“Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela”… A warm, wholesome, funny movie about an unexpectedly tragic subject

Posted on September 7, 2017


Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/njandukalude-nattil-oridavela-movie-review

Consider the eighty-year-old patriarch (KL Anthony) of the Chacko clan in Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela (An Interval in the Land of Crabs). His memory is shot. (He wants to invite Rose for a party, and she’s been dead twenty years.) He needs constant supervision, which is done in turns by the family and, later, by a male nurse named Yesudasan (Sharafudheen). One day, during prayer, he attempts to light a candle in front of a statuette of Jesus in his room. His hand wobbles, unable to land on the wick. Yesudasan rushes in. The setting appears one of great poignancy, but Yesudasan says: “At this rate, you’ll set fire to not just the candle but Jesus, His beard and the lamb by His side.” Instead of a solo violin, we get a whoopee cushion.

That’s the film in a nutshell, and director Althaf Salim’s achievement is in not crossing the boundaries of good taste. He takes a scary disease, the fount of a thousand on-screen tragedies, and makes a film that’s — there’s no other word for it — wholesome. We do get scenes in hospitals and scenes featuring the dismaying after-effects of treatment, but the defining mood is that of the stretch where a doctor (Saiju Kurup) is asked to please leave the office — his own office — so the family gathered there can sort things out. The tone isn’t haha (though there are many laugh-out-loud moments). It’s played in a minor key. A video recording of you during the movie will show you smiling a lot.

Continued at the link above.

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