“Kumbalangi Nights”… A beauty of a film

Small Spoilers Ahead, But nothing major though

After the movie had ended and the credits started rolling, I was still glued to the screen as I was totally enthralled by the movie. I didn’t want the movie to end, as I was so much in awe with the locale and the breezy pace in which the movie unfolded.

The film starts with Frankie the youngest in the family going to his home in Kumblangi from his football academy. His friends wants to come to Cochin and go for a ride, but Frankie tells a lie that his parents aren’t well. We feel something is fishy. But when he comes home, we get to know he lives in a shady house which doesn’t even have a door. Moreover his brothers are lazy and leading an aimless life. Soubin plays Shaji, the elder of the four and is always in fight with Bobby (Shane Nigam) for silly reasons. They fight in home, they fight in bar all for no reason. Because of which Bony (Sreenath Basi) doesn’t live with them. The movie doesn’t tell us a story but shows us the life of a family. And later, we get introduced to other people around them.

The film touches upon many things without preaching. Male chauvinism, Women’s liberation, Job Status, Moral policing, the Idea of family and so on. Also the treatment of serious situations was handled in a pleasant manner. Had the movie been in the hands of some other director or screenwriter it would have been a tearjerker, But here the writer Shyam Pushkaran and director Madhu Narayanan goes for the humour route. Even in serious situations they break the tension with humor. And they handled it well otherwise it could have gone terribly wrong. Two scenes, in particular stands out- (Mild Spoilers ahead- One, When Shaij goes to the Tamilian’s wife to apologize. Shaji repents and falls on her feet. What could have been an dramatic scene is broken by the Wife’s reply that she cant bend much to get him up. Second, when Soubin goes to see a Doctor. He at first is not in grove to tell what’s his issue and when he finally breaks down, he cries like a child and all the tears are stained on the doctor’s shirt). These are two of the many heart warming scenes in the movie. And Kudos for Writer-Director duo for how subtly they handled it and weaved it well into the movie.

Soubin is the top performer in this movie as he goes through many emotions and finally becoming a better person. This is his best performance till date. He laughs, cries, repents. When he gets slapped at Police station he had a smile in the corner. A wry smile that he escaped death by a whisker and now again he got luckily escaped from murder charges.

Fahadh as Shammy was superb. When it was announced he would be playing the villain. I was thinking why he’s going to do a negative role and that too to younger stars. But after watching the movie, Fahadh had bowled me over. His performance in the movie made me believe nobody ever could have done that role better than him. He acts as if he has a fuming  volcano inside and keeps us guessing what’s going on his mind. At times he gives an intense look, a villainous laugh and so on. He played the Psycho role to perfection.

Shane Nigam as Bobby and Ann Ben as Baby looked a lovely pair on screen and their scenes together was charming. All the other cast also did a commendable job, especially Grace Antony playing (Fahadh’s wife Simi).

On technical front, the frames of Shyju Khalid was treat for the eyes, he had made every cinema goer in love with Kumblangi. I have listed few of those shots which stood out.


  • The Girl with baby in boat – This shot comes at a poignant juncture of the movie. And this shot looks so similar to Virgin Mary holding the Jesus.
  • Over head bed shots- there are couple of ones in the movie. But the one stood out was the one in Mangroves when Bobby opens about the family to Baby. Also they play with sunlight through their fingers.
  • The Lake in night with blue hue when Bony takes Nylah out. Though its a natural phenomenon the one in the film wasn’t natural but it was just beautiful.
  • The Numerous throwing the net shots and lake shots.

The background score was soothing and jelled with the mood of the film.

The movie of Debutante Madhu C Narayan was a treat for the eyes as well as for the mind. It didn’t give us the experience of watching a film but gave us the feel of meeting a few people of Kumblagi and spending some time together. A must watch theater experience.

PS: This movie is going to be deconstructed for its political views, the characters, the dialogues, the frames and even for the color pattern and costumes. And the best Malayalam movie released this year so far.

Kumblagi is a small suburb in Ernakulam district located 25 kms from city. It’s known for its Eco tourism and home-stays.

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