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1001 Nunakal, Stagey Claustrophobic  &  Unconventional



1001 Nunakal(Malayalam,SonyLIV)

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.

Who cares?

The film is  set in Dubai, though it could be  Darbhanga  for all we care.

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