Friday, May 5, 2017

CiA: Comrade in America (2017)

Director: Amal Neerad
Writer: Shibin Francis
DOP: Renadive
Cast: Dulquer Salman, Siddique, Dileesh Pothan, Soubin Shahir
Language: Malayalam

Aji (Dulquer Salman) is a Pala Communist, a rare breed, born to a rich Kerala Congress dad (Siddique). He falls in love with a US NRI girl who did her graduation in Kerala. One fine day, she goes back to US without warning and her marriage is fixed. Aji doesn't have enough time to get a valid visa and has to take other extreme measures to get to USA.

The film begins with birthday wishes to Karl Marx and thanking credits for Jay Z and Kanye West. It is the third film to come out in Malayalam in the Communist genre and I haven't seen the other two. It doesn't take itself too seriously and is told with a consistent humour track. First half of the film is set in Kerala and the latter half abroad. The premise of the film, which sounds very clichéd, is nevertheless interesting due to the exotic nature of its settings but is difficult to execute well due to obvious constraints of budget and language. They have managed to execute it well enough to make it a decent watch overall. First half of the film is better though but the Malayalee men's victim-hood psyche will let them enjoy the ending as well as the protagonist takes one for the team in a dignified manner.

Interestingly enough, the KM Mani character in the film comes with Oommen Chandi's hairdo and recent events in Kerala politics makes it a curious take. Like all Amal Neerad films, it is strong on the technical front even though the drone fetishness is becoming tiresome. There is a pretty cool reference to Big B, which remains by far the director's best film till date, and a cheeky dig at Mohanlal's obnoxious dialogue from Raavanaprabhu. The humour track in the film works quite well and it should be a decent one-time watch at the cinemas.

Rating: 2.5/5