and probably a very good one for kids. It will get a wider acceptance than Aadu from the audience without being nearly as good. Am waiting for Aadu 2 which is surely gonna get a great opening.

PS: Migrant workers in Kerala, whom all are called Bengalis irrespective of their actual native places, are also becoming a presence in the reel world just like the real world.

Rating: 2.5/5