Iyobinte Pusthakam Movie Review
The year 2014 has been pretty uneventful when it comes to Malayalam cinema. Iyobinte Pusthakam this week might change that.
A fiction-cum-historical film spanning the decades between the pre-independence era to the time of the 1975 Emergency, this film by Amal Neerad is set in a tea garden estate in Munnar.
Portraying the rise of a slave named Iyob )Lal) to a master, the movie like its name suggests progresses like a book. Narrated by his friend (T G. Ravi), we move like readers through the film.
Beginning from the 1900s, when there was interest expressed by the English in growing tea in Munnar, the narrator tells us how Iyob was employed under Harrison, a cruel Englishman. After the death of his white master, Iyob turns away his former boss’ mistress (Lena) and takes control of the tea garden himself. He is no better as a brown sahib to his workers.
Iyob has three sons, Dimitri (Chemban Vinod Jose), Ivan (Jinu Joseph) and Aloshi (Fahadh Fassil). While the first two sons are like Iyob, his youngest son is different. After witnessing a horrifying murder committed by his brothers, Aloshi flees home at a young age to join the Indian Navy. Following the Navel Mutiny of 1946, he returns and immediately begins to stir things up. apart from taking control of his brothers, Aloshi has a fling with the daughter of the mistress, Martha (Isha Sharvani).
The crux of the story is reached with a Tamil Muslim businessman who hails from Mysore named Angoor Ravuthar (Jayasurya) who approaches Iyob with a hidden agenda.
The acting is well up to the mark and each character is portrayed convincingly. Lal is amazing, Fahadh Fassil is frighteningly intense and Chemban Vinod plays Dimitri, especially in his role as an abusive husband to Rahel (Padmapriya) very well. Jayasurya (Angoor Rawther) is a cunning and convincing super villain.
Gopan Chidambaram’s script embodies the historical and social mores of the time, but tends to drag a little bit in parts. Syam Pushkaran’s dialogues might also sound a bit fake at times when spoken with an accent.
Known for being visually and technically brilliant, the director has done the camera work himself. We are able to really appreciate the beautiful scenery and also the action sequences.
Debutants Neha Nair and Yakzan Gary Pereira, give a great background score and good songs with some vibrant dance numbers. Additionally, an item song featuring Amala Paul ensures the audience gets their money’s worth.
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