Ayal Njanalla (2015) | Screenplay & Director: Vineeth Kumar|Fahad Faasil

The title translates as “that person (ayal)  is not me (njanalla)” Directed by actor turned director, Vineeth Kumar.. written by Ranjith.. the film stars Fahad Faasil in a role of a simpleton from Koilandi in Kerala settled in the Kutch region of Gujarat. There he makes a livelihood by assisting his old maternal uncle in his roadside tyre shop. The film is the story of his trip from Ahmadabad to Bangalore a journey that brings him back home.

Fahad Faasil essays the role of this character Prakashan or Paachu,  a villager tanned completely by his work on the barren highway  effortlessly that as an audience I felt, this man is the character he plays.. the simpleton who is in love with a local girl and ask just a week’s notice to raise an amount of over 9 lakh to the money-lender!

The story has all the usual ingredients, a poor uneducated hardworking good at heart man who is left behind to pay the debt his dead uncle had taken from the local money-lender, a love story, the stereotypical villains harassing poor people.. The second part of the story begins in Bangalore and the most of the first half is a build up for this phase in the film…, where he is mistaken for a film star of Malayalam industry..

Fahad looks different for this character, so much so that when I went searching for the film poster, I could not recognize him with his straight hair, wing and his dress as you can see in the picture. Too long a film! I was waiting for the interval and it happened almost 2 hours into the film! It is a good plot, but the build up to it I feel could have been edited out tactfully to shorten the film.. plus as I said, the unnecessary songs.. Except for one, the rest of the songs are unnecessary and become yet another reason to prolong the film ..The first song set in Gujarat, has him in a Gujrati turban and dhoti, it suits him well.. However, the song in turn picturized in the Kutch region with the popular images of sunsets, people in colour costumes dancing on white ground.. camel, women with double decker pots.. seem to be very close to images re-adapted from Amitabh Bachchan’s ad for Gujarat tourism ad.

But the question of where is home.. who is family are put to question. One of the most interesting moves of this film is, the film does not enter Kerala at all.. it is set in Gujarat and Karnataka amongst a Mayalalee settlement. There is also a question of migratory labour, settlements.. but some good punch lines indeed! Second time in recent times, there is a mention of Fahad’s real life in reel life ..and Fahad Faasil.. 🙂 I think I can endure a film even this long for this man’s acting.. he is brilliant as the film pays a tribute to him 😛

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An Aquarius Woman

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