These are the days when I do not miss to watch the films of two actors, Prithviraj and Nivin Pauly. Shyamaprasad’s Ivide had both of them in leading roles so it proved to my advantage. To me, watching Ivide felt like watching an episode of say, Criminal Minds, CSI or Castle, because the attitude and tone of the film was very American. American in approach except for the fact that the main cast are three leading actors of the Malayalam film industry. Shyamaprasad has succeeded in creating that illusion of an american urban space and its ethos.
Ivide sets out to tell the story of three Malayalees settled in the city of Atlanta in the backdrop of an American IT workforce steadily losing jobs as a result of the new policies on outsourcing work to countries namely, India.
The film begins when Bhavana is recruited by the Nivin Pauly led firm as part of their project team. Bhavana is also Nivin’s classmate from school. Prithiraj plays the role of a cop in the city police force, also Bhavana’s ex husband and the father of her daughter. The plot of the film runs as a diary in his head and the film is narrated from his point of view
The plot thickens when details of their personal lives spill out. Prithviraj’s life is such and such because he is a Malayalee adopted by American parents when he was 7 years old from an orphanage in Kerala. As a result of which, the man has internal conflicts leading towards a kind of rootlessness.. he knows no Malayalam although he was born to Malayalee parents, he is an American citizen by adoption but feels less American for many reasons. Nivin Pauly is the brain behind bringing and turning around a company which sold oil into a successful IT firm.
The plot gets a further dimension with the murder investigation assigned to Prithviraj and his partner. The first man to be murdered is an Indian in the timeline of the film. The murder story is up to you to watch and solve. If I dwell more on the causes and reasons of the murder, I may just solve the mystery here in the blog post, so watch the film for where it takes Prithviraj and how it intermingles with the lives of the characters played by Nivin Pauly and Bhavana.
Unlike Premam, the film caters to a niche audience because of the prolific use of the English language. It is not a Malayalm film set in the US, but seems like an American film with a few Malayalee characters.
In addition, I feel it falls more into the category of drama rather than that of a crime thriller because the crime and the investigation are not the driving forces that take the film forward. The relations between people are a key to understanding the film, between employers and employees, what the axim blood is thicker than water does when it comes to taking core decisions, the sweat and determination of people to become successful, unhappy married lives, internal traumatic personalities and finally reasons for killing another human being ..
English is the main language of the film because of the location, there is also Malayalam, and Tulu/Konkani, a little Tamil… the presence of more than one language among an umbrella group called the Malayalees presents the diversity.
The surprise package was the dubbing – Prithviraj and even Bhavana speak flawlessly in an American accent coupled with their mannerisms, from their walk and talk, they seem to be born and brought up and settled in the States for a long long time! A well made film… recommended