Movie: Sufiyum Sujatayum
Director: Naranipuzha Shanavas
Behind the Scenes:
Naranipuzha Shanavas’s Sufiyum Sujatayum is the first Malayalam film to skip its theatrical release and release online directly. Coronavirus Outbreak ensured this feat. Malayalam films were able to strike a chord with the audience irrespective of the language in these torrid times. The movie is out on Amazon Prime Video. Let us see how the movie releasing today will connect to the audience.
Sujatha (Aditi Rao Hydari), a mute Namboothiri woman is enchanted by the songs of Sufi (Dev Mohan) and falls in love with him. But her parents force her to marry an NRI (Jayasurya). Ten years into their marriage, they get to know Sufi’s death news and the husband brings her to India to watch him for one last time. What follows next forms the rest of the story.
Aditi Rao Hydari is sensational in the film. Even without a single dialogue, she steals the show. She emotes only with her eyes and her dance deserves a special mention. The change in body language in various moods of the film is simply a masterclass. The movie runs around her character. Dev Mohan as Sufi and Jayasurya as Rajeev are okay in their roles. Siddiqui as Malilikarjunan and Manikandan as Kumaran is apt. The rest are okay.
Naranipuzha Shanavas chose a love story in the backdrop of Love Jihad as the storyline. Even though Love Jihad appears the crux of the story, he ensured that it is not overused and the emotions of the love story takes the center stage. The writing has been good and the love is portrayed well. The slow pace becomes a hindrance initially even though the later parts are impressive. M Jayachandran’s compositions are good and the azaan is impressive. The background score, however, gets repetitive at times. The camera work is impressive and the editing could have been better in the first half. The Production Values are appropriate.
Sufiyum Sujatayum is essentially a love story set in the Hindu-Muslim backdrop. The director is mature enough not to go deep into the conflict or the concept of Love Jihad. As a love story, the proceedings especially in the Flashback sequences are slow-paced. Things pick pace once Sujatha is back to her native. The director manages to touch the hearts with some heart-warming sequences towards the later part of the film. Finally, Sufiyum Sujatayum is a decent watch on OTT if you brave the slow pace.
Sufiyum Sujatayum: Slow-Paced but Heart-Warming At Crucial Times
Starring: Dev Mohan, Aditi Rao Hydari, Jayasurya and Others
Written and Directed by Naranipuzha Shanavas
Produced by Vijay Babu
Music by M Jayachandran
Cinematography by Anu Moothedath
Production Company: Friday Film House
Release Date: July 3rd, 2020 (Direct Online Release on Amazon Prime Video)