1001 Nunakal(Malayalam,SonyLIV) ;Rating: ** ½
What can we say about a film that plays truth-or-dare with a bunch of married couples, some of whom just had their home burnt down and have moved in a with a couple whose marriage anniversary falls right in the middle of the marital chaos.
It says a lot about the tenor and impact of this namby-pamby domestic drama that one self-important South Indian critic has spilled quite a lot of ink in her review telling us why 1001 Nunakal is NOT like Perfect Strangers. We can extend that premise to ask why 1001 Nunakal can’t be Perfect Strangers. (Because it wouldn’t know how).
One can argue that 1001 Nunakal is NOT like a lot of film about characters playing mindgames. Such analyses would not provide us with a clue as to why this intolerably loose-limbed marital non-drama was made in the first place.The couples who are made to talk about the lies they’ve told in a marriage look uncomfortable with the game
And let’s not forget, there has been a tragic fire just hours before. I don’t see how couples can sit around playing mindfuck games when they’ve lost their homes. The catalyst to this inopportune game is a character called Vakeel(Sudheesh Scaria) who is probably into mindgames because he is a lawyer.
These people know one another for long enough to know they are being manipulated by Vakeel. Still they fall for it. Minus marks for presence of mind. What follows is a blizzard of bland confessions which we are a reluctant privy to.
I really couldn’t care less about the lies these couples have told, or not told,one another.
The fault lies with the scars. The incidents that these couple bring up as proof of the lie that marriages yield are too much in the past to make a difference. The characters behave like they are on stage. The mood is unmistakably theatrical and the acting by all amateurish, barring the ever-dependable Remya Suresh who as the househelp who needs to desperately bail out her husband(Zhinz Shan) from a financial crisis, delivers a poignant performance .
Director Thamar K.V functions in a milieu of extremely annoying ‘true confessions’ where the worst offence a married man commits is to tell his wife he kept in touch with his ex-girlfriend after marriage.
He then bursts out laughing to say he made it up.
The film is set in Dubai, though it could be Darbhanga for all we care.