Kumbalangi Nights – Change is the only Constant!
Star Cast: Soubin Shahir, Shane Nigam, Mathew Thomas, Sreenath Bhasi, Ramesh Thilak, Grace Antony, and Riya Saira
Music Composed by Sushin Shyam
Cinematography by Shyju Khalid
Directed by Madhu C Narayan
“Let the life flow… Never try to contain it”
Bobby from the film, exciting young talent Shane Nigam, just flows through his life. He has a wrong notion of masculinity, he doesn’t work and he lives off on others. But when he finds a girl and accepts the responsibility through her persistence, he tries to find his sea. Any stream of water, how many ever obstacles try to change its path and however it changes its shape, size, and fluidity, it needs a destination. His destination is Baby. She doesn’t mind what work he does. She decides he is naive and can change him at any time. But her first thought to commit to him came from the idea, “Baby weds Bobby” has a good sound to it, on wedding cards.
Similarly, in an off-note kind of simple and silly ways, Kumbalangi Nights found a voice to flow. From a masculine point of view, it explores femininity. It just keeps flowing through a tough looking easy terrain and an easy looking tough terrain like water. The director, writer, composer, cinematographer, and actors are all on the same page. All want the characters to flow and let the film be. It just happens to be that someone took a video of the characters life and we happened to be at the right place to find it and feel all the emotions. That is the level of conviction, they achieved here.
“I burn… You burn… We all burn”
Fire doesn’t just hurt itself, it hurts its surroundings. It burns everything to ashes. It needs containment. Sun in a container might not be the bright star we see every day but can provide energy that we can happily live off. But his burn, his hurt and the kind of energy he exerts are unreal. You want to explore but from a distance. This is how Saji, Soubin, is. He is a burning furnace, he should have been the “Son (sun) of the family” but he drains even their earth (their mother) out of the orbit and he has to take the responsibility and fix it.
She is no longer inclined to take up the job. She is no longer concerned about their well-being or any material. But she still has love towards the younger one of all of them. If the earth is not its orbit, then Sun has to pull it back. Not in a literal sense but metaphorically, Saji has to become that person for the family and the way he brings another mother to the family and becomes a mother himself. Hats off to actor Soubin and writers for being able to land this arc, perfectly.
“Sky or Space is scary as it is unexplored and has more secrets than you know.”
Still, the sky can go wild and drown you. At the same time, it can smile on you as bright as day and soothe you to an unknown lullaby at night. This is Bonny, Sreenath Bhasi, at the outset. He is not connected to the family members as much as the others are, still, he is an integral part. His smile and shine make them all feel complete. If he isn’t among them, then they are not complete at all.
“Most notorious, most powerful yet most happy winds hit me every day to make me feel alive.”
Wind is the most notorious element. It needs all other elements for it to survive and even flow. It cannot carry on to deliver messages without sky, it cannot maintain sanity without water and if there is no fire, there is no energy and there is no existence for it. When all unite and form a shape, then they become nature, as we see. As nature has many shapes and forms, we can see as Napoleon’s sons here. The young one is like the wind and the actor is too good too.
Kumbalangi Nights offers social commentary about how nature is being disintegrated and tried to be restricted. Nature doesn’t have any rules, it exists it in its truest form but a “Man” trying to make everything perfect rather than enjoying the gift, is making it a mess. So, he becomes the psycho that tries to define rules for something uncontrollable. Something that is good if it exists as it does. Fahad Fassil is great embodying the cartoonish “Perfect Man” so well that he never lets uneasiness escape from the ambiance. While the director and writer, set him up well, the actor landed everything perfectly. Indeed, every control freak, who can’t allow a change, who can’t flow as nature, who cannot understand the meaning of privacy and who keeps spying on people needs to be tied up as he cannot be the hero symbol, anymore.
Writer Shyam subverts the conviction of a person who tries to control a family of women like a “Man” as a psycho and shows how shallow brother, father or son, he is. He just highlights how liberalism doesn’t mean acting, it doesn’t mean showcasing a facade. It means acceptance of the need for help, existence and finding a way with the circumstances, even if people dismiss you as a loser or your place becomes a dump yard for them, living doesn’t mean living for society.
Kumabalangi Nights is an achievement in cinema. Yes, it is as profound an achievement as “Anthuleni Katha“, when it released and as necessary, relevant as “Vamsa Vruksham“. Movies can talk about issues and influence you for a change. There is nothing bad in change, in fact, it is the constant. If you think that isn’t, then look into the mirror, you will find someone close to you changing every day and minute. After all, new waters and new winds are the life carriers and promoters. Why stop the Flow?!