So I finally watched Anjali Menon‘s Koode yesterday night, a film that I wanted to watch for long, and finally had the opportunity once it released on Hotstar Premium recently. Quickly scribbling what I thought..
Its treatment is more sombre and poetic than Happy Journey and that makes it a beautiful little film. Well possibly not little, because honestly the film could have been shorter I think. The tracks of Atul Kulkarni and of Nazariya’s love interest are half baked and don’t add anything to the film other than increasing the length. Part of that screen time could have been repurposed on Parvathy or Renjith. Also a part of the melodrama especially coming from Parvathy’s family was out of place for the tonality of the film and broke the rhythm in few places for me, and doesn’t make the film a consistently brilliant piece.
But other than these, the film is very lyrical. Parvathy is excellent in an underdeveloped role and I really wanted to see more of her. Nazariya brings in all the spunk and freshness needed for her part and is possibly the most similar character of the original film. But the film ultimately belongs to Prithviraj and he is just perfect with his pain, rage, loneliness, empathy and overall goodness.
Excellent background score, a few lovely songs, and some beautiful cinematography esp with top nature shots (although there were way too many closeup shots which at times became jarring), excellent colour pallette and gradation across the film..
The opening part of the film is brilliant, especially the way the entire title card sequence is shot.. Screen time spent on childhood also helps to establish the character arc of the family and adds soul to the rest of the film.. I don’t know if the hint on Prithviraj’s sexual abuse added anything much though, since it was never explored.. Sadly the film doesn’t end so well, towards the end it becomes very formulaic and loses its unique voice.. Wish that the film that otherwise had all the specific nuances and aesthetics expected off Anjali Menon was free of all its blemishes..
But overall, it was still beautiful and will stay with me for long.. A soulful journey worth taking over and over again…